I am excited about today’s release of SiteCatalyst 15.3, which includes improvements for SiteCatalyst 14.9. Highlights from the release include:

  • significantly improved algorithm for managing highly unique variables
  • Standard and custom bot filtering available in the Admin Console
  • Pathfinder, Pages Not Found, Full Paths and other reports are available in SiteCatalyst 15
  • And many other improvements

But you can read about those improvements in Ben’s blog postRelease Notes or watch the videos that cover them. Let’s talk about what has changed in AppMeasurement for JavaScript since the last blog post about H.23.2.

Filtering Chrome Pre-Render

Chrome allows web sites to specify links that should be pre-rendered, thus eliminating page load time when those pages are clicked on. For a time, this was used on Google.com for the top search result, and may still be, though we’ve not been able to observe it lately.

Pre-rendering a page can cause real trouble for analysts, because a pre-rendered page looks like a regular page view in web analytics tools. If the page is pre-rendered, but no one visits the pageThis could result in a higher-than normal bounce rate, inflated

H.24.4 properly handles Google Chrome’s pre-render feature, so that data is not sent to SiteCatalyst until the visitor actually views the pre-rendered page.

Video Updates

  • Bug fixes. Since the release of the new video measurement module in H.23.2, we have had three bugs fixed in that module.
    • First, in H.23.3 we fixed an error that caused one of the video tracking variables from being sent.
    • Then, in H.23.6 we improved the accuracy of the percent measurements used to fire milestone events.
    • Finally, in H.24.1, we reduced the number of server calls required (slightly) by allowing segments and milestones that occur simultaneously to be sent in a single server call.

If you’re using the video module released in H.23.2 and haven’t upgraded, this would be a good time to do so.

  • New method. A new video complete method allows you to trigger a complete event. This is particularly useful for live streaming events, where there isn’t a designated video end.

Context Data Variables

If you’ve upgraded to SiteCatalyst 15 or will be upgrading soon, I strongly recommend you look into Processing Rules and using Context Data Variables. Processing rules can greatly enhance your ability to update your implementation without involving a JavaScript file update, and Context Data Variables allow your web developer to send data to SiteCatalyst without knowing the eVar, event or prop it needs to be stored in.

With that background, H.24.2 included a fix that allows context data variables to be passed with link clicks. Here’s how it would work:

<a href="success_page.html" onClick="sendData(this)">
...
function sendData(link){
   s.contextData['success']="link clicked";
   s.linkTrackVars="contextData.success";
   s.tl(link,'o',"Success Link");
}

Automatic Exit Link Tracking

In most situations, you don’t want all variables to be sent with an exit link. However, there was a bug that caused props, eVars and events set on the page to be sent with exit links, despite the fact that linkTrackVars and linkTrackEvents were both set to “none”. This was fixed with H.23.8.

Search Referrer Improvements

Back with H.23.4 we changed how Yahoo and Google referrers were truncated. Rather than truncating some of the critical query strings, we rearranged the query string to ensure that the keyword and other keywords are kept.

Summary

In short, you should consider upgrading your JS file in the next few months, given the improvements with Chrome’s pre-rendering. If you’re tracking video on still using H.23.2, you should upgrade very soon. If you’re using H.23.3 or lower, you should upgrade as soon as possible to avoid any lost data with long Google and Yahoo referrer URLs.

Final Tip

If you haven’t looked into Adobe TagManager, I recommend you call your account manager or account executive for a walk-through. Updating your JS file is much easier with that tool, as is deploying any vendor’s tags on your site. Using TagManager you can push an updated JS file to development, staging, and then production at any time.

TagManager upgrade JS file

 

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