As an industry standard, publishers should avoid directly comparing impression numbers between their Sharethrough for Publishers (SFP) implementation and their ad-server implementation. These platforms measure different metrics at different times, creating many times where they do not count the same action. This can result in a significant discrepancy between SFP and ad servers.
The following list details common reasons for discrepancies:
- Sharethrough Metrics vs. 3rd Party Ad Servers - Ad servers define each serving event slightly differently. Many ad servers note an impression as soon as their tag is mentioned on the page, whereas Sharethrough defines an impression when the ad fully loads.
- Eligible vs. Ineligible Impression Requests - If a device or browser is not compatible with Sharethrough Technology, any request made from it is marked as ‘ineligible.’ (List here) Additionally, any request for a SFP Monetize tag from a country outside of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia is deemed ‘ineligible.’ Ad servers still count these ineligible impressions as impressions.
- Additional Demand Sources - Rotating Sharethrough tags with additional demand sources increases latency and may lead to larger discrepancies. Latency may occur when there is a lag between an initial line item request and the appearance of the creative, leading to a discrepancy.
- Data Scrubbing Differences - Ad servers ‘scrub’ their data to automatically remove testing and fraudulent delivery. The differences in the way that the 'scrub' occurs from ad server to ad server causes discrepancies.
- Network Connectivity Issues - A third-party ad server may fail briefly preventing it from logging an impression.
- Ad Blockers - Ad blocking software can prevent a line item from being delivered by the ad server after impression has been counted.
If you believe that the above reasons are not the cause of your discrepancy, please review the data being compared to Sharethrough for:
- Date Ranges - Are the date ranges the same for SFP data and 3rd party ad server?
- Timezone - Please pull your data in UTC, as that is SFP’s data timezone.
- Data Entity - Ensure that the data is comparing the correct platform hierarchy level. For example, site is compared with site, placement to placement, campaign to campaign, creative to creative, etc.
- Geography Selected - While Direct Sell campaigns can run wherever you decide to serve them, Monetize impressions can only run in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia. Make sure that your data is only pulling from those areas.
- For Comparing to 3rd Party Tracking - Ensure that the tracking beacons are firing on the event you’re trying to compare. For example, impression to impression, clicks to clicks, etc. In general, there will always be a higher discrepancy from an ad server to tracking tags than from the ad server to Sharethrough.
While these explanations and tips may help explain a majority of discrepancies, some will require more insight. If the data leads you to believe that there is an issue with your Sharethrough integration, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org