The event tracer allows you to perform a detailed examination of your network’s logs over the last 31 days. You can find the event tracer in the Reports menu. You can download information extending beyond 31 days from the basic Server Logs and Click Logs pages, which are also available from the Reports menu.
This article is part of our Popular Features series.
The event tracer has three modes:
- Server Logs: server messages and notices, including errors messages and redirect notices
- Postback Logs: postback requests, both incoming and outgoing
- Event Logs: impressions, clicks, and conversions
When the event tracer page loads, it defaults to Server Logs. Click on any of the three tabs at the top to change the mode.
Regardless of which log you’re inspecting, you have the same report bar at the top of the page:
In the Timeframe section, you can change the start and end dates for your reports. Click on the dates you want the report to start and end on until the selection you want is highlighted. Alternatively, you can select one of the predefined date ranges from the dropdown on the left.
By default, the current day is selected when the event tracer page loads.
In the Fields section, you can choose what information (a.k.a. “fields”) to show on your reports. All fields with a checkbox next to them will appear as columns when you run your report (as shown below).
Note on Event Logs: You can find information on over 70 data points in your event logs. To make selecting fields more convenient, we’ve grouped fields into categories. Click on the category name to change the fields in that category.
In the Filters section, you can cause your report to hide results that don’t match the desired criteria. There are three types of filters: checklist, selector, and text. When the event tracer loads, no filters are active; it retrieves all results in the selected timeframe.
If you check one or more options in a checklist filter, the report only returns results that match any of those filters. For example, if you have impression and click checked in the Actions filter, the results will include only those that are impressions or clicks, and exclude all conversions.
If none of the options in a given checklist filter are checked, the report ignores that filter.
If you select one or more entries in a selector filter (by clicking on the option and clicking on the right arrow, as shown below), the report only returns results that match any of those filters. As with checklist filters, selector filters include results that match any of the selected options.
If none of the options in a given selector filter are listed on the right side, the report ignores that filter.
If you enter any text in a text filter, the report only returns results where that field matches that text exactly. This is a case-sensitive filter—”atomic tilt” will not return results for “Atomic Tilt”.
If a given text filter is empty, the report ignores that filter.
The true power of the event tracer is in its search feature. Type in a desired search entry in a search field, and it returns all results that contain that entry. Details on the event tracer’s robust search features are below.
Once you have the options you want entered into the report bar, click the Run button. The columns that display in your report match the fields you selected.
You can download a CSV file for a report by clicking on the Export button. As with running a report in your browser, your exported report will contain the fields you select and include only results based on your timeframe, filter, and search parameters.
When an event tracer page first loads, it runs a Server Logs report for the current day with no filter. When you click Run, it refreshes the page with results based on what you’ve entered in the report bar.
The report results section begins with that report’s status. If an error occurs with your report, they’re shown here.
Reports sort by the record’s date, with the most recent results appearing first.
On occasion, you may encounter errors while using the event tracer.
“Your request has timed out.”
Our servers aren’t always able to retrieve every result matching your parameters. If you receive this error, the event tracer displays as many records as it could retrieve before timing out, starting with the most recent, so you have results you can examine and page through. If you need more information than displayed, start by narrowing the timeframe in the report bar.
This isn’t an actual error, but it’s worth noting that sometimes your report parameters are so restrictive as to not match any results, possibly due to a typo in a filter or search. If you retrieve zero results, double-check your report parameters. If you want to reset your search parameters, refresh the page.
If you receive any other error, try your report again in a minute or two. It’s possible that there’s a momentary issue causing a reporting problem. If you continue to get the same error, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the error message, the type of report you’re requesting, and whatever report parameters you’ve entered.
Minor Issues You May Encounter
In rare instances that you change the name an offer, advertiser, or partner, you may see the old name come up in event tracer reports. The event tracer caches such details on your browser in order to perform searches quickly. As a side effect, name changes aren’t always immediately shown in those reports. Don’t worry if this happens; the current names will always be in your conversion report and in your invoices. Clearing your browser’s cache will cause the event tracer to retrieve the current names if you desire an immediate reset.
Robust Search Features
The event tracer search features are quite powerful, with a number of features that allow you to run a wide variety of reports.
Each word you type into a search box is searched for separately. If you enter is not approved, every log in that timeframe with matching your filters that has “is”, “not”, or “approved” in the message field will be retrieved. That includes messages such as “Partner #10 is not approved to run offer” along with ones like “Offer #4 not found”.
The event tracer doesn’t search for partial words. is won’t match “isn’t”, and offer won’t match “offers”. This means you’re less likely to get false positives—search results that include records you aren’t interested in at the moment.
URLs are also separated into chunks, to allow word-based searching. For instance, http://example.go2jump.org/aff_lsr?transaction_id=1027e5651f1c169c5383a001002678 is split up into the following word terms:
Advanced Search Methods
- If you put quotation marks around your search term, the event tracer will treat everything inside the quotation marks as a term together. “not approved” will match only for those two words together, and won’t search for “not” and “approved” separately.
- If you want to find entries with two or more words not necessarily run together, use the + (plus) symbol. partner + offer will find entries that contain the word “partner” and the word “offer” anywhere in the field.
- If you want to exclude records that contain a search term, use the – (minus) symbol. For example, -test will exclude all records with the word “test” in them.
- If you want to find any records that have the start of a word, use the * (asterisk) symbol. For example, offer* will match any records with “offer” or “offers” in the field.
- Putting a collection of search terms inside () parenthesis allows you to perform complex searches by treating each set of parenthesis as their own mini-search. For example, if you want to retrieve every record where the message lists partner sub ID 1 (aff_sub) as “creative640” or “creative300” but also exclude any records that list the source as “testoffer”, you use -“source=testoffer” + (“aff_sub=creative640” “aff_sub=creative300”).
Server Log Example: Partners not approved to run an offer
If you want to find logs of clicks on offers performed by unapproved partners, you can easily do that with Server Logs. Go to the Message section under Search, then type “is not approved to run offer” (including the quotation marks).
Then click Run Report. You will see all server logs where the message includes that phrase. The report shown below has the date, action, log type, message, and offer fields selected. Note that the timeframe is set to the current day unless you change it before running the report.
If you discover a problem with a specific partner and wish to narrow the search down, you can by entering more text in the field, like so:
This search returns only those records for that partner.
Event Log Example: Events sent from a specific domain
You can use the search function to track events coming from a specific domain from your Event Logs. Go to the Tracking Referrer field under Search, then type the domain you want to look up.
Then click Run Report. You will see all server logs where the tracking referrer includes that entry. The report shown below has the date, action, advertiser, country, partner, transaction ID, and tracking referrer fields selected. Note that the timeframe is set to the current day unless you change it before running the report.
Note: Because the event tracer splits URLs up into word-like terms (as described above) and doesn’t search for partial words, that means examplepartner.net won’t match “www.examplepartner.net” or “adserver.examplepartner.net”. Keep this in mind when searching domain names. If you aren’t getting results you expect, run a report without that search term and examine all the tracking referrers.