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Discrepancies between Google Analytics and Match2One
Discrepancies between Google Analytics and Match2One

Reasons for discrepancies between Google Analytics and Match2One

Mikael Kreuger avatar
Written by Mikael Kreuger
Updated over a week ago

If you’re comparing your campaign results between the Match2One platform and Google Analytics, you'll most likely notice that the numbers don’t match - there are several reasons why you might experience these discrepancies, and this article is an attempt to clarify these differences.

1. User browser preferences

Users' browsers must have JavaScript, images, and cookies enabled for Google Analytics to record user visits, as analytics systems identify users through cookies.

2. Different methods of tracking

There are two main activity tracking methods: based on transmitted cookies and based on tracking IP + User Agent.

Google Analytics is an analytics platform that uses cookies to identify the user. Thus, this approach depends on the browser setting the cookie. If cookies are disabled, GA will not count the visit and, therefore, include the user in the report.

The Match2One platform, to track all activities of users, uses the IP + User Agent tracking method, which in turn makes it possible to log all events made by users. Also, based on using this approach, incoming traffic is analyzed for the presence of bots.

3. Platform-specific reporting

One click is not equal to one session - there are still a few ways Match2One and Google Analytics measure things differently. See the table below to find out more:


Google Analytics

Tracked metric



Tracked metric definition

We measure engagement when someone clicks your ad

Tracks site/page visits, expiring after 30 minutes of inactivity

Attribution model

Tracks both click-through and view-through conversions, defaulting to a last-touch attribution model

Tracks only click-through conversions, defaulting to a last-click attribution model

How it works

Attributes a conversion to the most recent Match2One ad click or view

The most recently clicked ad (through all channels) gets the recorded conversion

Attribution window

Defaults to a 30-day click conversion window and 7-day view conversion window

Defaults to a 30-day click conversion window

Cross-device attribution approach

Uses a combination of deterministic and probabilistic cross-device matching

Universal Analytics does not have cross-device tracking capabilities

4. Default 3rd-party cookies blocking by some browsers

In January 2020, Google (Chrome browser developer) promised to disable third-party cookies by 2022, as the company attributed the decision to user demands for greater data privacy.

Already now, browsers such as Firefox and Safari block the use of third-party cookies by default, which prevents sites and services from collecting information about the user and their activity using cookies.

The graph below shows that Safari takes 33.02%, and Firefox takes 3.05% of the market share, which means that for 36.07% of all internet traffic in Sweden, cookies are blocked by default.

Source: statcounter

5. Cookies vs. GDPR

If a site has a cookie consent banner installed and is GDPR compliant, then the Google Analytics tracking cookie is not set until the user gives the site permission to set it. Thus, if the user does not agree to accept cookies, then they say "no" to GA tracking. In this case, this user becomes invisible to GA, and the site owner cannot determine whether this user went to the site and how long they stayed on it.

6. Other

  • Incorrectly installed Google Analytics tracking code.

  • Google Analytics tracking code not installed on all pages of the site.

  • Google Analytics tracking code not installed on the mobile version of the site.

  • The presence of filters that affect the provision of data about users.

  • 3rd party images - some browsers give users the option to disable images that are requested from domains other than the current page. Disabling such images will prevent data from being sent to Google Analytics.

  • Incorrectly installed Match2One tracking codes.

Hopefully, this article helped shed some light on the discrepancies between Google Analytics and Match2One, but if you have any further questions, we’re always around to answer them! Use chat to get in touch with us!

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