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I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi folks,

I used to have 2 separate websites—each with a separate Analytics profile:

http://johniwhite.com (my design portfolio)

and

http://johnwhiteillustrator.com (my illustration portfolio)

 

I've now combined the 2 sites. And johniwhite.com is the domain name I now send everyone to for design or illustration. I've renewed the johnwhiteillustrator.com domain because more people still seem to go to that for the illustration work—and there are still links around the web pointing to it. I've set-up my hosting so that the johnwhiteillustrator domain redirects to the johniwhite one.

 

My Problem:

Traffic is still coming in via johnwhiteillustrator.com to the new combined site and registering in Analytics, but unfortunately it's not registering in the Analytics for johniwhite.com.

 

My Question:

Is there some way that I can combine the two domains' Analytics, but with just one of them as the preferred domain in terms of Analytics reports and in terms of search result listings?

 

(Oh, by the way: I have no problem with scrapping the existing profiles and tracking code and starting over again.)

 

Thanks for reading this long post! —I wouldn't like to have to disentangle it—and I'll look forward to your responses,

John

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author John W
August 2016

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi :-)

I'm wondering: do I really need to have either version of 'johnwhiteillustrator.com' (which now just re-directs to 'johniwhite.com') connected to a GA Property? - and even in GA at all?

 

If it were me, i would keep them for the historical data.
Before you delete anything you should post over on the Webmaster Central Help forum, they deal with SEO related questions etc.
Ask them about the submiting the change of address (which you wont be able to do if you unverify or delete the domains from search console)

The data you are seeing in the GA property for (www.)johnwhiteillustrator.com from the sounds of it is likely spam data if everything is being redirected. also bare in mind it can take 24-48hrs for data to start showing in the GA standard reports on the johniwhite.com, this is normal reporting latency/behaviour

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi John :-)
As far as Search Console goes and SEO,
You should have both http://johniwhite.com and http://www.johniwhite.com claimed and verified in Search Console
with http://johniwhite.com setup as the preferred domain

there should also be a change of address submitted so google knows http://johnwhiteillustrator.com
is now http://johniwhite.com
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en

The GA Property for http://johniwhite.com should be linked to the verified domain
for http://johniwhite.com in Search Console

Im assuming the redirect from http://johnwhiteillustrator.com to http://johniwhite.com
is a 301 permanent redirect. is that correct?

In the GA Property Setting page for http://johnwhiteillustrator.com what does it show
as the Tracking ID?
Are there any GA filters applied to the View(s) in http://johniwhite.com?
Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Bronwyn,
Thanks so much for your help.

Since you replied, I've tried to claim the non-www versions of my domains, but Google's page seems to be temporarily (I hope) broken:


"The accounts.google.com page isn’t working
accounts.google.com redirected you too many times."

 

If it starts working again and I manage to verify them, I'll follow your advice and submit the change of address and link the GA property to the verified domain.

 

The redirect is a 301, yes.

 

The tracking ID for johnwhiteillustrator is: UA-43335685-1

 

I've just looked in 'Views' and there are various things set in there. I can't tell if they're 'GA filters' or not. I did notice that the 'Website URL' is set to include the WWW. Maybe I need to remove that? 'Bot filtering' is unchecked.

Thanks,
John

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi John :-)

No report data is being reported in the GA reports for johniwhite.com due the tracking code on johniwhite.com having the GA Tracking ID for johnwhiteillustrator.com UA-43335685-1 (checked with Google Tag Assistant)

 

Ideally the tracking code snippet should be placed before the closing </head> tag

 

johnw.jpg

 

So, to keep some kind of sanity to all of this for the both of us.. I've put all of this in a particular order

(there is a reason for doing this)

1) The tracking code on johniwhite.com needs to be edited so that the it matches the Tracking ID

on the GA Property Setting page for johniwhite.com. 

johnw02.jpg

 

2) As johniwhite.com is the preferred domain and the one that is being redirected to from johnwhiteillustrator.com

- Make sure the Default URL on the Property Settings page for johniwhite.com does NOT have the www

- Make sure the Website's URL on any View Setting Pages do not not have the www (often ppl setup more than one View for the same Property) 

 

3) In order to use the GA Tracking code as a method of site ownership verification in

Google Search Console for johniwhite.comthe GA tracking code snippet must be

placed on all site pages before the closing </head> tag.


If its not in the <head></head> section, the verification system wont recognise it and

you will need to use one of the other site ownership verification methods instead.

 

4) Something I did notice is that your site johniwhite.com is accessible by both www and non-www. Usually the

non preferred domain www.johniwhite.com would 301 redirect to johniwhite.com.
If you are unsure how to do this, please seek the help of your hosting support.

 

You will not be able to link GA and Search Console until the domain is verified correctly in 

Search Console.

 

For further help with using and configuring Search Console and verfiying ownership for your site, best place to ask is on the

Webmaster Central Help Forum https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/webmasters
You will also need to ask them how to best go about the change of address for http://johnwhiteillustrator.com

 

Thanks
Bronwyn

 

 

 

 

 

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Bronwyn,
My... but you went to a lot of trouble just for me. Thank you so much for your efforts!

I'm up to number 4 now. And I've successfully done the redirect of www.johniwhite.com  to johniwhite.com.

 

I presume I need to verify ownership of WWW and non-WWW version of the site too?

 

After that, I ended up going around and around in circles in Webmaster tools, Adding WWW versions of all of my sites. Then, I think I discovered that you can't Associate both versions with an Analytics property. Associate one, and the other gets 'unlinked'. Correct?

 

It's fairly confusing in there. Eventually I began to find the interfaces that I needed—to do various things—by looking at the 'Messages' list, but it's a pretty bizarre maze of pages and functions. I'm guessing it takes quite a while to get accustomed to to it, but once you do, it's very good.

 

I have both WWW and non-WWW versions of johnwhiteillustrator.com re-directing now via htaccess to johniwhite.com/illustration.shtml - will that be OK?

 

I'll check the forum link now and see what else I need to do. But maybe I've already done it all now.

 

Thanks again Bronwyn, you're a star Smiley Wink

John

 

 

 

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi John :-)

I presume I need to verify ownership of WWW and non-WWW version of the site too?

Yes, both need to be claimed/verified. You then configure the non-www as being the preferred domain in GSC

 

After that, I ended up going around and around in circles in Webmaster tools, Adding WWW versions of all of my sites. Then, I think I discovered that you can't Associateboth versions with an Analytics property. Associate one, and the other gets 'unlinked'. Correct?
Yes, correct. Its a one to one linking, one GA Property to one GCS domain.
For tracking and SEO purposes www and non-www are not the same domain (even though they usually serve the same content)
For SEO, Reason one gets picked and a redirect gets put in place to redirect to the preferred one, is so search engines dont get confused and index both of them and dilute the ranking of a site between the two rather than giving all the SEO 'juice' to the single one it is meant to go to.

Is no reason to have Properties for www and non-www setup in GA. Setup GA for the preferred domain (in this case non-www) and link it to the non-www domain in GSC

 

I have both WWW and non-WWW versions of johnwhiteillustrator.com re-directing now via htaccess to johniwhite.com/illustration.shtml - will that be OK?
That should be ok.. but best to check on Webmaster help forum.
Usually if i change the site to another domain, i do a redirect for each page on the old site to the same page or most suitable page on the new site.

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Bronwyn,
I think I'm getting there...

 

I'm wondering: do I really need to have either version of 'johnwhiteillustrator.com' (which now just re-directs to 'johniwhite.com') connected to a GA Property? - and even in GA at all?

 

Anything at all that's in (www.)johnwhiteillustrator.com is now re-directing to 'johniwhite.com'. (I think it's a 'wild-card' direct).

 

And I just checked inbound external links to 'johnwhiteillustrator.com', and the only ones are from my own other sites anyway (rather shocking and disappointing!). So I won't lose much i think in the way of search ranking.

 

What puzzles me though is that 'johnwhiteillustrator.com' is still getting more hits displayed in GA than 'johniwhite.com' is. Does that seem strange?

Sorry this is going on and on, but I'm an arty designer type so my brain has to work harder to get itself around this techy stuff. Thanks for bearing with me.
John

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author John W
August 2016

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi :-)

I'm wondering: do I really need to have either version of 'johnwhiteillustrator.com' (which now just re-directs to 'johniwhite.com') connected to a GA Property? - and even in GA at all?

 

If it were me, i would keep them for the historical data.
Before you delete anything you should post over on the Webmaster Central Help forum, they deal with SEO related questions etc.
Ask them about the submiting the change of address (which you wont be able to do if you unverify or delete the domains from search console)

The data you are seeing in the GA property for (www.)johnwhiteillustrator.com from the sounds of it is likely spam data if everything is being redirected. also bare in mind it can take 24-48hrs for data to start showing in the GA standard reports on the johniwhite.com, this is normal reporting latency/behaviour

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
All done, Bronwyn.
I couldn't have done it without you, and I learned a lot.
Many thanks,
John Smiley Wink

Re: I've 2 domains pointing to the same website—how should I set up Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
Hi John :-)
Thanks for letting me know its now sorted out

Thanks
Bronwyn :-)
Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here