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Clicks are "Too High".

A troubleshooting guide to help when the number of clicks recorded in the Revive Adserver statistics are higher than expected.

 


Symptoms

The number of clicks recorded in Revive Adserver are (much) higher than expected.

Troubleshooting Process

Step 1: Check Expectations

Before you start to dig into the issue, it's worth double checking that your expectation on the number of clicks you're expecting to see recorded in Revive Adserver are correct.

  • Are you comparing the number of clicks seen in Revive Adserver with another system?
    • If so, which of the systems gets to record the clicks first?
    • It is likely that the first system to record clicks will have a higher number of clicks recorded than "downstream" systems, simply as a result of drop-off, where users abort their web session, resulting in the "upstream" system having recorded a click, while the "downstream" system has not.

Step 2: Check for Clicks Against Expired Campaigns

Revive Adserver needs to keep the details of your past campaigns and banners in the database, to allow you to view the details of past delivery statistics.

However, this means that it is possible that due to caches, agents (such as spiders) may continue to access the click URL of banners, even after the campaigns the banners are in have ended, and Revive Adserver will continue to record the clicks against these banners.

Revive Adserver does offer a feature to prevent clicks being recorded against expired campaigns - consider enabling this feature, if not already enabled.

Step 3: Check for Potentially Fraudulent Sources

Review your web server logs, and consider performing an analysis of the records against URLs including the Revive Adserver ck.php file, to determine if you are suffering from one or more sources that are obviously performing automated and/or fraudulent accesses to inflate the number of clicks recorded.

Step 4: Consider Blocking Either Clicks or Site Access

If you find that you are suffering from either clicks against expired campaigns and/or potentially fraudulent sources, consider taking action to reduce the number of clicks occurring.

There are generally two options:

  1. Revive Adserver has a number of options to prevent the logging of banner statistics (including the logging of clicks), based on the frequency of the user clicking on the same banner/zone pair, IP address and/or user-agent string. If you have limited access to the server that Revive Adserver is installed on, then this simplistic approach may work; otherwise
  2. If you have reasonable access to the server that Revive Adserver is installed on, consider completely blocking access to the Revive Adserver site (and/or the whole server) from the relevant sources, at the web server or firewall level. This will not only prevent the logging of clicks from these sources, but also protect your server from other forms of fraudulent access.
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