We're running a facebook ad campaign for our business but there seems to be a huge discrepancy between the number of clicks registered and the number of requests made with "facebook.com" in the HTTP referrer.

The difference can be anything between 40-80 clicks/requests.

I understand why the Google Analytics would be off and I understand that the figures shouldnt be exactly the same but surely if 100 people click the ad then I should be seeing at least 90 requests for the homepage with facebook.com as the referrer?

Can anybody provide any insight into why this may be happening?


3 Answers 3


I think tagging the FB ad destination URL with GA tracking code is a smart move. But I'd also consider running the campaign through a traffic auditing tool. FB ads have acquired a reputation for being prone to fraud traffic - bots. There was a US start-up not too long ago who found 80% of its traffic was fake.


Have you tagged your facebook ad destination URL with Analytics tracking code so you can see that campaigns stats in Analytics? There's a discussions about this in google groups https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!category-topic/analytics/discuss-google-analytics-features-with-other-users/x8AyLr_mFCc


Most people access Facebook on secure connections nowadays (HTTPS) and in this case, the referer will not be set, as stated in the RFC:

Section 15.1.3 in RFC 2616 states:

Clients SHOULD NOT include a Referer header field in a (non-secure) HTTP
request if the referring page was transferred with a secure protocol

Some browsers will still send it, depending on settings (network.http.sendSecureXSiteReferrer in Firefox) but you should not rely on this for your analytics. Instead, you should use tagging as stated by Anagio.

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