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View Full Version : RewriteRule and Google Analytics - how?



utnalove
09-30-2011, 05:58 PM
If I have the site www.mysite.com with the following htaccess:


RewriteRule ^gotocompanysite\.php$ http://www.companysite.com/ [R=301,L]


and my visitors click on www.mysite.com/gotocompanysite.php they are redirected to companysite.com

The question is:
does companysite see in google Analytics that the referrer is mysite.com or does it consider as direct?

Cags
09-30-2011, 06:38 PM
I believe an address that issues a 301 redirect will not appear in the HTTP_REFERER field. The origin of the request to gotocompanysite.php will.

Inigoesdr
09-30-2011, 09:22 PM
301 redirects should preserve the HTTP_REFERER of the original request, but you can easily test this by going through the redirect and putting this in your address bar:

javascript:alert(document.referrer)
Or use Firebug/JavaScript Console if your browser supports it.

utnalove
09-30-2011, 09:44 PM
companysite.com awards me for the visits coming from mysite.com

I have many fans in Facebook. If I publish the www.mysite.com/gotocompanysite.php link, then they are redirected to companysite.com from my page.

However it looks like the original referrer is kept: here is what I see after I am redirected to companysite.com:

This link is shown as referrer:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mysite.com%2Fgotocompanysite.php&h=TAQA_TFfHAQDaBghGWPhNCZ52WVNMYC3uyHLJB7Rj9fT3dA

What does it mean? Will companysite.com see that the visits came from facebook, or they will see they came from mysite.com?

What can I do in order to make mysite.com the referrer?
Thanks

Inigoesdr
09-30-2011, 10:04 PM
What does it mean? Will companysite.com see that the visits came from facebook, or they will see they came from mysite.com?

What can I do in order to make mysite.com the referrer?
Thanks

Yes, that's what it means.

You can manually specify the referrer for GA. Just append a value to the destination URL so you know where it came from like: companysite.com?internal=1

Then on your companysite page you can conditionally add the referrer setting using server-side code like PHP, or even client-side with JS. Here is how you would do it with PHP:


<script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
// set your account
<?php
if(isset($_GET['internal']) && $_GET['internal'] == 1)
{
?>
_gaq.push(['_setReferrerOverride', 'mysite.com']);
<?php
}
?>
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
// etc..
</script>

utnalove
09-30-2011, 10:12 PM
Thanks Inigoesdr, however the companysite.com is not mine and I do not have any influence on that... I cannot change their GA or add JS to their site.

The only thing I can do is to work on mysite.com... there I can change .htaccess, html, php, etc.

This action should be invisible to companysite.com - they need to think that all the visits they are receiving are coming from mysite.com - in reallity they:
--- come from facebook to my site, and then automatically redirected to companysite.com

I could add the companysite.com directly on facebook, but I want them to see that they are coming from mysite.com

Inigoesdr
09-30-2011, 10:34 PM
How about using the utm* vars in your redirect?

http://companyname.com/?utm_source=mysite.com&utm_medium=cpc

utnalove
09-30-2011, 10:41 PM
maybe, I don't know how it works... will companysite.com see it came from facebook still or from mysite.com?

utnalove
09-30-2011, 10:44 PM
just tried:


RewriteRule ^gotocompanysite\.php$ http://www.companysite.com/?utm_source=mysite.com&utm_medium=cpc [R=301,L]

The FireFox RefControl plugin says that the referrer is:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mysite.com%2Fgotocompanysite.php&h=TAQA_TFfHAQDaBghGWPhNCZ52WVNMYC3uyHLJB7Rj9fT3dA

Inigoesdr
09-30-2011, 10:52 PM
It doesn't change the referrer, it just lets GA know where you came from. See the docs (http://www.google.com/support/analyticshelp/bin/answer.py?answer=1033863) for more info.

utnalove
10-01-2011, 07:56 AM
Is it enough to put this in the .htaccess in order for companysite.com GA see that it came from mysite.com?


RewriteRule ^gotocompanysite\.php$ http://www.companysite.com/?utm_source=mysite.com&utm_medium=cpc [R=301,L]

or that Javascript is a must?



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