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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Logfile Analysis vs Page Tagging

Logfile Analysis vs Page Tagging

Page tagging involves placing a piece of code usually externalised JavaScript on each page of your site and is sometimes referred to as clientside data collection. Every time a tagged page is opened by a visitor TMs browser the script is processed and visitor information collected. Log file analysis refers to data collected by your web server. Insertion of code can lead to errors Will not pick up page errors such as 404s Because robots ignore scripts can not track search engine spiders Unable to directly track non html pages Vendor SpecificLogfile Analysis Advantages Historical Data can be analysed Little set up cost No firewall issues Easily track page errors Can track Search Engine spiders Vendor Independent Can track non html pages such as pdfsLogfile Disadvantages Proxy/caching inaccuracies. If a page is cached no record is logged on your web server No web design parameters No event trackingIf you are used to looking at web statistics using Web Trends for instance you may see significant differences in visitor numbers. When moving to logfile analysis visitor numbers may increase by 2030%. If your site is not using persistent cookies your web analytics programme can not identify unique visitors therefore all visitors are lumped together as total. Typically unique visitors represent about 20 30% of total web site visits so this metric will be inflated by this amount. Sometimes you TMll see a dramatic reduction in site visits. A visit duration of 30 minutes means that multiple visits from the same IP address within this time period will be counted as a single visit. Change this parameter to 15 minutes and these visits could be counted several times and your total visits will increase. Finally, when a web browser loads a PDF file is brings down different parts of the file at different time and some programs can count this as multiple requests for the same file.

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