"Afternoon, Frank." "Hey howdy, George."

Friday, November 13, 2009 | 6:24 AM

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It's about time these two neighbors got to talking to each other. Most Saturday afternoons you'd find them politely waving as they passed at each other by with their push mowers, tending to their neatly manicured tables, charts, and graphs. It just made sense that the grounds would look that much more complete if they removed a bit of fence between them. And so they've done just that.

If you use either AdSense for feeds or Google FeedBurner to track item clicks and also use Google Analytics, as of today, you will automatically start to see your feed item click analytics show up in Google Analytics with some additional information added to help you understand how distributing your feed with FeedBurner leads to traffic on your site.

Specifically, we will help you classify your links by tagging the Source as "feedburner", the Medium as the channel in which we sent out your feed such as "feed" or "email", and the Content as the actual endpoint application in which the user viewed your feed content such as "Google Reader" or "Yahoo! Mail".  In order to slice your traffic by these endpoints, in the All Traffic Sources view in Google Analytics select the "Ad Content" field in the second column.

In the coming weeks, you will start to see many more distribution endpoints in your reports. The represent ongoing additions to our database of applications that process feeds.




By default, these analytics will show up in the "All Traffic Sources" and "Campaigns" views in Google Analytics. You can filter the results just to only the traffic that comes from Google FeedBurner by filtering on "feedburner" on the All Traffic Sources page or "Feed:" on the campaigns view.  You can also use these sources in the Advanced Segments views.

In this view below, we actually have two separate feeds driving traffic to this blog, and that can  now be tracked easily in one view.





If you have item click tracking enabled, we are now automatically tagging your item URLs with Google Analytics parameters. If you're not using Google Analytics, or for some other reason don't want these parameters in the requests coming to your website, you can turn off Google Analytics tracking on the "Configure Stats" page on the Analyze tab at http://feedburner.google.com.  If you don't have item click tracking enabled, this is also the perfect time to turn it on, which can be done on this same page.





For instance, if you would rather see the detail of where your feeds are read directly, you can add ${distributionEndpoint} as the medium, and then you will get views that look something like this.





Again this will happen automatically except in one specific case:  if you are already tagging your feed item URLs with Google Analtyics tags such as "utm_source" and "utm_medium" - we have disabled this feature and you will have to turn it on manually by selecting "Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics."   Note that if you do this, we will replace any existing "utm_" tags that may be in your permalinks with the values generated from FeedBurner.

In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more features in Google FeedBurner that take advantage of this functionality, so we highly recommend that you register and set up your site with Google Analytics if you haven't done so already.


Posted by Steve Olechowski on behalf of the Google FeedBurner team

20 comments:

donscon said...

Great. I have been waiting for this forever. Now all I have to go and remove all my utm_ tracking code :)

Next on the agenda:

Tracking new subscribers. I have no way of knowing from where my subscribers are subscribing since the email form is not served from my website.

Which campaign is successful? I haven't a clue. I have an signup link and form on Myspace, Facebook, a link on the bottom of every email sent out from my website.

How do I know which links are working?

Thanks

webalytics said...

Wow - cool stuff! Going to try this out. Thank-

Reid said...

Glad to finally have this.

Question: what criteria do you have for the new endpoints you'll be adding?

Ideally, the endpoint information could be the top level domain, so that if anyone populates their content with your feed, it'll show up as the source. Until there's a lot more endpoints or it can pull the domain of where it's hosted, having a source that is only "feedburner" isn't really useful.

Reid said...

Great to finally have this functionality.

What is the criteria for endpoints that will be added? I think this is a pretty crucial function. Ideally, the endpoint would be able to pick up the domain to be able to tell us in the source where the click is coming from. Having a static campaign source like "feedburner" isn't very useful.

Hemant said...

hi ,thats good ,Tracking new subscribers. I have no way of knowing from where my subscribers are subscribing since the email form is not served from my website.

attorney

Moremony

Jeremiah McNichols said...

All my feeds' links were broken after this was rolled out, until I hard-coded a Campaign into the fields instead of the script. Thought this might be because of the use of a two-word feed title (Z Recommends) until I noticed I had the same issue with another blog (PRIZEY). Things seem fixed now, but it might be nice in the future to make features like this ones we turn on rather than going on by default, so we can test as needed before implementing. My feeds' links appear to have been broken for 3-4 days.

olie_ze_kat said...

We can't use Yahoo! Pipes feeds since you deploy this features :o(

sog said...

so if i understand this correctly, Google Analytics is merely recording site visits referred from FeedBurner - what it refers to as "Clicks" - is that correct?

if so, it's a decent starting point, but i would love to see FeedBurner's "Views" incorporated in addition to the "Clicks" data.

until that happens, Google Analytics is still incapable of capturing a substantial portion of the traffic for the site: that which occurs strictly within the confines of an aggregator.

Chris said...

Question: does this explain why anyone who clicks through to my site via my feed hits a URL with the suffix utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20

etc?

Seems like a sloppy way to implement this. Any way I can get rid of that extra baggage?

Steve Olechowski said...

@Reid - the endpoints are in our database and essentially map referring domains to the actual applications that use them. In absence of that you can always see the actual referer in Google Analytics. You can also change the configuration of what is passed in as the source - this post tells you how

@olie - the pipes issue has nothing to do with this release - yahoo is currently blocking our crawler but we're working with them to allow it

@Chris - this post shows you how to turn it off

everyone - else - yes we hear you and are working on it!

Scott Sehlhorst said...

This is very cool. Is there a way to determine which posts in the feed are driving the particular traffic? What about determining if the click thru is coming from the title (or other link) versus links within the post?

Also - any thoughts about how to do AB testing of feed items (copy, images, titles, etc) to track which ones generate more traffic?

Steve Olechowski said...

@Scott_Sehlhorst - Detail on posts right now is only available from the FeedBurner stats pages, but we'll look at adding this detail.

Currently, we don't add tracking to links in the content itself, only the feed permalink.

These are all good, constructive ideas, including A/B testing. Thanks!

Google Online Jobs from Home said...

Adsense for feeds are very useful for people and google adsense publishers to make money with feeds. Thanks for this opportunity.

pontiac said...

Steve - I'd love to be able to know what sources that sent traffic to my site resulted in a feedburner subscription. However, there appears to be no way to do this presently. This is an ESSENTIAL feature that I hope you guys have a high priority on.

serya said...

Great to finally have this functionality.

What is the criteria for endpoints that will be added? I think this is a pretty crucial function. Ideally, the endpoint would be able to pick up the domain to be able to tell us in the source where the click is coming from. Having a static campaign source like "feedburner" isn't very useful.

James Williamz said...

Hi

Great information in this post and the grounds would look that much more complete if they removed a bit of fence between them.

James Parker.
Web design Company

kamish-diman said...

I think this is a pretty crucial function. Ideally, the endpoint would be able to pick up the domain to be able to tell us in the source where the click is coming from.

kamish-diman said...

I think this is a pretty crucial function. Ideally, the endpoint would be able to pick up the domain to be able to tell us in the source where the click is coming from.

fishkaw said...

hi ,thats good ,Tracking new subscribers. I have no way of knowing from where my subscribers are subscribing since the email form is not served from my website.

sanvenyad said...

Really its very useful for SEO and tracking the traffic.

This helps to advertise and share the info using the forum postings.


Thanks.
Santosh V Yadav