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Complicated Google Analytics  (View post)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
14 years ago5,687 views

I thought that to find the exact URL, you had to go here:

All Reports: Marketing Optimization -> Visitor Segment Performance -> Referring Source -> [Unnamed red button next to the result] Cross Segment Performance -> *Content*

AFAIK "Content" shows the page whereas "Source [Medium]" just shows the domain.

Google Anayltics must have so much useful data, it's just a shame it's so difficult to find it!

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

BTW, some discussion here too:
blogoscoped.com/forum/69516.ht ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

> *Content*

You are right! Kinda sad... even after your tutorial, I wasn't able to "master" Google Analytics. So actually, to get to the full URL, you'll then have to copy & paste the domain, because you're just seeing a relative path...

Ryan Wagner [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I just go to

All Reports: Marketing Optimization -> Marketing Campaign Results -> Referral Conversion -> [Plus sign next to the result]

it doesn't show organic results (from search engines) but I don't really care what URL that came from anyway since it is the keyword that is more important for those.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

It's *exactly* this plus which is missing in the other interface.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

<<So actually, to get to the full URL, you'll then have to copy & paste the domain, because you're just seeing a relative path...>>

Google should just transform that path into a link. It's not that difficult.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Plus, I think there's a lot work to be done with Google Analytics, more than just this sample. They should completely rework this tool... from picking dates, to the maps, to the left-hand navigation, to the selection on the homepage, to, I guess, most everything else. (Of course, they can keep an old version as option for hardcore Urchin users who got used to it.)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I think they should simplify the options, and select the most important views and reports. Maybe AdSense reports are a good place to start.

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

even after Google analytics went free, I still continued to use my own analytic software, and had people request my software.

When dealing with marketers it's not about what information you provide, but rather how you provide it.

FofR [PersonRank 2]

14 years ago #

I really want to just see something like:
"Last 'x' visitors and their referral URL"

I have also noted that for my sites referrals from google images never show the keywords used to find the site. So I see hundreds of hits to a specific page but have no idea what terms brought them there.

Ed [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

What software do you use Ryan?

Also, there's some more discussion of this over here: webdev101.com/google/google-an ...

Billy [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

I find this really irritating as well, it's obviously one of the key data that analytics users are going to regularly be looking for.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Ryan Wagner said:

<< All Reports: Marketing Optimization -> Marketing Campaign Results -> Referral Conversion -> [Plus sign next to the result] >>

Good tip – thanks! I seriously never thought of looking in there, especially since I never setup any "Marketing Campaigns" for my website.

Seriously, I can't believe anyone ever paid for this...

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

FofR, I agree, they need to update it with the latest search engines (like Google Images).

I knew about the method of seeing referring URL that Philipp talks about in this post, but unfortunately it doesn't provide useful information for a large number of websites, since it doesn't show the query parameters for that page (for example, a message board will just show "viewtopic.php" or something, which provides me no value at all).

Elias Kai [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Cross-evaluation is needed on higher level within structure.
I used omniture , sas, atlas, urchin (google) , xiti, extreme and all free ones.

None of them has as per today the easiest dashboard and the quickest one.

A [PersonRank 2]

14 years ago #

Two huge problems with Google Analytics:

1. Strips every information that comes in a variable (and in many cases every pages of a site is differentiated by a variable, so you'll receive useless data). This makes the referral source report very inconvenient for no acceptable reason.

2. It's not updated with typical search engine query strings, ie. which domains are search engines and how to get the actual search string out of their URLs. It can be done manually in Analog (an offline log analytics tool) in a matter of minutes, so it could be done easily if those in charge of GA would give the slightest damn.

They don't, unfortunately.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

It's really a shame but Google Analytics sucks. It's the same old Google problem that also brought down Google Answers. They start a service that is considered either perfect as it is or beta for the next decade and then let it rot. Or they add new features once every six months, feautures that all competing products had yeras ago.

Google Analytics is not only much too complex, so complex that it renders it useless for the less savvy users it also has major limitations. You are forced to include the code in the head of the HTML for instance. So if Analytics is slow it kills your site, it doesn't load. Besides, there are CMS systems that do not even allow you to enter code in the head!

I was like "hooray!" when it came out but now am using it like month a month to get an overview whereas I check other web statistics several times a week.

Moreover you never now what Big Google colects about you...
So indeed I do not recommend it to anyone.

Not finding the proper referers made me switch back in the first place.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

> You are forced to include the code in the
> head of the HTML for instance.

Not anymore. That requirement was in in the beginning, but Google removed it... maybe realizing that it's not the best idea to kill a site when their server is dead, like it happened in the beginning. Their instructions now read:

<<Copy and paste the code segment into the bottom of your content, immediately before the </body> tag of each page you are planning to track.>>

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