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Google Analytics Q&A Blog Edition, Volume 2

It's that time again... time for Google Analytics Q&A!

Post your Google Analytics or Digital Analytics question HERE, in this G+ post, and I'll answer them on my blog NEXT week. It will be posted July 1 or 2.

Check out my blog for a taste of what people asked last time.

Feel free to ask anything! #GetSomeFreeHelp
There are a lot of GA users. As a matter of fact, in Google's Q1 2012 earnings call it was revealed that GA is being used on 10MM sites. That's a lot of data and and a lot users! Those users generate ...
Al Shaikh's profile photoSteven Domingue's profile photoSteven Nguyen's profile photoJustin Cutroni's profile photo
Implementation Question - I have 2x domains lets call them and - each have a their own Google Analytics (GA) account.

The problem I am having though is that is as follows - we have a form on that is pulled in from dom2 via an i-frame. the code within the form fires off 2x custom variables to its dom2 GA account. The outer frame on dom1 fires off all the incoming traffic sources and more importantly the campaign data.

Now what I need to do is I need to have the dom2's GA account filled with the same campaign values - so that I can tie the campaign names to the 2x custom variables. Now I  do have some restrictions that forbid me to set the custom variables to dom1's GA account as even though this would be the simplest way.

So which of the following options should I go down.
1) Set up on the master frame - a second tracker that fires off the campaign data to dom2's GA account. Leaving dom1's GA code in place. Also leaving the code in the dom2s frame as is and hope that the custom variables get set as they are ?

2) Attempt when calling the i-frame page to pass all the campaign data in the URL string and hope that the GA code within dom2 recognises it and passes the campaign data?

I have tried using the GA help + forums to no avail and am really stumped on this one. 

Please help Justin... even if its the worst set up ever I have to get it working :-(
We would like to track page views for individual meta tags on the page, for example, we have a index.html page tagged with Corn, Soybeans and Wheat. What's the best way to run a report showing all page views for pages tagged with Corn?

We have looked at custom variables but might have pages with 5-10 tags per page.
Is there a glitch in the new Analytics that throws that error when you try to filter by Ad Content? It happens especially when the Primary Dimension is a City or Landing Page, I think.
Justin -

We have been seeing increasing incidences of GA not being available  (The exact language is "Resource is not available. Please try again later).

Related, we have also seen that time out messages when we try and pull data for time-lines longer than a few months.

Finally, when we drill-down on reports we will encounter a flat-line.  

This is all in the new interface and cannot be replicated in the old interface where we don't encounter any of these issues.

I have 2 questions.

1) Why do I very often see (not set) wether in traffic sources or any other sections.
2) Is it true that Google Analytics does not record 40% of traffic coming to a site, since it consists of hackers, comment spammers, page scrapper ...etc ?

Hi Justin,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying your time at Google. I have a couple of questions:

1) Do you know if GA regular expressions support negative look ahead? I am talking about something such as: ^(?!.*string-here) 

When I tested it you get an alert. However some forums mention it is possible. 

2) How would you track "zero results" searches when you use Google Site Search, given that the CSE results are loaded on an iframe with content from a different domain, so not accessible by traversing the DOM. I have an idea for a solution, however I wanted to know if there is an easier way to do it.


I have a question about regular expressions in the Product Performance Report in GA. Is there a character limit in the field where you place the RegEx? I am attempting to do some reporting on product sales associated with emails, banners on my site, etc., and some of the product groupings we feature are basically mini catalogs with 200+ SKUs. I wanted to make sure that if I dump a list of 300 SKUs (between 2500 and 3000 characters) it will capture them all in the report. 

Thanks Justin!

We're about to cross-domain track a very short and good domain name with multiple subdomains, e.g. www.xx.yy, forum.xx.yy, and so on. 

We use _setDomainName("xx.yy"), and it works like a charm on all browsers but IE.

Unfortunately, IE does not allow cookies on short domains on the form xx.yy (to avoid security issues on all sites, for instance). No data at all is recorded for IE browsers...

If we use _setDomainName("www.xx.yy"), the cookies aren't available on forum.xx.yy, and vice versa.

What should we do, given that neither using _link everywhere nor changing the domain name is an option? Any best practices for really short domain names?


Thanks for all the questions everyone, I'm working on a post and it should be out on Monday.
I may be a bit late, but have to ask as this is an issue I've been struggling with for 2+ years - linking our AdSense account to our Analytics account.  I understand the process, however here's what I actually see:

1. Go to Content > AdSense > Overview in GA, see "This report requires AdSense to be enabled for this profile".  Hmm, I've already done that.

2. But I'll try again - click the link provided there for the instructions.  Instructions state, "Open either the Overview or Advanced Reports page, and find the link that invites you to integrate your accounts", but there is no such link in the AdSense panel (presumably because I've previously gone through this step).  Instead I see a link in the upper right corner of AdSense stating, " View performance in Google Analytics".  Would seem to indicate the accounts are linked, right?

3. Click that link, it takes me to my Analytics home page (showing my two profiles).  I go into the one I've attempted previously tried to link w/ AdSense, and (repeat step 1, above).

Something's clearly broken.  Been trying to resolve this for years, have posted bunches of forum posts, etc., but no luck.  Incredibly frustrating!  Any assistance would be enormously appreciated.


 I have 2 questions on about Analytics.

 1. I have autotagging set up and someone wants to add parameters to the ad as well. Would the new parameters override the autotagging or mess up the reporting in anyway?

 2. I want to track lead submissions, sign ups, etc...but it does not redirect you to a "thank you" page after you complete the action, a dialog box pops up. I want to use a destination goal but the dialog box does not change URLs. Is there a way to track it as a goal without adding a "thank you" page?

If you could help, that would be great. Thanks.

Thanks for leaving all of these great questions. I've been working on a post and am running a bit behind due to the mobile launch last week and the July 4th holiday here in the US. I hope to have it complete by the end of the week.

Sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience.

Hi Justin. We are having the same problems as Dean Shaw, and hope you are still planning to post Q&A Volume 2. Thanks, Carrie
Hi +Carrie Simmons Yes, actually working on it now. My gut tells me it's due to the volume of data in your account. Looking to finish things up today or tomorrow.

Hi Justin,

Thank you for doing this for all of us. I had a question on whats the best way to track repeat purchases throughout a site. I am interested in finding out which sources create the most repeat customers and how to segment them appropriately. 
I have another question that may be of interest to others. Is it possible to schedule an emailed GA report that will show the last 30 days data compared to the previous year's data for those same dates, and have this report run daily?
I hope I am not too late, but I wanted to ask another question on top of the others I already asked.  I saw your article on Google Analytics and Mobile app tracking.  I believe that is not running as of now.  Is there a way for me to track how many times an iphone app has been downloaded with Analytics right now?
Hi Everyone,

SO sorry it has taken a long time to get back to you. But I finally posted answers to most of your questions on my blog:

Thanks again for contributing the questions, lots of good stuff. Look for another Q&A post next month!
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