[thelist] PHP - Making All Links Unique (even to same page)

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Wed Jan 16 09:15:55 CST 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark MacInnes
> Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 6:44 AM
> My development team has developed our own CMS over the past 
> year or so.  We've been asked by the Internet Marketing guys 
> this morning to make every single link on a page unique, even 
> if they're going to the same page, for tracking in Google 
> Analytics etc. I'm not looking for code or anything, just
> wondering what ideas people think are the best.


It looks like the marketing guys are interested in which of a number of
possibly duplicate links a visitor is clicking.  For example, did the
visitor use the top-nav to go to a specific page, or did they use the bottom
nav to go to the same page.

My suggestion would be to NOT create unique links, for reasons very well
explained by other responders.  But, I do have what I believe may be a
workable solution for you:

Modify the links using JavaScript after the page loads.  This way the actual
link clicked could be tracked in a very unobtrusive manner whilst
sidestepping the possible search engine penalties.

I guess the only issue with this solution would be "what about those people
without JavaScript"?  I would argue that statistically, the results aren't
going to make a lick of difference if you are only tracking the %.  If you
then absolutely need to have the actual number of clicks regardless of JS
support, you could do a very close approximation by extrapolation from the
available data.


Joshua L. Olson
WAE Technologies, Inc.
Phone: 706.210.0168
Fax: 413.812.4864
Private Enterprise Number: 28752

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