Click-Tracking Resource Box Links?

Ed writes, “Just wondering if it were possible to develop a statistic that would let us know how many people actually click through to our websites. This would be immensly helpful and would let me know if my resource box is actually working or not.”

Yes, we’ve already considered this. No, we won’t be adding this functionality. Here’s why:

1) It defeats the purpose that many include active links in the resource box. Think link love. Yes to tracking link = No link love for the author.

2) When people copy and paste from our site to reprint articles instead of using the correct EzinePublisher tool for that function, they will be copying and pasting the tracking links (especially when pasting into a WYSIWYG editor that doesn’t strip the HTML) and thus, making the tracking less relevant to the traffic from EzineArticles.com.

3) Why can’t you already get this information via your website stats program? Even the most basic website traffic analysis tools will tell you who your highest referral sources are. Who knows, you may already have access to the info you are seeking here.

If we could find a way to track clicks on each link without changing the outbound link, we’d be open to it.

10 Comments »


1
Ed Howes writes:

Different Ed than the one who posed the above question. I don’t give a hoot about who’s going to my website, but I shure would like to know the the publishers who are grabbing my articles. I just had a record 50 pick ups on my older articles in a day. Knowing of the 25 article annual limit, that indicates I have suddenly been discovered by a lot of publishers. Who are they? I’d like to visit their sites. Am I stuck with using the search engines? Which articles did they grab?

Comment provided August 19, 2006 at 4:59 AM

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2
Pamela Beers writes:

My web traffic analysis allows me to see how many people visit my website each day and from where they are referred.

By the way, I am enjoying the pictures at top of the EzineArticles home page. Thanks for that fun addition. It allows me to read other people’s articles that I would not have otherwise pursued.

I would like to see pictures of the Ezine article team! You are a great bunch of folks.

Comment provided August 19, 2006 at 9:53 AM

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3
Edward Weiss writes:

Ed, to see who has your articles do a Google search with your article title in parenthesis like this:

“how to write poetry”

If Google has indexed your article by the publisher who used it, it will show up.

Comment provided August 19, 2006 at 12:06 PM

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4
Ed Howes writes:

Thank you Edward,

I know about the searches. I usually do them on “by Ed Howes” because I’m not interested in any prticular article but in how many locations the total can be found and the numbers often don’t jive with what I know they must be.

Again, when someone comes in and takes 20 or 30 in a few days I don’t know which they took unless I copy the stat page every day, so I have always thought a publisher should notify an author where s/he can see the article posted and I’m reasonably sure this could be automated as well. The ones recently taken might show up on a search next week and might not. If I have 10 pick ups on one older article, who picked it up two months ago and who picked it up yesterday?

Comment provided August 19, 2006 at 12:24 PM

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5
Paul Wolbers writes:

Ed this is how I track these clickthroughs…

The first step to this technique capitalizes on
two little known features of HTML:

Whenever you add a “?” to the end of a .htm or
.html page, it has absolutely no effect on the
page that gets called up. That is, if you were to
write:

http://www.EzineArticles.com/editorial-guidelines.html

or

http://www.EzineArticles.com/editorial-guidelines.html?tracker1

The exact same page will come up. Go ahead and
try it now. Pretty cool, right?

WARNING:

You have to append this “?” after the name of an
HTML file. It won’t always work if you do it at
the end of a domain name (unless your server
supports it or you have special scripting – which
is what we’re trying to avoid.

Fact 2:

Even though the same page is served when you do
this, your server logs treat them as two different pages.

So, every time someone clicks on that special URL
you will be able to know without question, where that clickthrough came from.

Hope this helps…

Paul Wolbers

Comment provided August 19, 2006 at 1:41 PM

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6
Dina writes:

Hey, Ed Howes,

Maybe you can add a “pickup line” to the bottom of future articles that you write? For example,

“You are free to reprint this article in its entirety so long as the author bio and URL remain in tact. Please send a courtesy email to you[at]domain.com to let us know you have published this material.”

(or something more friendly, like):

Do you plan to reprint this article? Email and let me know! you[at]domain.com

Dina

Comment provided August 20, 2006 at 8:45 AM

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7
Ed Howes writes:

Hey Dina,

That’s preposterous! Do it yourself. How about this: Publishers: If you are publishing this article, I want to visit your site. Please leave a comment on my article with your URL and we will both benefit.

Thanks Dina. What a team we make, eh?

Comment provided August 20, 2006 at 10:37 AM

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8
Ed Howes writes:

Dammit Dina!

Now I have to edit ALL my articles. So glad I’m not Lance today. :-)

Comment provided August 20, 2006 at 10:49 AM

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9
Dina writes:

Ed H.:

YES! That’s THE perfect line to get folks to contact you. What are you, a writer or something?

:))

Dina

Comment provided August 20, 2006 at 11:57 AM

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10
Pamela Beers writes:

Dina & Ed…a fabulous idea. I’m going to try it and see what happens.

Comment provided August 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM

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