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Seeing Instant Preview Visitors in Server Logs

     
5:53 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I tried searching for this info with no luck, maybe I just don't know how to phrase the query.

Anyhow, in my logs how do I spot traffic that arrive via the Google Instant Preview?

Does anyone have any idea how many people actually click thru from the Instant Preview, or even how many people look at it and what the CTR might be?
6:28 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here an official blog post [analytics.blogspot.com ] with a link to a detailed article. I didn't tested yet, is a good thread.
6:49 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The thread that rowtc2 shared is interesting - but I think it has a slightly different slant. There they are discussing the issue of Previews registering as real visitors, when in truth they are only "mechanical" signs of Google's Preview interface.

As I understand ken_b's question, he would like to count visitors who clicked on the preview link to visit his site, compared to those who clicked on the regular SERP listing.

If I understand the question correctly, unfortunately I have no answer. There doesn't appear to be any difference between the regular SERP link and the link that appears above the Page Preview - so the referrers would appear identical.

----

In regard to the link that rowtc2 shared, Google's "fix" was apparently for Google Analytics, but your own server logs would still show inflated numbers if the Page Preview was not already in the cache but was generated at the time of a search.
7:01 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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As I understand ken_b's question, he would like to count visitors who clicked on the preview link to visit his site, compared to those who clicked on the regular SERP listing.

Ideally I'd like to know how many people looked at the preview itself, and how many of those people then clicked either the preview image or the regular serps link and actually came to my site.
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7:50 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If visitors that use Instant Preview are a small number, maybe other data is not important.

In link from my first post is a comment that send to this page [sites.google.com ] and we see is used "Google Web Preview" special user-agent when user see a preview, probably statistics can be done via server logs ?

If the percent of users that use Instant Preview is significant, also will be interesting to know which pages has been previewed without clicks (in order to improve them).
7:57 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ideally I'd like to know how many people looked at the preview itself, and how many of those people then clicked either the preview image or the regular serps link and actually came to my site.


The preview isn't generated dynamically, it's held on Google's server so there's no way of knowing how many people look at it.

The only way I can think of to indicate which link your visitors clicked on would be to have a piece of javascript detect the mouse coordinates when your page loads so you get an indication of where on the previous page they clicked, but that would be terribly unreliable.
9:24 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I posted some information on detecting instant preview at [webmasterworld.com...]

As far as I can tell the only way to see if a user clicks on the instant preview is to see if the very next entry in your logs is from the same visitor (ie same IP) - difficult but not impossible: you have to be able to detect X-Purpose first and cross-match.

In the eight days from 1st December, I've detected ten Instant Preview hits compared with about 240 Safari Preview hits. So, not popular on my server (about 50 sites) but mine are possibly not typical sites.
11:30 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the comments folks. Gives me a little better understanding of the issues.