Trackbacks in Google Analytics

Trackbacks in Google Analytics

Trackbacks in Google Analytics

It’s not only Google Search that seems to be constantly rolling out updates right now but also Google Analytics who FINALLY are getting to grips with trying to report better on Social Media.

In the new interface there is now even the ability to report on Trackbacks. For those of you who don’t know what a trackback is or why it’s importnat here’s Wikipedia on the subject:

A trackback is one of three types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to their articles. Some weblog software, such as WordPress, Drupal, and Movable Type, supports automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of linkback.

So, yes, it’s a link metric. You want it now don’t you! Here’s how you get it:

  1. Go to Traffic Sources from the side menu
  2. Then select Social then Sources
  3. From there you need to click on any of the Data Hub Partners (links like Reddit or blogger that have the weird little icon next to them)
  4. Then from the tab just above the graph you need to change it from Social Referral to Activity Stream
  5. Then right at the top of the report, just under the heading of Social Sources, select the dropdown arrow
  6. Select ‘Trackbacks’ from this drop down
  7. You can see the list of linking domains listed below
  8. The details you get from these trackbacks are limited. It tells you which page on your site that they are linking too but doesn’t give you the URL of their site, only the domain and what appears to be the page title. It doesn’t seem to tie into any other reports so you can’t see, for example, if anyone came to the site via those links.

At this stage we don’t know if it’s picking everything up correctly but I guess you might be a better judge of that as you’ve got a better idea of what links you’re getting 🙂

These points were kindly collated by m’colleague Luke Hay. You should speak to him if you have any analytics quieries at all. More from Luke on Social Media reporting in Google Analytics here.

Happy statting.

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Not in the least bit copyrighted by Tim Aldiss 2012