A while a ago I came across to this blog post from Tim Resnik about how to decode Google’s Referral String and create a report in Google Analytics to analysis more in-depth the click-through. The article is quite interesting and from there I decided to play around a little bit to see what else I could find applicable to my websites.
Basically the idea is to use parameters that get passed from Google Search Results and capture the data in Google Analytics. Each URL in SERP has a “href” value assigned (Let’s called Google URL) and when an user clicks on a link, there is a redirect process that takes places from the “Google URL” to the selected URL. This “Google URL” passes some parameters, but the one important to us is the “VED”.
In above image, for My Search Kit search results, if you mouse-over the link in the SERP, you will see the “Google URL” assigned to www.mysearchkit.com.
The code for My Search Kit is: ved=0CDAQFjAA
Tim’s explained step-by-step how to do this in his post. Below is the table with the most common VED that Tim mentioned:
Having a look at what could be applicable to my websites, I found additional VED:
Tracking the breadcrumbs can help to identify related keywords that may trigger user’s behavior.
In-line Site links
General links extra links are given to the Top #1 position and are related links to the page ranking. Although Google chooses the relevant links to display, collecting this data may help to identify user intent and expectations, especially if they are using a broad query.
Branded Site links
Probably the most common, these extra links are twigged with branded queries. I’ve noticed that the number of links can vary depending on the website. I’ve seen 2, 4, and up to 6 site links depending on the website.
I have set up the Google Analytics reports using Tim’s recommendations. Interesting, with this extra VED code you can start testing your Authorship, Google Plus links, breadcrumbs and Google Places. The final goal of collection this data from SERPs, is potentially optimise your click through rate trying different variations.
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