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Beantin Beta Blog

Experiments, investigations, and tests of web things
July 25, 2010

First touch and last touch

Whilst continuing my investigation into different methods of viewing the full referring URL in Google Analytics, I’ve Realised that the umtr variable in Google Analytics is using first touch attribution. that is, only the referring URL passed in the umtr variable of the very first page view of a visit is recorded and available in reports.

My method was effectively using last touch attribution – ironically one of the things i was trying to avoid! I was generating an event for every page view, but setting a visit level scope, resulting in only the last referring URL of a visit being recorded. If it was a bounce, then I got the real referring URL. If it was a multiple page visit then I ended up with a page as the referring URL, effectively wiping over the original “real” referrer. Oh bugger.

So I’ve changed the scope to page view now, which will generate a whole load more referring URLs; but they will easy to filter out. Going to monitor things for a while now and then re-compare the results to the advanced filter method of tracking referring URLs.

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