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Problems with Self Referrals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



 I have a number of sites that have the old implementation of analytics in some of them and some on GTM.  In our analytics we are receiving a very large number of self referrals. I have a initial hunch that this is related to those pages having the referral being set to the parent site, and not being filtered out via referral exclusion.   Could this be the cause of the high number of referrals?

E.G  (where the sub domain is
var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-xxxxxx-x']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '']); // _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'localhost']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function () { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src=('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Problems with Self Referrals

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Chris :-)

Referral exclusion list only applies to Universal analytics (current version of tracking code)

Where there is
what implementation of tracking code is on ??
Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Problems with Self Referrals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

On the parent site we are implementing tracking leveraging the tag manager. Since the child.parentsite is a older site it is using the old implementation method (as shown above).  With  the gtm implementation I have followed the cookieDomain and allowLinker processes as listed in docs.  The only screaming problem of course is the higher then expected/acceptable self referral metrics. 

Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Chris T
February 2016

Re: Problems with Self Referrals

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

How was the tracking setup on before GTM with Universal was implemented?
I'm assuming the tracking on was previously the same as what is currently

on so that subdomain tracking was setup between the two,

is that correct?


Cross domain tracking eg between to or
say from to and similar

Subdomain tracking between to 

requires no allowLinker setup and the cookieDomain should be set to auto

when using Universal analytics. Usually in ga.js then the cookieDomain would be

set to on both the and domains

Cross domain tracking between Classic and Universal Analytics does not work.
The two versions of code use completely different cookies that do not 'speak'
with each other.

According to dev docs,

After a site has been retagged, analytics.js will automatically import any classic Google Analytics cookies previously set by ga.js

However I'm thinking this is also where there are issues occurring due to there being two different versions of tracking code in use. So I'm thinking you are probably going to have to look into customizing the cookie migration

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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