Google analytics for community subdomains


(Sarah Hawk) #1

I’d really love to have a great GA dashboard for our community (which is on a sub-domain) but I’m an idiot when it comes to trying to set one up.

Has anyone got something like that working really well?


(Steven Cyrkin) #3

Hawk,

You can set it up in the same GA account, but you may want to rethink using
a subdomain (even though I do for my community for now). That’s because
Google treats subdomains as separate domains from the root domain for
ranking purposes, unlike Alexa, which treats subdomains as the same one as
the root.

If you set up the community as a folder (www.feverbee.com/community), the
combined activity from should make both of your sites look busier to
Google. What I’m not taking into account are inbound links from the main
site to the community and visa-versa. Google probaby counts them as
separate inbound links, but they may not give them much weight, especially
if they share an IP address.


(Sarah Hawk) #4

I had an interesting conversation with Jeff Atwood when we originally set up the subdomain. We were talking about exactly what you mention above (more specifically SEOMoz’s position on it at the time, which is in line with what you’re saying). Matt Cutts had told him personally that there is no substance to it.


(Sarah Hawk) #5

In response to my original question, I have managed to set up some dashboards. If anyone else gets stuck on this in the future, hit me up and I’ll see if I can help.


(Richard Millington) #6

This is a weird debate. I tend to believe Moz on it.

Only because they’re going with data and Jeff is a 3rd party source with a vested interest here.

It could be either mind.


(Sarah Hawk) #7

I believe the quote in regards to that was “they can’t tell correlation from causation”.


(Steven Cyrkin) #8

Weird but valuable. Here’s a discussion Rand Fishkin of MOZ replied to and opened with this:

“We’ve seen recent examples where moving content from a subdomain to the main domain instantly improved rankings very dramatically on highly competitive keywords. I don’t have permission to share them all, but Moz is a great example.”

http://inbound.org/question/view/it-s-2014-what-s-the-latest-thinking-on-sub-domains-vs-sub-directories

Does Discourse require a domain or subdomain when used with WP? Is that why Jeff has a vested interest?


(Steven Cyrkin) #9

The outbound link I just posted didn’t open in a new window. Have you considered doing that?


(Sarah Hawk) #10

[quote=“stevencyrkin, post:8, topic:860”]
Does Discourse require a domain or subdomain when used with WP? Is that why Jeff has a vested interest?
[/quote] I don’t believe that Jeff does have a vested interest, but Rich may be talking about something that I haven’t considered. No, Discourse doesn’t require a subdomain when used with WP, but it’s messy and expensive to go the subfolder route. This post explains it in detail (and goes into the SEO debate fairly fully).

[quote=“stevencyrkin, post:9, topic:860, full:true”]
The outbound link I just posted didn’t open in a new window. Have you considered doing that?
[/quote] While not everyone agrees, it’s widely recognised as UX best practice to open links in the same page. This is a pretty simple post, but it outlines the reasons pretty clearly.


(Steven Cyrkin) #11

In less than two weeks, this community has gone from "not sure I need it"
to “can’t live without it.”


(Sarah Hawk) #13

You just made my day!


(Sarah Hawk) #14

Does anyone know how to view referral traffic to an individual page in GA?


(Bas van Leeuwen) #15

Bit counterintuitive, might not be the correct way, but here’s how I always do it :smiley:

Behaviour > Site content > All pages > [your page] > Secondary Dimension > Acquisition > Source/Medium