SSL Google search, historical goals and event tracking

Lots of stuff happening.

1) HTTPS default search for logged in Google users.

****I personally don’t think it will change analysis all that much, but it might be too early to tell as I don’t know how far along the rollout is.

You may recall that this is not first referrer change for Google Organic.  With the introduction of Ajax-powered search results came a new referrer. I tracked the rollout over time and the last time I checked in September 2010 the rollout was around 50%. The interesting thing about the new referrer is that the rank of the keyword is passed along in the referrer via the CD parameter:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&**cd=1**&sqi=2&ved=…

What’s different since October 18, 2011 is the proportion of Google referrers that have the CD parameter. As I said earlier, it used to be around 50%, but now it’s closer to 80%.

(Click for larger. There was a blip on September 29 – maybe a test run?)

So, while you may lose some information because of (not provided) keywords appearing now, you actually get better ranking information on all your Google Organic keywords.

2) Flow Visualization

I don’t have access to flow visualization yet so I can’t comment on what looks to be a beautiful feature, but what I am excited about is the fact that new goals you create will work on your historical data. First thing I’d always do in a new profile is set up goals since they’d only give you data going forward. Being able to work with past data is great news.

3) Event tracking impact on bounce rate

I love event tracking because of its elegant flexibility – you can just send anything to GA and it will accept it. No need to worry about naming conventions or slots. However, events have an impact on bounce rate if you fire them automatically on your landing pages. With a recent update you can now mark events as non-interaction, meaning that they don’t affect bounce rate.

This will open up quite a few options for cases where you had to use custom variables.