I have a perplexing question I can't get answered from Commission Junction or Google!
We have a lot of affiliates that help sell our products. I see some of these publisher URLs in our GA data. I'm wondering how they go there if the links from Commission Junction are different (like a redirect).
I decided to look at a large publisher who only uses affiliate links to our site and strangely enough I do see about 1/3 the amount of traffic and sales recorded that I see in the Commission Junction tracking.
If this publisher is only using affiliate links - and the same type of links at that, why do they show up partially in our GA results? Shouldn't they match entirely or not show up at all - in other words does GA track these affiliate links or not?
I'm not a GA expert, but I can see a few possible reasons. The first maybe the type of redirect might affect what google says is the referrer. The second is that f people press there back and forward buttons, then the affiliate page can load, followed by your page, making the logs at least suggest that the user went from page a to page b without going through the redirect.
I would start by looking at the http header resonses on those affiliate links, and try to find different types of responses on different sections of his site. Try to find a response header checker that lists the entire route from site A to site B.
(I am only thinking aloud here... Don't quote me as gospel!)