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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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google analytics referral exclusion list

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

     I have a lot of revenue being attributed to couponing sites.  I am  sure that a portion of this traffic came to my site originally via another channel (email, direct, paid, etc), then left to check the coupon sites.  Then upon their return, the revenue is attributed to the couponing site under the Referral channel.  My questions are as follows -

1.  If I add the top revenue-grabbing couponing sites to the referral exclusion list, what channel will the revenue be attributed to if they were already on my site before leaving to check the coupon site?   (I am assuming the last click).

2.  What channel will receive the revenue attribution if they truly came from the couponing site originally?  Will it go into direct?  Will it go to referral?  What channel will that revenue be attributed to? 

     I hesitate to exclude the couponing sites because even though I know a portion of the traffic from their sites were actually on my site first, I don't know how much I am talking about.

     Thank you.  (I ask because Year/Year, we are seeing about a 500% increase from the couponing sites) 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Good guesses -- if they were initially on your site, the sessions get joined and the original source is used, else 'direct' is used.

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you. Now I have another problem. My supervisor is uncomfortable with me adding our biggest couponing sites to the referral exclusion list. She asked if I could copy the view and change the settings in the new view so that I could see what happens if I add the couponing sites to the referral exclusion list. However, these settings are done in the property, not the view. Can I copy a property? Or is there another way to "try out" with my exclusions before putting them on the live site. I appreciate your help or direction. (PS i tried to give your initial answer some stars, but it only let me give you one!)

Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

You could create a new view but the easiest way to see the change would be to filter out the refferal or even segment it out. Segmentation would remove all references to it for the entire session while filtering would do so at the user level. Either way you can see what the effect on your metrics would be.

By the way if you have not set up multiple views it is strongly recommended for instances just like this you should have at a minmum three (3) different views your main view should be raw data the other two you can try different things out on them. Do not add a filter view via the admin section to your raw view and always test your filters prior to adding them in the admin section since once it is added there the data it filters out is lost forever.

On a personal note my team never adds a filter to an accounts view via the admin section we preffer to keep all our data in tact others might argue differently. So in our case the main view is raw data no filtering at all, our second view we turned on remove known bots traffic and in our third view we play with refferal exclussions and segmentation before adding them to the main or raw data view that way we can verify what the data will be prior to reporting on it.

Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
As I understand it, (and I am a newbie), at the view level the filters simply exclude the traffic. But at the property level, the referral exclusion list attributes the revenue to either Direct (if they actual arrive at the site via the referral site) or to the last click before they left my site to visit the referring site. I do not want to exclude the revenue from these referrals, I simply want to see where the revenue would have been attributed to if they had not been on my site, left, and then came back. I feel pretty confident that the amount of dollars that would be reverted to the Direct channel would be a fraction of the total, but my supervisor is not so sure, and wants to proceed with caution. That's why she wanted to set up another instance, but it looks like I would have to set up another property, not another view and I don't know if that is doable without duplicating data within the property.

Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
You can create a second acount with a new UA number and add it to your existing code and start tracking two sets of data, on the second account you can do experiments with filtering and exclusion. The second account will not go back and get your current data it will start brand new on the day you set it up but give it a few months and you can see what the difference will be and you will not be taking any chances of losing historical or ongoing data from your first account. Below is a sample of how to do this with three accounts:

<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXX1-1', 'mydomain.com');
ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXX2-1', 'mydomain.com', {'name': 'UA-Account2'});
ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXX3-1', 'mydomain.com', {'name': 'UA-Account3'});
ga('require', 'linkid', 'linkid.js');
ga('require', 'displayfeatures');
ga('send', 'pageview');
ga('UA-Account2.send', 'pageview');
ga('UA-Account3.send', 'pageview');
</script>

Re: google analytics referral exclusion list

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
@CTA like Brian said...tracking with a second web property is about the only way to test out the effect of a Referral Exclusion List (as opposed to a filter).
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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