Throwing money at google

Here, take these $26.​60 google to find me some nice people to install my app.
... but why would you do that ? Google already rakes in billions of dollars in revenue … Well let me tell you why.

I have been running a few AdWord campaigns in the past and I wanted to run a new ad campaign for my latest app :
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As I just started out with this campaign and as I am not a huge corporation but a small indy-developer, I started with $20,- and thought to myself I want to get up a bit on the high side and then reduce my bid target to stretch the money throughout a 24 hour time period. So I started to target at $0.15 per conversion.

Chill time

Off I went onto doing different things. Then about an hour later I checked back and I had spend $26.60 already on this campaign. so 30% over budget and way earlier than expected. However this is not the reason I told you that I threw money at Google, the real head scratcher came when I wanted to correlate the approximately 200 conversions to my play store account.

Interestingly The play store hourly installs did not budge at all. So it is almost as if another app profited from my investment :(. I have no idea how this may have happened as I would have expected to see at least the bump of an additional 200 installs during that time period. Also My AdMob account showed the same unmoved result, as if nothing had happened and the 200 conversions did not reach my app at all.

I have shifted my approach now and reduced my bids down to $0.05 to stretch the installs out. Next thing to do is to go and dig a little bit deeper into stats from Firebase, the Play store, AdMob, and AdWord.

I want to find out what happened to my supposed conversions and the approx 42k views of my app. If you have an idea of what could be going on, please share and let me know.

AdWord where …

After some more digging I found one issue with the campaign which was location. Originally I wanted to only target the US and Canada. I set this up but I must have forgotten to click on the [Save] button before starting the campaign.
Thus my ads were distributed worldwide and a good chunk of the installs went to the southern hemi-sphere, to countries like Libya, Algeria, Iraq, India to name a few.

While this explains why the money was exhausted as fast as it was at the target bid prices, as well as why my AdMob revenue did not jump up. After all the cost-per-click in these regions is usually way below
what you will get in the northern hemi-sphere, I.e.  Europe or northern America. 
So from a regional targeting you get more per click however at the same time it is also way more expensive to get traffic to your app.

App Store stats …

I am still investigating as to why my app-store does not reflect the additional 200 installs.

And finally this mystery has been solved as well. It took The play store around 6hours to get the hourly stats to reflect the actual installs which came from this one-time boo-boo of mine.

What have we ( I ) learned

  • Be careful when starting a new ad campaign. Going forward I will set the max allowance to a small enough amount so that in case something does ot work out as expected, I can re-adjust before go all in.
  • Look at the stats of all available sites, like AdMob, AdWord, Google Play, and Firebase
  • Be patient. I have had some interesting correlation dissonance happened to me in the past. Especially the google play store stats are somewhat funky.

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