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An Unexpected Ranking Signal – trackpageview

Here at Arena Quantum we like to do multi-click attribution, providing an insight into the true value of generics. To do this, we require an ad server. As part of a mistake putting tracking on, we discovered a very unlikely ranking signal we had not considered before. We uncovered evidence to suggest that Google treats the URL you specify to track the pageview as, in the same way a canonical tag.

For example, we placed the following code on superwidgets.com/redwidgets. Note that the domain we played it on differs to the URL we wanted to track it as.

In this example, we also own cheapwidgets.com. Only when examining the inbound links being reported by Google Webmaster Tools I noticed that there was a reported to be a link from cheapwidgets.com.

I have scoured the web page on cheapwidgets.com and the only reference to cheapwidgets.com is in the tracking code. Therefore it looks like trackpageview can act like a cross domain canonical. Key takeaway for this? Double check your tracking code to make sure you aren’t leaking any link juice.


2 Comments

  • Ross |

    Hi. Nice find, though I am confused as the screenshot shows cheapwidgets.com reported as linking to superwidgets.com so wouldn’t you scour the cheapwidgets site for possible links, not superwidgets.com!?

  • bowdeni |

    Yes you’re right. Was a mistake I made while I typed it out, now amended. Glad you were able to follow.

So, what do you think ?