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Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Related to Referral Spam traffic, this question relates to the breakdown of the Referral data, including spam, but wider as to categorisation of traffic in Referral via Source/Medium Vs Referral in Channel view.

 

When one looks in GA (through the UI) the channel breakdown is easy to see Organic, Paid, Social etc, where for instance Twitter is social channel traffic - well sometimes, in some accounts it's there and accurate, but not all.

 

But when you look at Source/Medium, which provides the same total and in theory an equivalent breakdown, there is only t.co as a referrer. We know that 't.co' is the short URL for Twitter but if we all know this then why isn't this 'found by GA' and classified as Social (in Source/Medium breakdown)? In some of our accounts it is, but in others it is not, and is shows as 't.co / referral' - and if you identify the fragments (inc. t.co, lnkd .in) they do add up to the same social data, but not classified as such. Question (1) = why this inconsistency?

 

If we use the API data source into GA we only seem to be able to suck out the Source/Medium view, and therefore we only get the "poorly classified" social data - as referrals. Question (2) = can we extract the Channel data instead via the API?

 

Thanks

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Cressive,

Regarding your first question. Twitter's in-house URL shortner includes the ability to save UTM data and will typically not strip the UTM source and medium. In those cases if the UTM medium is properly labeled as 'social' it should appear in the social channel.

But, if there is not UTM tracking included then Universal Analytics may simply refer to it as referral traffic.

I don't have an answer to your second question.

Best,
- Josh
Joshua, Top Contributor
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Re: Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

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# 3
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Thanks Josh - that does appear to be it: if you've properly labelled all social media links using utm then they will show up in the GA Channels report, other you run the risk of GA missing them and only showing them as default referrals. I gave Google more credit and figured this was built-in (as it so easily could be with pre-populated categorised social sites).

Any thoughts on how to get the API question answered? Not much clear info out there on the API.

Thanks again,
Richard

Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Id like to add to this question with a possible solution, but want to make sure I (and Cressive should he/she implement it) are doing it correctly.  

 

You can manually edit how sources and mediums are categorized in your GA account.  Go to Admin, under view - choose "channel settings", then "channel groupings".  Select the "default channel grouping" so that you can edit. click on "social" then under the rules define new ones by adding "or" then selecting "source", "contains", then "t.co" (or "Twitter", "twitter", "facebook", etc).  I believe this is case sensative correct Josh/anyone who can answer so you have to add a rule for both "facebook" and "Facebook".  That said, I dont know if you have to add a rule for "source contains facebook" as well as "source contains facebook.com, m.facebook.com, i.facebook.com, etc....does anyone know the answer to that??

 

Finally, if I/we have implement the above, do we also need to ALSO remove it from the "Referral" rules.  For example, do I also need to customize the referral rules to include "and source does not contain facebook, twitter, t.co, m.facebook.com, etc"???

 

Thanks!

Lauren

 

Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Lauren - thanks for your assistance. We began to customise channel grouping settings but stopped short of an elaborate "fix" here as the settings whilst default initially across client accounts we see different results (categorisation) across different accounts - so even if they start the same (default and un-customised or amended) they produce different results now, some correctly labelling t.co and some not. Therefore we've held off diving in to fix/customise until we know more about why.

 

In some cases utm tags are not being picked up at all, so wondering if - in the midst of every changing GA settings - if these now need to be invoked/initiated to work correctly?

 

Thanks

 

Re: Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hey Cressive, 

 

Make sure you don't hit a double redirect when sending traffic to your website. What does this mean? Make sure that when twitter sends your traffic via t.co then it doesn't hit an A/B test redirect. I've personally found that it may strip your UTM tagging. 

 

Regarding changing your channel groupings, this is a great idea by @cptv but you may want to make this change in an alternate 'view' first to see what are the consequences of these changes. 

Joshua, Top Contributor
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Channel data different to Source/Medium data (related to API)

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

In the API, Default Channel Grouping is called 

ga:channelGrouping

 

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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