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Monitoring website traffic through Google
guddu




msg:1142492
 4:28 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi,

We have been using Google Adwords for our company since April, 2002 and getting great clicks for our website. After SEO, now, our site is also appearing on Google Search and ranking quite well on almost the same keywords as used in adwords.

Now, while going through adwords, we come to know how many clicks are there through campaigns for each particular keyword on a regular basis. However, while going through the log reports, we are unable to differentiate whether the clicks (users visiting the site) are through Gooogle Adwords, Google Search or the Google Directory.

(Clicks through google groups can be tracked easily.)

Is there a way to track where from the Google users are visiting our website?

 

webdiversity




msg:1142493
 4:51 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

You could always try appending a tracking URL to your adwords campaigns, something like?source=adwords.

Shak




msg:1142494
 5:20 pm on Mar 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is there a way to track where from the Google users are visiting our website?

there are a number of ways, 1 which webdiversity has mentioned.

also there are special software packages which will do this for every PPC program out there.

Shak

guddu




msg:1142495
 4:07 am on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks webdiversity and thanks to you Shak.

I hope appending a tracking URL to your adwords campaigns, something like?source=adwords would help a lot.

Can you name some of these softwares. Is there a free version. I would like to try the same.

Thanks & Regards

:)

guddu




msg:1142496
 9:53 am on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi webdiversity,

This did not work.

Appending?source=adwords (as suggessted by you) or using
?referrer=google ( as suggested by Google Adwords to track the click) to the url didnot work with the log reports.

It does show the complete URL in the browser when clicked through adwords, but could not be tracked by the log report. (The log report is showing just one more click added to the URL without?... being appended to it.

So it makes no difference as such.

Is there any other way?

Regards

Receptional Andy




msg:1142497
 10:55 am on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Appending the?source= string to the url is just the first part of tracking. You need to set up a script on your site that grabs the string and identifies the visitor as from adwords. Server logs are not great for tracking things like this.

The easiest way to set up tracking is to send the adwords visitors to separate pages that are only used for adwords - ban them with robots.txt so you don't run into problems with duplications of content. The downside of this is that you have more pages to manage and administer.

guddu




msg:1142498
 11:56 am on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Receptional Andy

I was also thinking of setting up a script through asp or cgi to trap the?source=adwords. But, I would have to place this script in each of the pages to maintain a counter and to generate a log report based on the database entries maintained.

Is there a way to track it through a single script?

The other way suggested by you of redirecting customers to another URL might be considered as cloacking (spam as per SEO). Is it true?

Regards

:)

chiyo




msg:1142499
 12:20 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some logtracking software strips off any thing after characters like = and? in the referrer url or they give you the option. Maybe just as simple as setting options in your sofware.

Receptional Andy




msg:1142500
 12:23 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>redirecting customers to another URL might be considered as cloacking (spam as per SEO

What I was suggesting was something like this:

Setup an /adwords/ subdirectory of your site, with all the pages you want to send adwords visitors to.

Ban this directory using your site's robots.txt. This is crucial. It means google will not visit these pages, and will therefore never penalise you for their content. Send visitors from adwords to the pages in your /adwords/ directory.

Continue to let google visit your SEO'd pages.
You can now track visits to the adwords pages.

On the script tracking method, you can either make a custom stats sytem for your site, or find a commercial service that does all this for you.

My personal preference would be for custom tracking, but there are a number of commercial services that offer good reports etc. including this. There are also services which do specifc PPC tracking. Any of the above can be found searching google.

The advantage of script tracking is that you can store this info to give you details on conversions and have information about visitors at the point of sale.

robjam




msg:1142501
 2:56 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Shak, can you PLEASE sticky email me the software that tracks every PPC Engine.

Thanks

George




msg:1142502
 3:54 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am with you Andy, simply make some new pages.

Dead easy to do, you can target the visitors differently, and see exactly how many people land on that page with the simplist of log analysis software.

George

guddu




msg:1142503
 4:02 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Receptional Andy,

This seems to be a perfect way to track the visitors from google adwords.

However, there is a problem. This would lead to loosing of traffic to the original pages and may further lead to a drop in google page rank.

This may again lead to drop in search engine positoning at other search engines such as Altavista also (due to decline in traffic and link popularity).

Isn't it?

werty




msg:1142504
 4:57 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lets say you target just one page with you ad campaign.
You could build out the "cloaned" page like was suggested. Just make the links point to your real pages.

This way the entrance point would be:
domain.com/adwords/widgets.html instead of
domain.com/widgets.html

Then link the adwords specific page to your regular content pages:
domain.com/content1.html, domain.com/content2.html, domain.com/content3.html etc.

On the pages just use your normal navigation and do not link them back to to the Adwords page.

I do not see how this could affect your regular visitors.

Also in regards to the pagerank, the adwords links do not count as incoming links so they would need be counted towards pagerank.(from my understanding)

Hopefully my explanation makes sense.

guddu




msg:1142505
 5:24 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi werty

Thanks for a nice explanation. I hope this would work.

Regarding,

"Also in regards to the pagerank, the adwords links do not count as incoming links so they would need be counted towards pagerank"

Are the Google Adwords links also not considered by other search engines like Altavista, Alltheweb, etc?

werty




msg:1142506
 5:43 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The google adwords links would only be displayed on google and the partner sites.

From my understanding no PPC ads/links will count towards any "real" search engine. They may get you the top(sponsored) listing in the SERPS, but not an actual top ranked page based on the search engine algorithm.

Typo in this:
"Also in regards to the pagerank, the adwords links do not count as incoming links so they would need be counted towards pagerank"

should read:
"Also in regards to the pagerank, the adwords links do not count as incoming links so they would NOT be counted towards pagerank"

Receptional Andy




msg:1142507
 7:59 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Werty clarified things above nicely. A couple of additions:

If you think about it, how could AdWords give you link popularity? Google's ads are mainly shown on sarch engines, and in general search engines don't index other search engines - especially one of the size of Google. It would mean they would waste loads of time indexing a 'catalog' of the web (including google's cached copy of all the pages!), rather than actual pages. And all the indexes would have the same pages.

But AFAIK the main reason AdWords don't give you link popularity is because they are not direct links to your site. They in fact link to something like

[google.com...]

guddu




msg:1142508
 7:00 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks werty and thanks Andy

This was quite helpful.

I was thinking hard over

------------------------------------------------------------
You could build out the "cloaned" page like was suggested. Just make the links point to your real pages.

Then link the adwords specific page to your regular content pages:
domain.com/content1.html, domain.com/content2.html, domain.com/content3.html etc.

On the pages just use your normal navigation and do not link them back to to the Adwords page.
-----------------------------------------------------------

This seems to me just like use of "doorway pages" to track visitors through adwords and then redirect them to other pages of the original website through links.

But With no SEO tecniques used and use of robots.txt for prohibiting search engines to crawl these pages, no search engine would penalise my site for this.

If yes, then I can start working on it now.

Thanks & Regards

:)

Receptional Andy




msg:1142509
 9:32 am on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>With no SEO tecniques used and use of robots.txt for prohibiting search engines to crawl these pages, no search engine would penalise my site for this.

Absolutely right. The pages 'are' doorway pages, but doorway pages get you punished if you are using them to manipulate the SERPs. In this case because robots.txt bans the files you are completely safe.

guddu




msg:1142510
 4:12 am on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Andy

I am on the way now.

Could you please specify names of some software that tracks every PPC Engine. If there is a free version (or on trial basis) could you sticky mail it to me. I would like to try the same.

Regards

:)

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