Google launched placement reports to help clarify where advertisers are seeing impressions and clicks from, for their ads they place in AdWords within the content network.
The reports provide more transparency then ever before. But the transparency is not crystal clear. There are some placement report lines of data that say "other." This is where Google is not telling you all the details about that impression and click. What can other mean?
Moderator Discovery posted an email form a Google representative which classifies most, if not all, the possible scenarios for an "other" classification. Here is the quote, it is long:
In some cases, statistics provided by the Placement Performance report may not be exact. Due to the large volume of data a Placement Performance report can include, there are several factors that can affect reporting accuracy. These factors are listed below.
1. Impression cutoffs
Sites that have accrued a negligible amount of impressions per day may not be included in your report.
2. Property exclusions
Statistics from some properties that are a part of the Google Content Network may not be included by the Placement Performance report, such as Gmail.com.
3. Unidentifiable URLs
Although rare, there may be technical reasons that a specific web site does not properly pass back a domain or URL to us, resulting in an unidentifiable web site address, resulting in them not being included in your report.
4. Reporting delays
Reporting delays may also impact the accuracy of the Placement Performance report, depending on the time of day you run a report. We recommend you run this report after 3pm PST the following day to ensure you get the most accurate metrics for the previous day.
You may see an 'Other' URL or even your own website in your Placement Performance report. Below are some scenarios to help illustrate why this may occur.
I. Your website's URL
At the time the user types your website address into the browser address bar, Internet service gets temporarily disrupted and your site's server simultaneously goes down. The user is directed to a page of ads that are targeted to what he entered into his browser address bar. The Placement Performance report attributes this impression to your website based on what the user typed into the browser address bar, which is why you may see your website appear in the report. This does not mean that your website is hosting ads as an AdSense partner.
II. 'Other' URL
There are two types of sites that are categorized as 'Other' in the Placement Performance report:
- Although rare, there may be technical reasons that a specific website does not properly pass back a domain or URL to us. Because these websites are not identifiable, they are aggregated under the 'Other' line item in your report.
- All pages that served your ad through our AdSense for Errors program will be categorized as 'Other' in the Placement Performance report. These pages serve users with targeted AdWords ads when they enter a search query in their browser's address bar instead of querying it through a search engine (like Google). Instead of displaying an error page, users will see a page displaying ads and relevant information. (THIS IS NOW SEPARATED INTO ERROR PAGES line item.)
We may not be able to identify the specific URL that displayed your ad through AdSense for errors. This is because the URL or search term users typed into their browser may not be a valid website address. With AdSense for Errors, when a user types a non-functional URL into their browser's address bar with the intent of reaching a website or conducting a search, the user will get redirected to a page with relevant content with or without ads. This improves the user experience because the user will see a page relevant to the content they were looking for instead of seeing an error page.
In these cases, because the domain is not a registered domain or functional website, a URL or domain is not passed back to Google. Instead, we will accumulate and report traffic from these AFE sites under the 'Other' line item in your Placement Performance report.
You can see whether the 'Other' line item is a result of error page ads under the 'Special Category' column in your report. The column will read 'Error page ads' in these cases. To include this column in your report, select the 'Special Category checkbox under 'Attributes' when creating your report from within your account.
Note: In the beta program for placement reports, users could see ALL placement URLs!!! Now the Other, Domain ads and error summary categories are used to cloak the placements!
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.