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Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello all,

 

I handle analytics for a ton of brands, many of which are linked into using the same system to sign up users for certain SaaS software systems. We are running into problems with self referral traffic across several domains for each brand.

 

We are using Google Tag Manager v2, and have followed the online instructions for using multiple containers, domain cross linking, setting up the auto link variable, and in general have deployed analytics through GTM across all of the domains in different (but linked) GTM containers.

 

The domains have all also been added into the referral exclusions list within the GA property. However, we STILL are getting a fairly high amount of traffic where the source / medium are domainA.com / referral or domainB.com / referral.

 

None of the traffic is showing up as a referral in a landing/entrance report when I apply a segment that matches any of the various domains. However, if I look at an acquisition report through source / medium I see tons of referral traffic from all of our own domains.

 

Help!

 

Thanks,

Kevin

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
The only spot where I can see possible errors is . . . regular expressions.

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ok...but I'm not using any.

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
One step you didn't mention - you probably have done this but just in case - on all the GA tracking tags in GTM did you add cookiedomain auto? See steps https://support.google.com/tagmanager/answer/6164390 and https://support.google.com/tagmanager/answer/6164469?hl=en
_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Yessir - literally followed the GTM v2 Cross Domain tracking instructions for multiple containers to the letter. Auto Linker "constant" variable, cookieDomain Auto, and allowLinker True on all of the analytics tags within the various containers.

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
Are you using an JavaScript to create links or iframes on the fly that might not get decorated?
_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ok - sorry. That's absolutely on me and something that I should have mentioned and forgot to include. That's part of the complication.

I do have link decoration enabled, as part of the system we're running required that our signup forms be included via iframe. The server that those are hosted on is configured to strip URL parameters, but in our test case we've had that disabled. Even with link decoration enabled and link stripping turned off we're still getting new clientid on both sites.

The iframes are static - not dynamically generated, which is also a complication as I understand it as part of the process. When we do try to generate them automatically, they are frequently left blank by adblockers. In certain cases, even GTM is blocked.

Not sure of a way around this one beyond doing everything on one server, and passing the signup information back and forth on the back end - but then security becomes a real issue.

Thanks again for all of the help!

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Rising Star
# 8
Rising Star
This is probably a reference you've already checked, but for anyone else
coming onto this thread later I recommend Lunametric's detailed look at the
issue of tracking interactions and iframes:
http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2015/11/18/tracking-complex-interactions-in-iframes-google-analytics...
_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Issue with GA/GTM Self Referral traffic

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks man - it's definitely a page that I've rifled through in an effort to solve this, but I don't know if the team has had a chance to implement these specific suggestions. I've sent this over to them to see where we stand. I know we were trying to execute some custom JS, and this may be where it came from.

Thanks again! Still trying to get this fixed - if this solves it I'll definitely tag it solved.