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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Referrals Showing After Adding Sub Domains to Referral Exclusion List

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello!

 

My website has a few subdomains. Analytics was running for a while before I set cookieDomain = auto on GTM and have excluded my top level domain in the Referral Exclusion List on Tracking Code settings, so now I have "self referral" traffic. I understand it's ok to have it even after the settings were made as some users are now flagged with that given source, but the weird thing is that even after the setup I get New Users coming from self referrals.

 

I figure this shouldn't be happening, right? How come is it possible?

 

Thanks!

1 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by topic author Felipe P
December 2016

Referrals Showing After Adding Sub Domains to Referral Exclusion List

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Felipe,

 

It depends on how the cookies were set previously.  If you had them declared, e.g. as .domain.com then the new auto setting would set them at domain.com and your old users would now be new as the cookie location has changed.   Also sounds like you may have different declarations on some pages that are not compatible.   You may want to scan your site or use a site like hubscan to do it for you.  Before you do that, look for any notifications from GA alerting you to the source of the referral problem.

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Referrals Showing After Adding Sub Domains to Referral Exclusion List

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, Theo.

 

Thanks for the reply Smiley Happy

 

I don't have GA notifications, and I didn't quite understand what you meant by "different declarations on some pages that are not compatible". What is that?

 

Nevertheless, feels like it's really a cookie issue. Let me tell you a little bit about my scenario.

 

I'm helping to make a fresh install to replace an old very messy one, which had a few different properties among the subdomains (some weren't even being tracked) and even Classic with Universal implementations together. Currently, we have the new implementation and all the old one as we haven't made the transition yet, and they all have the same tracker name.
The old Universal install had Referral Exclusion set in GA Admin panel, but hadn't the cookieDomain field set at all, I just set it two days ago. What value would the field take in this case?

 

In this scenario I would think that the two Universal implementation would share the _ga cookie, and so I'd expect them to have same (or at at least similar) data regarding New Users, but in the old implementation there are no New Users from Self Referral traffic. Any idea on how this couls happen?

 

Thanks again!

 

Best regards!

 

Felipe Perestrelo

Referrals Showing After Adding Sub Domains to Referral Exclusion List

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

Hi Felipe,

 

I was referring to the domain name declarations - specifying different values here would be problematic on page or on different pages on the same site.

 

 "Auto" attempts to set them at the highest level, starting with the highest level (.com, .org etc.) it fails there and then comes down to the commonly known TLD (top level domain e.g. example in example.com) and set's them there with success.  That goes for all sub domains and sub-sub domains, etc. (if any) .

 

If you had different or no declarations previously and or have missed some pages on the new install, that can explain the change in your data.

 

Also you'll want to deploy all trackers via GTM.  Smiley Happy

 

Hope that helps.

 

Best,

 

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn