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In Progress Google Analytics

Discussion in 'Help & Feedback' started by Kinnon Bell, 8th Jul, 2015.

  1. Kinnon Bell

    Kinnon Bell Finance Broker

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    Cairns
    Hey Sim,

    Thread as requested.

    I'm a data and numbers nut and have noticed in my google analytics Property Chat doesn't seem to come up as a referral source. I'm assuming visits as showing up as direct visits.

    You were saying you had a magic fix for it? :D
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks - will post more about why this happens and what we can do about it a bit later.
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Okay - here's what I discovered in my research into this topic.

    The current standards for passing referrer information dictate that the browser should not pass referrer data from a secure https site to a non-secure http site ... only from https to https and from http to http ... the intent being to avoid inadvertently passing private or secure information to another (potentially spoofed or intercepted) site which may have been contained in the URL data that gets passed.

    The problem is that with the increasing number of sites moving to https, this actually broke large parts of the web (including Google!), so there is a new "standard" (I use that term only to indicate something that everyone is doing, not something that has been widely accepted as the "correct" way to do things), is to allow a website to choose to override this default behaviour if it is confident that there would be no private information leaked by passing referrer data to a non-secure site.

    There is a setting we can enable in our HTML code for the website which indicates to browsers that it is okay to pass referrer data - and currently this is supported by Webkit-based browsers (ie Chrome and Safari) and also by Firefox.

    The way URLs are structured on this site means that it really is a non-issue for us, so I've added the correct information to our site header - referrers should now be working as expected to sites that don't use https (they should always have worked to those that do use https)
     
  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    The other workaround possibly being to make our own websites https as well then, so it passes without fear?
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Actually - I've just tested this one some of my other sites and it doesn't seem to be working yet.

    https to https works and passes referrer, but https to http doesn't :(

    Will continue to investigate.
     
  6. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Well, yes - this would work - and is actually recommended by Google too, so is worth looking at.

    I sell SSL certificates if you need one :D
     
  7. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Are they any good? :p
     
  8. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Perhaps I should have phrased that differently ... I resell SSL certificates from the large SSL vendors, including GeoTrust, Thawte and Norton/Symantec (aka Verisign).

    (I typically only do this for my hosting clients - don't have a website front-end or anything for this)
     
  9. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Actually - it does seem to work, must have been something about the way I had my other site configured. Tested with a different site and it did pick up the referrer data okay.

    Would be interested to hear from other business members if they are finding referrer data from PropertyChat showing up in their analytics.