Why there is huge difference in Pageviews tracking number on discourse admin dahboard and on google analytics

As per my post above - As an experiment, I have added AdSense to my site using GTM.

The GTM method is not perfect by any means - as you can see in this Screencast, it shows tags not firing on-page changes, or rather, the tags are firing in the GTM debugger but Ads are not showing when you browse the site.


You can see from the video that when set to trigger on ALL PAGES you seem to be able to browse the site from thread to thread and not trigger the tags at all, even going from the homepage to another thread and back out again and into another thread.

Whereas the tags that are set to “History” aka “all” trigger seem to trigger with each page change, from page to page, and also when you trigger an infinite scroll.

Here’s the GTM definition of the HISTORY (ALL) trigger:

But even with the tags triggering the ads aren’t loading when i browse the site. But as you can see from the stats below, I’m still getting better Page Views in AdSense as a proportion of my GA4 traffic than i was with the Ad Plugin.

I wonder if something similar is happening with the official ad plugin. The PageViews were worse (see in more details below) when I was using the plugin, compared to the first couple of days of my experiment using Tag Manager to add them.

As you can see below:

So on my July 15th data above:

  • Google Analytics GA4: had 152K PageViews
  • Google Analytics GA4: had 6.8K First Visit Events
  • Discourse Logged: 93K Page Views
  • Google AdSense: 6K Page views

That first visit event and the AdSense Page Views seem remarkably similar - is Google AdSense tracking anything outside the first page load of each visit?

EDIT to add some early data on my Adsense - GTM Adsense

Google Analytics page views from June 2 to August 26 - you can see where the high profile part of the season ends July 31st = 211K Page views:

Google AdSense page views:


  • I was using the official plugin up to July 31
  • I removed Adsense Aug 3 to Aug 23 = the bottoming out.
  • Added Adsense with Google Tag Manager Aug 24

You can see that despite the major issues in the screencast above, and with much lower overall traffic I’m getting a much higher Adsense Page view proportionately per GA4 Page view using GTM to attach Adsense than I was with the official plugin.

  • So Yesterday I had 53K Page Views in GA4
  • With 7K Page Views in AdSense (using deeply flawed GTM method as shown in video)
  • This is a 13% hit rate of AdSesne page views to GA4 page views
  • Whereas with the Official AdPlugin, I was getting a 3.9% AdAense to GA4 PV count.

Weirdly using the official Plugin I had many more ads on the site and they showed when you browsed from page to page much better than using GTM, but the pageviews being recorded in AdSense were a fraction of what they should be.

I think there’s something wrong with the AdPlugin and how it is triggering, or rather, not triggering on dynamic page loads.

Does the AdButler or any of the other Ad integrations track pageviews any better given the somewhat unique nature of discourse?