“Look at me, Look at me” – Rewriting Google Analytics Tracking Codes

A couple of quick post hoc thoughts to add to Google/Feedburner Link Pollution:

1) there’s an infoskills issue here based on an understanding of what proxied links are, what is superfluous in a URI (Google tracking attributes etc);

2) there’s fun to be had… so for example, @ajcann recently posted on how students are Leicester are getting into the bookmarked resource thing and independently “doing some excellent work on delicious, creating module resources”: Where’s the social?.

Here’s the original link as polluted by Feedburner (I clicked through to the page from Google Reader):

Normally, I would have stripped the tracking cod from the link I made above to Alan’s post. Instead, I used this:

(The campaign element is the category I used for this post, the content is the shortcode for the post.)

Don’t ya just love it: tracking code spam :-)

So I’m thinking – maybe I need a WordPress plugin that will preemptively clean all external links of Google tracking codes and then add my own ‘custom’ tracking stuff on instead (under the assumption that the linked to site is running Google Analytics. If it isn’t, then the annotations are just an unsightly irrelevance, or noise in the URI…

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

2 thoughts on ““Look at me, Look at me” – Rewriting Google Analytics Tracking Codes”

  1. “Don’t ya just love it: tracking code spam”

    I normally just remove all that appended info. It never occurred to me to “customize” it. That’s very clever ;-)

  2. I’d quite like a browser plugin/extension that strips the UTM tracker arguments from a URI before making the request to the server to get the page. I’ve seen a few that claim to do it but only after getting the page – with the aim of giving you a “clean” URI in the address bar and in your browser history. That’s useful, but I’d like to stop sending the information to the server in the first place. I suppose a tool that substitutes the argument values with randomised spam values would work too :)

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