Ajax is Setting the Original Reference URL Incorrectly

Problem and Background

When a user clicks on a link or when a page is redirected, the page is refreshed through Ajax. In such cases, they need to set the parameter ‘orig_ref_url’ so Bloomreach can track internal page browsers correctly.

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Consider the scenario where a user comes from the external source G to the landing Page A, which redirects via JavaScript to page B: G (external source) -> A -> (JS redirect) -> B
Page B is the one that fires the tracking pixel. Because of the redirect, Page B has the referrer set to Page A, rather than G.
In these cases, there needs to be additional integration steps to ensure that things are captured correctly.
If the Ajax is used to refresh or redirect pages, the correct way to implement the tracking is to transfer the original referrer from Page A to Page B (following from example above) using the preferred method and set it as the ‘orig_ref_url’ parameter on the ‘br_data’ object. This check works by flagging if the ‘ref’ parameter remains the same even when a user browses through different pages within the site.
This issue prevents Bloomreach from correctly identifying the external traffic source, as it is seen as the internal navigation. For example, for Organic, visits will be over-counted since it will be assumed that an internal browse is coming in from an external page.

Debugging Steps

  1. Request the Bloomreach Support team to provide the list of urls (the page you are on now) and the ref_url (the page you think you came from).
  2. Go to one of the ‘ref_urls’ and try to load it. Then try to click (navigate) to the ‘url’. Then navigate to 1 more page (just click a link on the page). If this is broken, you should see in the Chrome plugin that ‘orig_ref_url’ is not set, and ‘ref’ has stayed the same for the last 2 pages.

Common Causes

  • The pixel implementation is not setting orig_ref_url correctly.
  • If you spot an unexpected spike in Organic visits and they’re not reconciling with your data, it is likely because orig_ref_url is not set correctly.

Solution

Debug the issue by following the steps and check if your website uses Ajax to load certain pages. If yes, then set ‘orig_ref_url’ correctly.

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