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Critical Tracking Issues - ASCII Hex characters

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


We are having issues identifying tracking parameters in google adwords (/aclk) referring URLs. According to our dev team: the URLs we are seeing as the referrer aren't valid in terms of parameterization for web browsers. Google is passing the entire URL as a single parameter and not splitting the actual parameters which you want to post through. A browser will interpret a parameter based on their being an "=" coming through the GET or POST data. Here is the referring URL we are getting from Google.
Google is translating the "=" sign into %3d which is the ASCII hex character for the "=" sign.

How can we address this?


http://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=C_oWQwob0UfKwOaaqsAeJhoG4COidipICgLnWxmi82ZpIEAQguVQoCFDasZ_M_P__...||AHyK_

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Critical Tracking Issues - ASCII Hex characters

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

First of all the "conversion" between the URL query and the normal URL is called "URL encoding" 

 

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_urlencode.asp

 

URL Encoding

URLs can only be sent over the Internet using the ASCII character-set.

Since URLs often contain characters outside the ASCII set, the URL has to be converted into a valid ASCII format.

 

Depending on what programming language your programmers use there are predefined functions to perform a "URL decode" for example this one in Perl :

 

http://www.perlhowto.com/encode_and_decode_url_strings

 

or for PHP 

 

http://php.net/manual/en/function.urldecode.php

 

They can also use this javascript URL decoder :

 

http://phpjs.org/functions/urldecode/

 

Re: Critical Tracking Issues - ASCII Hex characters

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
Hey Frontgate C,

Actually, it looks as it should. Since the query string for the url is passed in the query string, it has to be URL encoded. If your developers want to parse the query string of the referrer, first parse as usual. Spit on the ampersand, then split on the equals sign. After that, URL decode the ai value and parse again. The ai value carries several values within it.

Now, I have to say there is very little value in recording this data from the referrer. You won't really find anything useful there. The URL shown is your landing page, so you already have a record of that. If the click is from search, the referrer data, in most cases, will not indicate the search query anyway. What is your objective here?

Best of Luck!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords