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Tracking Statistics Across 2 Sites

Is it possible to measure unique visitors across 2 websites?

11:41 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is it possible to measure unique visitors across 2 websites?

So say site A has 100 visitors. Site B has 100 visitors but between them Site A and Site B there are 150 unique visitors. Is it possible to fairly easily accurately measure the uniques across both sites (assuming I own both sites).

I found an old thread on this that talked about 3rd party cookies but how often are those blocked? Or is this easier to do now (the old thread was 2 years ago).


2:38 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I would look for a log file solution, such as WebTrends. It has multi-site tracking capbitlities in conjunction with raw log files.
3:45 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps certain web analytics solutions would allow you to use the same tracking code on different domains? I think you can achieve this with IndexTools.
2:29 am on June 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is it possible to combine these multi site reports with sales tracking as well?
10:13 pm on June 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi weldonj,

I would say that at least 40% of 3rd party cookies are blocked, and its getting easier with newer version of browsers. For instance the new Safari for Windows offers a private browsing session which blocks all cookies, imagine if that had the same market share as Firefox?

The only way to identify the same website visitor over multiple sites is to have the same visitor identification over all sites.

Visitor identification comes in a variety of flavours.
#you can base it on IP address (worst idea)
#IP address and user agent (full browser string, not great but better)
#3rd party cookie which is hosted externally (better, but 3rd party is not great)
#1st party cookie (better, but still problem of blocking cookies)
#user login (best as the user identifies themselves)

A solution you could use is to have a web analytics solution whereby the javascript portion of the page tag is hosted locally on each domain but it actually requests the 1x1 gif from the tracking server. This way it is actually the javascript environment on the client that holds the cookie rather than the browser itself. So everything looks 1st party but actually isnt.

Actually merging the data from multiple domains is quite trivial, its the tracking that takes some thinking about. And of course I would suggest that you test before implementing any solution on a wide scale.


Matt Hopkins


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