Google Analytics Video Tutorial 3: A Correction

Ian Lurie

Justin pointed out an error I’d made in Google Analytics Tutorial 3:

I wanted to bring up one point re: Tutorial #3. In the video you show how to cross segment referral traffic based on Content. I think this part of the video may be a bit off. When I cross segment my Referring Source based on Content I do not see the content from my site, I see the content from the referral site. Google Analytics is showing me the page on the referral site where the link to my site appeared.

In general, ‘Content’ referrs to the utm_content variable which is used for A/B testing ads. However, in the case of referrals, GA stores the page on the referral site in the ‘space’ where it would normally store the value for A/B test.

Completely correct. In Tutorial 3 I misspoke and said ‘your site’ rather than ‘the referring site’.

In Google Analytics, “content” cross segmentation from the referring source report will show the page on the referring site that sent you the traffic.

So clicking on, say, “Google [referral]” will show you this:


This list shows that folks came to my site from Google Reader and their Google Home Page.

You can also read Google Analytics’ documentation on the subject here.

I’m planning to do another referral tracking tutorial soon, and I’ll explain more at that time.

Justin wrote this excellent piece about cross segmentation last week, too.

Thanks Justin!

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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