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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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Strange URLs being reported in Analytics

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

Hi,

 

I just launched a new Wordpress site, and after a couple weeks I started looking at my Analytics account. Some of the URLs are find, but most have "http://www.memoriapress.com/index.html" appended to the end of the actual URL (e.g., "/curriculum/latin/). So I end up seeing "/curriculum/latin/http://www.memoriapress.com/index.html".  See https://snag.gy/bwY1H9.jpg

 

On a few URLs I have both the actual URL (/curriculum/latin) and the funky one (/curriculum/latin/http://www.memoriapress.com/index.html). 

 

I thought it was maybe my Wordpress theme, so I installed a plugin specifically for Google Analytics (which works for me on a different site) but it didn't fix the problem. I tried changing the script from the footer to the header and had no problem. I even tried disabling my caching software (W3 Total Cache) but nothing worked. 

 

Anyone have any ideas?

Re: Strange URLs being reported in Analytics

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
My first thought is it sounds link you could have a link issue somewhere in your navigation. I would suggest a 2 prong approach to finding the source of this abnormal result.

First, I look at Behavior report and click on the results that aren't right to open the page report. Then toward the top of the page, click Navigation Summary to see if they are coming from one of your pages or if the entrances. If they are entrances, then go back to Explorer at the top of the page and add a secondary dimension for Source. What could be happening is someone else it trying to link to the page and messed up the link.

Second, login to Search Console > Crawler Errors and see what pages are showing up as broken links. You can click each one to see where they are Linked From. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/crawl-errors

The solution is to fix the link if it is on a page on your website or if it is coming from an external website you can setup a 301 redirect to take them to the proper page instead of your 404 page. There are plugins for WordPress that can help setup and manage 301 redirects, which will automatically send users to the right page.

Re: Strange URLs being reported in Analytics

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Miguel,

Thanks for the suggestions. This is what I found:
1. Visitors are coming to the messed up URLs from both my site and other sites. I don't think bad links are the issue since if I copy the link Analytics shows me and then paste it into my browser (obviously with my root URL too), I get a 404 error even though it simplifies the URL (from something like https://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/latin/http://www.memoriapress.com/index.html TO https://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/latin/http:/www.memoriapress.com/index.html. The syntax is just plain wrong.

2. I have a bunch of crawl errors that I am working through fixing but that doesn't tell me at all why analytics is showing me that visitors are going to pages that don't exist.

I'm at a total loss.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Paul S
May 2016

Re: Strange URLs being reported in Analytics

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
AHA! I found it. Apparently my prior developer had put a "Default URL" in the property settings for my now-defunct site. When I launched my Wordpress site it broke it. This is where I found the solution: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4760724/google-analytics-appending-index-cfm-to-end-of-my-urls

Thanks for your help.

Re: Strange URLs being reported in Analytics

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 5
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Glad you found it, I would still recommend checking Search Console for Crawler errors and consider setting up 301 redirects. Normally users don't like 404 pages and they can have a high exit rate. At least with 301 redirect you have a chance of keeping them on your website.