Redirect experiments

Just testing the Google Analytics reporting that is provided by permanent URL redirects. I’ll post results when I’ve finished.

The above two links are each redirects.

The first redirect is a 301 (permanent) redirect sending traffic to
via the short URL

The second redirect is a 301 redirect sending traffic to
via the short URL

Note that the second URL has added Campaign Tracking, using the format suggested by the
Google URL builder

Officially ( the redirecting page becomes the landing page’s referrer. Google says that it doesn’t pass the referrer information across a redirect. So according to Google, if you search with a keyword, then click on a link that is redirected, the traffic source will be a redirect from the intermediate URL, not the keyword search.

eg Source A -> RedirectURL B -> Target C

So in theory Google won’t let you know about Source A.
But that’s not what happened.

The actual pageview recorded was for the Target C.
The traffic source for link one came through as a referral from – Source A.
And the traffic source for link two came through as a Campaign using my URL Builder details:
Source=MyShortURL, medium=Website, Campaign=Experiments. ie, the traffic source I defined.

None of my traffic was recorded as having a traffic source of – the Redirect URL (B).

If I had bought as a vanity URL that I wanted people to remember, I would have been miffed.
Although it did it’s job, redirecting traffic to my landing page, and being shorter.
But most people use vanity URLs so they can track traffic from a different source.

Is Google in the middle of changing their reporting information, or am I misinterpreting something?

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