What is googleadservices.com in Google Analytics?

In Web Analytics by Matt Chiera5 Comments

From time to time an interesting “referral” source in Google Analytics like googleadservices.com bears some investigation.

First, googleadservices.com is not spam. If you see referral traffic (and for me, conversions) coming from googleadservices.com, I’d recommend not filtering it out in Google Analytics, at least for the time being.

Second, it does have something to do with Google’s Display network. Though after communicating with Google, what it is exactly is a little unclear.

According to Google, Google Ad Services is the umbrella term for all the concepts, networks, and features which comprise a Google Ads account. To put it simply, anything which you can achieve with your Google Ads account is part of Google Ad Services.

When I called Google for more info, I got some interesting information. The googleadservices.com referral does seem to have something to do with certain websites that Google Ads ads display on via Google’s Display network. However, why this traffic isn’t grouped up with “google / cpc” traffic in Google Analytics is unclear. Basically, if you’re running Google Ads “Display” network campaigns, you may see googleadservices.com  as a referral source due to how the Display ads run on 3rd party websites and apps.

So far I’ve confirmed that googleadservices.com is not spam. It is traffic from Google Ads, specifically from Google’s Display network – people clicking on ads running on 3rd party websites and apps. I hope to have more info as I communicate with Google regarding this referral source.

About the Author

Matt Chiera

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Matt Chiera is CEO of Ice Nine Online, an award-winning full service digital marketing agency in Chicago. Matt is also Digital Director (contract) for enterprise advertising agency The Well and former Head of Business Development for award-winning search marketing agency Perfect Search Media. He's the author of the bestselling book "Digital Marketers Sound Off," published June 2018.

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    1. Author

      Hmm, maybe an Ad integration in a portion of Google My Business, like maps? Interesting. Warrants further research.

  1. Hey Buddy, I am running Adwords Display campaign and I am seeing the same thing in my Google Analytics account.

    Its for sure from Display network. Funny thing is Analytics now reports seprate channel for Display traffic but I am still seeing googleadservices.com in Refferals instead of Display channel.

    My Display channel is reporting traffic but average session time is less than 10 sec however under googleadservices.com average session is more than 5 mintues,

    Its definitely targeted traffic and I am running adwords display campaign at the moment

    but why google is not reporting this under display channel, I was under impression my display campaign is not doing so well until i read your blog.

    Thank you.

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