Visitor Tracking 2.0?



  • A client wants to track their hits by state, using Google Analytics. This morning, we got this email:  

    "I’ve purchased 49 domains (one for every state,
    except Alaska) with the name of (COMPANYNAME)XX.com.  XX for the 2
    letter state abbreviations.<o:p>"... </o:p>

     



  •  Teach them about the wonders of subdomains and they will promote you to upper management.

     Not that you need that for analytics...but still :)



  • So people in Alaska have to go to COMPANYNAMEwtf.com? 



  • Maybe the company is located in alaska.

     



  • I can't get my head around a new breed
    of commercials I see on tv (usually in the daytime, low $$ slots) for commercial
    websites that are using the URL in funny ways to (I assume) keep track of the
    marketing person placing the ads for commissions.  For instance:

     43edconnect.com, 65edconnect.com, 27edconnect.con [all point to the same place, though 27 has a different 'skin']

     You also see formats like somedomain.com/43

     Usually the web sites are hastily-constructed broker sites that point to other online services.

     I think it's a pretty interest phenomenon that these companies trust that people will type these additional numbers in ("/43").  But they must, otherwise the people wouldn't be making any money.  Also, wouldn't a url like "43edconnect.com" appear suspicious to the average consumer?



  • @Jonathan Holland said:

    Maybe the company is located in alaska.
    Maybe the company's name is "Lickmy's", and "lickmysak.com" was already taken.



  •  @merreborn said:

    @Jonathan Holland said:

    Maybe the company is located in alaska.
    Maybe the company's name is "Lickmy's", and "lickmysak.com" was already taken.

    In the land of funkiness, you are king!



  • @cdietrich said:

    I can't get my head around a new breed
    of commercials I see on tv (usually in the daytime, low $$ slots) for commercial
    websites that are using the URL in funny ways to (I assume) keep track of the
    marketing person placing the ads for commissions.  For instance:

     43edconnect.com, 65edconnect.com, 27edconnect.con [all point to the same place, though 27 has a different 'skin']

     You also see formats like somedomain.com/43

     Usually the web sites are hastily-constructed broker sites that point to other online services.

     I think it's a pretty interest phenomenon that these companies trust that people will type these additional numbers in ("/43").  But they must, otherwise the people wouldn't be making any money.  Also, wouldn't a url like "43edconnect.com" appear suspicious to the average consumer?

     

     I've consulted for a major us telecom, and they would do a similar thing for their TV advertisements to track analytics, except instead of registering new domains or using numbers, we would create vanity urls that matched the promotion.

    majorustelecom.com/getfreephone

     etc.



  • @Jonathan Holland said:

    @cdietrich said:

    I can't get my head around a new breed
    of commercials I see on tv (usually in the daytime, low $$ slots) for commercial
    websites that are using the URL in funny ways to (I assume) keep track of the
    marketing person placing the ads for commissions.  For instance:

     43edconnect.com, 65edconnect.com, 27edconnect.con [all point to the same place, though 27 has a different 'skin']

     You also see formats like somedomain.com/43

     Usually the web sites are hastily-constructed broker sites that point to other online services.

     I think it's a pretty interest phenomenon that these companies trust that people will type these additional numbers in ("/43").  But they must, otherwise the people wouldn't be making any money.  Also, wouldn't a url like "43edconnect.com" appear suspicious to the average consumer?

     

     I've consulted for a major us telecom, and they would do a similar thing for their TV advertisements to track analytics, except instead of registering new domains or using numbers, we would create vanity urls that matched the promotion.

    majorustelecom.com/getfreephone

     etc.

     

    I've seen these sorts of URLs all over the subway... Also one college actually created special URLs per spam letter they sent (well probably creates on-demand).

    I would say its fine to track site.com/ny or w/e... and redirect the user depending on their location when they hit the main site (although once you can do that you eliminated the need for /xx...

     

    The reason such things are necessary is because they want to track where they got the info. How do you know that a user got the promotion from a particular radio show vs a tv ad? This lets the marketers know what the target audience listens to/watches and thus  knows where to put advertising cash. They add to incentive a "chance for a prize" by going to that particular URL... w/e.

    This article still takes the cake :) Also edconnect goes up to 100... i find that funny. I wonder if they registered all them domains.



  • @dlikhten said:

    I wonder if they registered all them domains.
     

    Nope. I bet they stoled themz! Lolz!

    WTF.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @dlikhten said:

    I wonder if they registered all them domains.
     

    Nope. I bet they stoled themz! Lolz!

    WTF.

     

    Naaaaaw... comeon they can't be that dumb. Or can they?



  •  Yes, as a matter of fact they did register all 49 of those.. 



  • @dlikhten said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @dlikhten said:

    I wonder if they registered all them domains.
     

    Nope. I bet they stoled themz! Lolz!

    WTF.

     

    Naaaaaw... comeon they can't be that dumb. Or can they?

     

    Can you explain to us how they could be hosting websites off of them if they DIDN'T register them?



  • @dlikhten said:

    The reason such things are necessary is because they want to track where they got the info. How do you know that a user got the promotion from a particular radio show vs a tv ad? This lets the marketers know what the target audience listens to/watches and thus  knows where to put advertising cash. They add to incentive a "chance for a prize" by going to that particular URL... w/e.

     

    Got GeoIP tracking?



  • @Morbii said:

    @dlikhten said:

    The reason such things are necessary is because they want to track where they got the info. How do you know that a user got the promotion from a particular radio show vs a tv ad? This lets the marketers know what the target audience listens to/watches and thus  knows where to put advertising cash. They add to incentive a "chance for a prize" by going to that particular URL... w/e.

    Got GeoIP tracking?

     

    Speaking of states and GeoIP tracking... 

     

    Let's play Count-the-WTFs: I count five, but make that six for good measure, because I probably missed at least one. 



  • @SpComb said:

    Speaking of states and GeoIP tracking... 

    Let's play Count-the-WTFs: I count five, but make that six for good measure, because I probably missed at least one. 

    I can only see a province of Finland being included among US states, and US schools included in that province. Also, the schools themselves seem to be from varying states. The browser seems WTF-y as well, what's that imdb URL doing there for instance, with a Mozilla WYCIWYG "protocol" as well as an IE address bar at the top?

    That's five...



  • @SpComb said:

     

    Let's play Count-the-WTFs: I count five, but make that six for good measure, because I probably missed at least one. 

    1. Southern Finland was apparently annexed to US
    2. ...and they didn't waste time harmonising the education structure
    3. Weird address bar on top...
    4. Weird address bar on bottom too (can't get enough of address bars?)
    5. My God, why would anyone design a bar to look like that anyway?
    6. Weird URI on bottom address bar
    7. Massive UI widget clashes ahoy
    8. Schools... as folders?????++?
    9. What's with the empty space on right?
    10. Oh yeah, and an edit: nested window structure, obviously.


  • Not a proper sort.  Etela-Suomen Laani comes between Arkansas and Connecticut in the folder list, which all come AFTER Illinios.  Then Arkansas appears twice.  



  •  11. Etela-Suomen Laani is in the wrong font (Arial) and the wrong font-size.



  •  The image is a screenshot taken on my Nokia N810, showing a popunder advertisement that appeared when I was browsing the IMDB.

    • Use of GeoIP location information without regard for "overseas" visitors, assuming that any visitor is going to be from the US
    • Use of the Windows 98 Explorer GUI for some kind of classmates advertisement (the folder -> school metaphor)
    • Font/size of the dynamically generated text
    • Sorting of the states in the directory tree
    • The Arkansas-duality
    • Ugly gradients on the folder icons, 8-bit gif?
    • The weird URL, perhaps it's some way to get around firefox's popup blocker? No clue



  •  Which image/site are you referring to?  Or has it been removed? Or am I being dumb? (most likely option from experience)



  • @method1 said:

    Which image/site are you referring to?
     

    SpComb was the OP of the WTF screenshot of the School friends ad.

    TRWTF is imdb. Their ads got blocked in Firefox's built-in popup blocker, but turning off the blocker still doesn't show any more ads. (I had to clear cookies to get the ad to appear)

    I'm not even in South Australia (I'm in Queensland), we don't have "middle schools". 



  • @Zemm said:

    I'm not even in South Australia (I'm in Queensland), we don't have "middle schools". 
     

    Give it a few years, we'll all be states of the US

     



  • @SpComb said:

  • Use of GeoIP location information without regard for "overseas" visitors, assuming that any visitor is going to be from the US
  • Use of the Windows 98 Explorer GUI for some kind of classmates advertisement (the folder -> school metaphor)
  • Font/size of the dynamically generated text
  • Sorting of the states in the directory tree
  • The Arkansas-duality
  • Ugly gradients on the folder icons, 8-bit gif?
  • The weird URL, perhaps it's some way to get around firefox's popup blocker? No clue

  • Some more:

    • Every state and non-state have the exact same 8 schools
    • bannerfarm.*; they have a server farm for banners and they make enough profit from their site to fuel said farm.
    • Isn't Jr. High considered to be a middle school?
    • It shows a standardized interface and then will proceed to completely ignore those standard confusing users.
    • It actually passed the web-toolkit validater thing. No site does that, honestly.


  • An acqaintance gave me a similar screenshot, for a Hungarian high school. In his one though, the image was all broken up -- whoever did the job of manually putting in a new school had managed to mess up the copy/paste and parts of the image were all out of position. I never got him to confirm that it was a genuine image from the Web, so I threw that one away -- I couldn't quite bring myself to believe that anything so patently ridiculous was real. Too bad I don't still have his original e-mail around with the attachment; it was pretty messed up.

    @SpComb said:

    • Ugly gradients on the folder icons, 8-bit gif?

    Talking to a friend earlier, I realised that Windows 2000 is now eight years old! Wow ...

    I guess this is why you've forgotten that Windows 2000 still had Windows 98's horrible folder icon gradients. Windows 2000 folders really do look like that. But given that I ran Windows 2000 for a year or so stuck in 16-colour icons (after a BSOD) I am so glad to be back with full colour icons. I finally gave in and reinstalled Windows just to get proper icon colours back. Looking at screenshots of Windows from when I had 16 colour icons, it was so hideous. Not just the limited colours, but the icons that degraded badly. Firefox's orange fox in alternating red and yellow dots ... ugh.



  • @Lingerance said:


    • It actually passed the web-toolkit validater thing. No site does that, honestly.

    You mean it validates according to perfect xml and html?  I've had to code a couple of sites to do that.  It's necessary if you want people to get to your site from their phone, though some newer phones (like the iPhone) have more complex browsers that can handle improperly formed html.  

    Though in the "normal" web, nobody cares about properly formed html, even if they do make proper xml.   



  • @Morbii said:

    @dlikhten said:

    The reason such things are necessary is because they want to track where they got the info. How do you know that a user got the promotion from a particular radio show vs a tv ad? This lets the marketers know what the target audience listens to/watches and thus  knows where to put advertising cash. They add to incentive a "chance for a prize" by going to that particular URL... w/e.

     

    Got GeoIP tracking?

    GeoIP isn't enough if, say, you run a radio and television advertising campaign in the same town.

    It's pretty reasonable to run a tv ad for, say,  "mycompany.com/tv", and a radio ad for  "mycompany.com/radio", or something along those lines.  GeoIP is still useful to tell you where these people are coming from, but to discern which campaign sent them, you need more.


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