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A/B Testing resulting in self-referrals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I am running an a/b test on my site using the content experiment code provided by Google Analytics. Everything is working great but I noticed a surge in self-referrals. The landing page for these self-referrals are my a/b test pages. Is there a way to fix this or has anyone else seen this?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Iliana C
September 2016

Re: A/B Testing resulting in self-referrals

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

The referral exclusion list tells the system that using this domain as a referral source is unacceptable, causing it to look for a previous source. This can make it attribute the correct source if possible. If there is no source that can be found the session will be labeled as direct so the data does not go missing.

 

Here you can read more about that: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2795830?hl=en

 

Keep in mind that those self-referrals will not disappear overnight. Here you can read more about that: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Referral-exclusion-not-working/td-p/...

 

Let us know how it goes.
Taavi

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Re: A/B Testing resulting in self-referrals

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Iliana,

 

Is your domain name added to the Referral Exclusion List? (I guess, you're using Universal Analytics)

 

Are you sure that all pages on your domain have the UA tracking code added to them?

 

Taavi

 

 

A/B Testing resulting in self-referrals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Yes I am using universal analytics and all pages have the UA tracking code. I'm worried if I add my domain to the referral exclusion list that I will lose the data from the a/b test. I noticed the url from my a/b tests has the URL with this added to the end "&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mydomain.com%" which I believe is causing the issue. 

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Iliana C
September 2016

Re: A/B Testing resulting in self-referrals

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

The referral exclusion list tells the system that using this domain as a referral source is unacceptable, causing it to look for a previous source. This can make it attribute the correct source if possible. If there is no source that can be found the session will be labeled as direct so the data does not go missing.

 

Here you can read more about that: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2795830?hl=en

 

Keep in mind that those self-referrals will not disappear overnight. Here you can read more about that: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Referral-exclusion-not-working/td-p/...

 

Let us know how it goes.
Taavi