Guide The Ultimate Guide to Clickloss

Nick

Well-known member
Community Leader
It seems recently that a lot of members are discovering clickloss, but very few actually understand what it is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.

Here are a few examples of such threads:

https://afflift.com/f/threads/a-newbies-dating-follow-along-clickdealer-evadav.3742/

https://afflift.com/f/threads/2020-contest-monetizer-propellerads-bemob.3486/#post-36680

https://afflift.com/f/threads/shaving-and-scrubbing-like-charles-ngo-mentioned.2032/

This guide is here to explain everything to you so that hopefully you understand :)

What exactly is Clickloss?

Clickloss is when you buy X amount of clicks, but less are reported in your tracker, and even less are reported in your affiliate network.

Let me show you a couple of examples of this with graphics…

Here’s a direct link affiliate campaign:

clickloss copy.png


You buy 1,000 clicks from your traffic source. Only 900 are registered by your tracker and then only 600 of those clicks are registered by your affiliate network.

You’re losing 10% of the clicks you bought when the user is redirected to your tracker, and from your tracker, you’re losing 30% more clicks as you redirect the user to your affiliate network’s offer page.

In total, you’re experiencing a 40% click loss.

Here’s another example of an affiliate campaign flow with a landing page:

clickloss-lander.png


It’s very similar to the example above, but I wanted to put this in here to show you that there are more steps/redirects for the user to go through, which makes it even more complex.

At each point where a user can be redirected there is the potential for some loss of clicks. This is caused by many reasons…

What causes Clickloss?

There are really a lot of reasons that clickloss happens. Some are just how the Internet works, some are caused by human behavior, some are caused by bad business partners.

The Internet’s Functions

When you access anything online your request is redirected many times. First, you’ll probably go through your local ISP, which will then direct your request to a national provider, redirecting you though their complex system, and eventually you will land on the location you were looking for.

If you’re accessing a local website that’s hosted in your country/city you won’t have to go through as many redirects until you reach your final destination. But, if the website you are trying to access is located/hosted on the other side of the world you’ll have way more redirects to jump through before reaching it.

Let me show you a couple of examples of how many redirects a local website vs. a website on the other side of the world. BTW I’m located in Germany while performing these traceroutes.

Local site:

clickloss-trace-2.png


Website on the other side of the world:

clickloss-trace-1.png


Because of the way the Internet works, some websites will load fast and some slow… depending on where their servers are located. You can minimize clickloss by having a faster loading website in the country you’re advertising in by getting a server located in that country.

If you’re direct linking you’d want your tracker ideally located in that country as well, or as close to it as physically possible. Cloud-based trackers have locations all around the world, so chances are they are already pretty close to your users to ensure minimal clickloss.

Human Behavior and Traffic Types

The type of traffic you’re buying can also be more prone to clickloss.

Some types of traffic (pops, in-app ads, video ads, mobile banners) can have low intent because people might accidently click on these ads and then click the exit button on the landing/offer page before it has time to complete all of the necessary redirects.

It’s possible the user closes the page before your tracker can even register the click. Sometimes your tracker might register the click, but your affiliate network may not because their redirect could be too slow and the user closed it before the redirect had enough time to complete.

Some countries are also going to have higher clickloss than others due to their ancient infrastructure. Not much you can do about this.

Shady Business Partners

Affiliate marketing can be shady in many, many ways. But, that’s mostly for a different topic.

Depending on the partner we’re talking about they might have different goals. For example, your traffic source makes money by selling you clicks. So they want to show the highest numbers possible, which might mean they sell you the same click from the same user even though you specified you would like to only show your ad to that user 1/48 hours. See this.

The affiliate network, on the other hand, would rather show lower amounts of clicks, so they might just count unique clicks instead of the total clicks. Less clicks = higher offer EPC/CVR = higher chance people run their offers. BTW, don’t even look at EPCs or CVR when picking offers.

Super shady networks might also just not count all your clicks because they’re shaving you, but that can also just happen by not crediting you for all the conversions you’re generating.

Total Bot Clickloss

Some bots are so dumb that they can’t even go through redirect chains. If this is the case your traffic source might count the click, but you’ll never see it in your tracker.

Sometimes your traffic source might be doing this on purpose for financial gain, but sometimes the traffic source isn’t even aware of it and it could be being done by the website owners themselves. If you do ever discover bot traffic with 100% certainty, report it to your traffic source and get a refund for the bot traffic ;)

What is a normal % of Clickloss?

This will vary a lot depending on what countries you’re purchasing traffic in, but here are some guidelines.
  1. If clickloss is less than 10% I don’t care.
  2. If clickloss is greater than 10% it might be worth it to investigate what the issue is (tracker, lander, offer page, etc.)
  3. If clickloss is greater than 20% you should maybe start to sweat. 😅
You can have very high clickloss (ie. 40%+) and still turn a profit. You may experience this in Asia or Africa.

How to fix Clickloss?

There are a couple of ways to fix a clickloss problem you might be having:
  1. Make sure your tracker and landing pages are loading as fast as possible. If you’re using a self-hosted tracker like Binom you should consider having your server located in a location that is close to where you primarily purchase traffic (you might consider a second server if you advertise in GEOs that are extremely far away from each other… ie South America and Asia). For landing pages you can make a VPS in your target GEO, or just use Amazon S3 + Cloudfront like I do.
  2. Eliminate the high clickloss Targets/Sources from your campaign. In some cases certain website might be having a high clickloss percentage. This could be from bots, or something else. You just have to eliminate it and your clickloss for the entire campaign will drop to an acceptable level.
  3. Use a landing page instead of direct linking (see more here about why it’s a good idea). Some affiliate networks and/or advertisers have slow landing pages and/or redirects. If you have a correctly optimized landing page it will probably load faster than most bloated offer pages. With a landing page you can get a user more interested in the offer so they may be patient enough to wait for the slow redirects to complete instead of just close the page.
Remember: You can’t ever completely eliminate clickloss because of how the Internet works. You will always experience it!

👉 Bonus: If your traffic source supports a {cost} token then always expect your costs in your tracker to be different than it really is. There is nothing you can do about it except manually update your costs in your tracker. The only way you’ll have accurate costs in your tracker is if your tracker can connect to your traffic source API to pull the correct data.
 
Last edited:

dood

Well-known member
Interesting topic. I had an idea to start a click loss thread, where maybe a few members could share their experiences with click loss between different traffic sources, trackers and affiliate networks.

For example for some campaigns on PropellerAds (pops) that were direct linking to Monetizer (just for testing purposes, without tracker) I had a click loss around 50%!

Maybe creating a table with avg click loss wouldn't be such a bad idea?
 

dood

Well-known member
👉 Bonus: If your traffic source supports a {cost} token then always expect your costs in your tracker to be different than it really is. There is nothing you can do about it except manually update your costs in your tracker. The only way you’ll have accurate costs in your tracker is if your tracker can connect to your traffic source API to pull the correct data.
Just wanted to mention that this traffic loss % might help you a bit:

1582028835784.png
 

Nick

Well-known member
Community Leader
Interesting topic. I had an idea to start a click loss thread, where maybe a few members could share their experiences with click loss between different traffic sources, trackers and affiliate networks.

For example for some campaigns on PropellerAds (pops) that were direct linking to Monetizer (just for testing purposes, without tracker) I had a click loss around 50%!

Maybe creating a table with avg click loss wouldn't be such a bad idea?
Maybe, but there are so many variables (traffic source, tracker, geo, lp, direct link, hosting provider, etc.) that it would be hard to make much sense of it I think.

What GEO was this 50% loss in? Some can have that high and still profit ;)

Just wanted to mention that this traffic loss % might help you a bit:

View attachment 8860
Sure you can use that, but your costs will still be wrong for each website in your campaign because your tracker just adds 20% to the cost token or whatever percent you put there. Some sites will have no clickloss, but have 20% added to them and you'll make wrong optimizations.
 

dood

Well-known member
What GEO was this 50% loss in? Some can have that high and still profit ;)
If I remember correctly it was Indonesia.

Sure you can use that, but your costs will still be wrong for each website in your campaign because your tracker just adds 20% to the cost token or whatever percent you put there. Some sites will have no clickloss, but have 20% added to them and you'll make wrong optimizations.
Yeah, I agree.
 

fafang66

Member
I experience a different scenario. For example, traffic source has 4000 clicks, tracker has 6000, affiliate company has 6300. I've run this pop campaign for one day and waited for some hours before checking the stats. So I believe late clicks is minimized. Is it possible? What causes it to happen?
 

Nick

Well-known member
Community Leader
I experience a different scenario. For example, traffic source has 4000 clicks, tracker has 6000, affiliate company has 6300. I've run this pop campaign for one day and waited for some hours before checking the stats. So I believe late clicks is minimized. Is it possible? What causes it to happen?
It's possible that the traffic source isn't charging you for all the clicks, or, they're refunding you for part of the clicks because they may have been detected as fraud. I've had this happen before too.
 

Landingtrack

Active member
Partner
Really good explication here @Nick and as you mentioned, there are tons of factors. Perhaps building a "blacklist" of sites will help to identify those with a "higher click loss"? just an idea.
@fafang66 , it depends also on the type of campaign (ad format your run), some trackers might track real-time meanwhile the platform doesn't > it is a delay on their panel basically. And also it could be what Nick mentioned, we have seen cases where some networks give more traffic for less, I guess this could be an advantage for many :)
 

TONIC.

New member
Partner
I experience a different scenario. For example, traffic source has 4000 clicks, tracker has 6000, affiliate company has 6300. I've run this pop campaign for one day and waited for some hours before checking the stats. So I believe late clicks is minimized. Is it possible? What causes it to happen?
At least for traffic from our platform, there is an explanation:
This is traffic you haven't been charged for. Due to our real-time bidding system, we first receive information about the visitor that we use for the actual bidding (matching the targeting of the campaigns). So for example we see "a visitor from the US, IP 123.456.789.012, Chrome browser on Windows etc.". Our system checks all our active advertisers' campaigns if there is a match, and how high the bid is. When someone won the bid the visitor gets redirect through our system to the URL specified in the campaign. At this moment, we "see" the visitor in our system and match if all the information we received *before* the bidding was correct. Usually it is, but if there is a mismatch, we won't charge you (and won't pay out the publisher).
We think that displaying a free ad is always better than showing none, thats why we still redirect the visitor but don't charge the advertiser.
As someone mentioned before, this can be easily identified by using a cost identifier token in the target-/tracking URL, in our case its [CPC].

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!
 

makifkaban

Active member
@Nick

You said that 10 percent is ok I don't care, however, this 10 percent is all the way from traffic source to aff network or just from traffic source to the tracker?

for Push, lets say this is a t2 geo wifi traffic. 10 percent is good?
 

Nick

Well-known member
Community Leader
@Nick

You said that 10 percent is ok I don't care, however, this 10 percent is all the way from traffic source to aff network or just from traffic source to the tracker?

for Push, lets say this is a t2 geo wifi traffic. 10 percent is good?
Traffic source to tracker, but maybe you have a higher tolerance.

10% is ok; maybe a little high for push, but if it's working I'd go with it. :)
 

Tyoussef

Well-known member
amazing thread @Nick as always.
that's true many factors can be the cause, but as you said once your clickloss is more than 10% you should start your investigation about the cause
 

ChrisBa

Well-known member
It seems recently that a lot of members are discovering clickloss, but very few actually understand what it is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.

Here are a few examples of such threads:

https://afflift.com/f/threads/a-newbies-dating-follow-along-clickdealer-evadav.3742/

https://afflift.com/f/threads/2020-contest-monetizer-propellerads-bemob.3486/#post-36680

https://afflift.com/f/threads/shaving-and-scrubbing-like-charles-ngo-mentioned.2032/

This guide is here to explain everything to you so that hopefully you understand :)

What exactly is Clickloss?

Clickloss is when you buy X amount of clicks, but less are reported in your tracker, and even less are reported in your affiliate network.

Let me show you a couple of examples of this with graphics…

Here’s a direct link affiliate campaign:

View attachment 8856

You buy 1,000 clicks from your traffic source. Only 900 are registered by your tracker and then only 600 of those clicks are registered by your affiliate network.

You’re losing 10% of the clicks you bought when the user is redirected to your tracker, and from your tracker, you’re losing 30% more clicks as you redirect the user to your affiliate network’s offer page.

In total, you’re experiencing a 40% click loss.

Here’s another example of an affiliate campaign flow with a landing page:

View attachment 8857

It’s very similar to the example above, but I wanted to put this in here to show you that there are more steps/redirects for the user to go through, which makes it even more complex.

At each point where a user can be redirected there is the potential for some loss of clicks. This is caused by many reasons…

What causes Clickloss?

There are really a lot of reasons that clickloss happens. Some are just how the Internet works, some are caused by human behavior, some are caused by bad business partners.

The Internet’s Functions

When you access anything online your request is redirected many times. First, you’ll probably go through your local ISP, which will then direct your request to a national provider, redirecting you though their complex system, and eventually you will land on the location you were looking for.

If you’re accessing a local website that’s hosted in your country/city you won’t have to go through as many redirects until you reach your final destination. But, if the website you are trying to access is located/hosted on the other side of the world you’ll have way more redirects to jump through before reaching it.

Let me show you a couple of examples of how many redirects a local website vs. a website on the other side of the world. BTW I’m located in Germany while performing these traceroutes.

Local site:

View attachment 8858

Website on the other side of the world:

View attachment 8859

Because of the way the Internet works, some websites will load fast and some slow… depending on where their servers are located. You can minimize clickloss by having a faster loading website in the country you’re advertising in by getting a server located in that country.

If you’re direct linking you’d want your tracker ideally located in that country as well, or as close to it as physically possible. Cloud-based trackers have locations all around the world, so chances are they are already pretty close to your users to ensure minimal clickloss.

Human Behavior and Traffic Types

The type of traffic you’re buying can also be more prone to clickloss.

Some types of traffic (pops, in-app ads, video ads, mobile banners) can have low intent because people might accidently click on these ads and then click the exit button on the landing/offer page before it has time to complete all of the necessary redirects.

It’s possible the user closes the page before your tracker can even register the click. Sometimes your tracker might register the click, but your affiliate network may not because their redirect could be too slow and the user closed it before the redirect had enough time to complete.

Some countries are also going to have higher clickloss than others due to their ancient infrastructure. Not much you can do about this.

Shady Business Partners

Affiliate marketing can be shady in many, many ways. But, that’s mostly for a different topic.

Depending on the partner we’re talking about they might have different goals. For example, your traffic source makes money by selling you clicks. So they want to show the highest numbers possible, which might mean they sell you the same click from the same user even though you specified you would like to only show your ad to that user 1/48 hours. See this.

The affiliate network, on the other hand, would rather show lower amounts of clicks, so they might just count unique clicks instead of the total clicks. Less clicks = higher offer EPC/CVR = higher chance people run their offers. BTW, don’t even look at EPCs or CVR when picking offers.

Super shady networks might also just not count all your clicks because they’re shaving you, but that can also just happen by not crediting you for all the conversions you’re generating.

Total Bot Clickloss

Some bots are so dumb that they can’t even go through redirect chains. If this is the case your traffic source might count the click, but you’ll never see it in your tracker.

Sometimes your traffic source might be doing this on purpose for financial gain, but sometimes the traffic source isn’t even aware of it and it could be being done by the website owners themselves. If you do ever discover bot traffic with 100% certainty, report it to your traffic source and get a refund for the bot traffic ;)

What is a normal % of Clickloss?

This will vary a lot depending on what countries you’re purchasing traffic in, but here are some guidelines.
  1. If clickloss is less than 10% I don’t care.
  2. If clickloss is greater than 10% it might be worth it to investigate what the issue is (tracker, lander, offer page, etc.)
  3. If clickloss is greater than 20% you should maybe start to sweat. 😅
You can have very high clickloss (ie. 40%+) and still turn a profit. You may experience this in Asia or Africa.

How to fix Clickloss?

There are a couple of ways to fix a clickloss problem you might be having:
  1. Make sure your tracker and landing pages are loading as fast as possible. If you’re using a self-hosted tracker like Binom you should consider having your server located in a location that is close to where you primarily purchase traffic (you might consider a second server if you advertise in GEOs that are extremely far away from each other… ie South America and Asia). For landing pages you can make a VPS in your target GEO, or just use Amazon S3 + Cloudfront like I do.
  2. Eliminate the high clickloss Targets/Sources from your campaign. In some cases certain website might be having a high clickloss percentage. This could be from bots, or something else. You just have to eliminate it and your clickloss for the entire campaign will drop to an acceptable level.
  3. Use a landing page instead of direct linking (see more here about why it’s a good idea). Some affiliate networks and/or advertisers have slow landing pages and/or redirects. If you have a correctly optimized landing page it will probably load faster than most bloated offer pages. With a landing page you can get a user more interested in the offer so they may be patient enough to wait for the slow redirects to complete instead of just close the page.
Remember: You can’t ever completely eliminate clickloss because of how the Internet works. You will always experience it!

👉 Bonus: If your traffic source supports a {cost} token then always expect your costs in your tracker to be different than it really is. There is nothing you can do about it except manually update your costs in your tracker. The only way you’ll have accurate costs in your tracker is if your tracker can connect to your traffic source API to pull the correct data.
This is an amazing post and will help many as I honestly believe almost everyone (if not everyone) has asked this at one point.
 
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