April 23, 2014

ClickAider – Track Adsense Clicks and much more

Let me announce ClickAider – another projects we were working on in stealth mode for last several Months.

ClickAider is Hosted Web Statistics system but it tracks Clicks rather than page views as most web counters do. And by clicks I mean not just clicks on the urls and images but clicks on many sophisticated advertisement systems – Google Adsense, Yahoo Publishers Network, AdBrite, AuctionAds and few others, plus ClickAider also can track form submissions.

The Click Tracking is done non-intrusive way, without Advertisers JavaScript modification so typically it is compatible with advertisers terms of service.

Why did we decide to do it ? Most PPC Advertisers we worked with have very poor statistics about clicks and we wanted to know much more. We wanted to know which search engine keyword bring traffic which clicks, which countries are clicking as well as where people go to from your web site (may be you’re sending traffic to your worst competitor and just have not noticed it).

ClickAider can do all of this and much more – you can drill down to all details available about every click as well as filter all reports by any fields. For example you can view information about clicks for users which came to you from particular referring domain or see from which countries people clicked on given page URL come from.

This flexibility with filtering of course comes at cost, meaning all reports have to be dynamically generated.

The fact we’re working with clicks rather than page views means it can work for reasonably large sites, and we’re working on technologies which should allow us to bring this limit much higher.

The fact hardware have improved over recent years is also quite helpful. When I was designing another Web Statistics System – SpyLOG back in 1999 you could hardly do much of real time aggregation and we had to store aggregated data for all stats.

Compared to SpyLOG we also significantly simplified architecture based on experience gained during the years and simply because not having so many resources we have to innovate and keep things simple but powerful way.

If you’re interested what is under the hood – it is typical LAMP application at this point. We use Scale-Out MySQL architecture
based on MySQL 5.1 with some partitioning and mostly Innodb storage engines. Initially we tried to use PBXT for log storage but it had some stability and performance gotchas so we decided to give it some time to settle.

We use ClickAider on bunch of our own projects and most people we invited as beta testers during our close beta testing period think it is quite cool even though still has some rough edges.

Now we’re finally open and pleased to invite you to try it out, tell your friends to try it out and report us all bugs and suggestions you may have.

About Peter Zaitsev

Peter managed the High Performance Group within MySQL until 2006, when he founded Percona. Peter has a Master's Degree in Computer Science and is an expert in database kernels, computer hardware, and application scaling.

Comments

  1. araki says:

    “The Click Tracking is done non-intrusive way, without Advertisers JavaScript modification so typically it is compatible with advertisers terms of service.”

    Hi,

    Just curious ( if this is not a big secret ) how you do this tracking thing. You probably are using events to capture clicks on various DOM nodes? You identify yahoo and google nodes separatly. Am i right?

  2. peter says:

    Yes. This is right. We’re identifying position of the IFRAME which contains Ads and when catch number of events to check the click happened over IFRAME and IFRAME looses focus.

    This is not 100% reliable but works pretty good in practice (with bunch of special code to avoid counting double clicks etc).

    The gotchas include for example – clicking on a link to complain Google is counted as click on the advertisement, also right click can be counted as a click even if it is not – this is done as we wanted to catch click even if one uses right click to open a link in new window or new tab.

  3. Back at the start of June, Google stopped displaying the URL in the status bar, and suddenly my own ad click tracking software started returning blanks. Have you managed to get around that in some way?

    Registered anyway, I’m interested in seeing what you’ve done!

  4. wesley says:

    Any chance you open-source this and let us host it on our own server?

    Does the javascript tracking work in IE7, firefox, etc?

  5. peter says:

    Donncha,

    It still works. The status in the status bar is only one bits in pieces available for tracking and as I’m looking at the stats we get it in large amount of cases. It is however some AD slogan in many cases rather than the URL.

  6. peter says:

    Wesley,

    No there is no plans to OpenSource it at this point. We also think hosted model works better for services of such kind. Having hosted solution we can do fixes in javascript code if advertisers change something very quickly not to mentioning maintaining geographical and Search Engine (and other traffic sources) databases.

  7. AD says:

    What is the log size provided by ClickAider, I have been using GoStats.com , they provide a log size of 1000 visitors.
    I have not found any provider offering a log size bigger than this.

  8. Vadim says:

    AD,

    We store full log history about clicks, but
    in free version of service we provide information only about 100.000 clicks for any period.
    (this number may be changed in future)
    As Peter said we generate reports dinamically and processing of big count of clicks costs CPU cycles.

  9. Vadim says:

    Ho Feng Wong,

    Thank you for response!

    There is Click Target report which show target where people clicked.

    I’d ask you to use ClickAider forums http://forum.clickaider.com as more appropriate place to discuss ClickAider related questions.

    Thanks,
    Vadim

  10. Yes, but there really is nobody responding.

  11. peter says:

    There is :)

    We’re just traveling so it may take some time.

Speak Your Mind

*