Twitter's t.co URL Shortener Brings Cleaner Google Analytics Tracking

By September 7, 2011 Social Media No Comments

This news is actually a few weeks old, but in all the hullabaloo around the GA session tracking change and the Panda 2.4 rollout, I never got around to posting about it.   But considering my overall analytics nerdiness, I figured I’d get the info out for anyone who missed it.

Visits from links on Twitter have always been notoriously difficult to track with any accuracy in Google Analytics.  Links shortened with Bit.ly would get their own attribution, some visits would show as referrals from twitter, others would track as direct traffic, etc.  All of that has now changed.

Like a gift from the attribution tracking gods, Twitter has updated their t.co URL shortener to always appear in GA as a referral source.  And now all URLs used on twitter are filtered through t.co. All of them!

Now you can track Twitter traffic in Google Analytics with considerably more certainty and accuracy.  Just look for t.co as a source in your referral reports, starting on August 17th.  It sure will be nice to easily track all of your twitter conversions by looking at a single source, instead of having to look at a few areas, or just flat out guess.  You’ve now gained the ability to see the direct value of your Twitter traffic.

Thanks Twitter!

About Cliff Karklin

Cliff Karklin is Manager of Web Analytics at Fathom with over 10 years of online marketing experience with an Analytics and Technical SEO focus. In addition to his work across the company, he heads up analytics and technical initiatives for the Consumer Brands and Ecommerce Team.When Cliff isn't at the office developing creative strategies and digging far too deeply into analytics, you can usually find him still connected to the online world, pouring over the latest industry news and testing new tools and processes.Follow Cliff on Twitter @CliffyKOnline

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