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RexHavoc

100 posts

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#208343 7-Feb-2017 18:24
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Hi Geekzoners

 

Firstly, sorry for the wall of text.

 

I own an online computer store here in NZ and have been a featured store with PriceSpy since featured stores were a thing.

 

Midway through last year I noticed some unusually high spikes in registered click-throughs to our website from PriceSpys admin panel where you can check your stats etc. Odd things like 100 clicks at 4am in the morning when the average was 1. Or 1200 clicks for a whole day when the average was between 200-300. And yes, we were also invoiced for them. It wasnt just with us. We are aware of this happening with other NZ featured stores too.
Anyway, I raised my concerns with PriceSpy and after a week or 2 they responded and mentioned they had fixed the problem. We received a new invoice with what appeared to be the correct number of click throughs.

 

We run several analytics apps on our webserver that record things like referral URLs, Hosts, Types etc etc. We can see exactly when we get a referral from a newsletter campaign, a facebook ad, GeekZone, PriceMe and PriceSpy etc etc. Anyone familiar with Google Analytics, Woopra etc will know how much stats and info you can gather. So, with these tools I decided to check back over a few months of data and noticed an interesting trend. The click throughs from PriceSpy are approx 20% more than what we are seeing from our own analytics software. I mentioned this to them, and they asked for some breakdowns which I provided. This was mid-November 2016. Heard nothing after 6 weeks so decided to follow-up. They replied that they had assumed their support person had contacted us which they hadnt. Anyway, last week I decided to check through Januarys click throughs on PriceSpy using our analytics app. Weird, no traffic at all from PriceSpy. But their website says otherwise - normal amounts of traffic. I keep checking and to my dismay, discover that on the 17th January all traffic from PriceSpy stopped. They have in same way masked their referrals so we can no longer monitor them. They now show up as 'no referrer' in our stats.

 

To me this is no coincidence considering the timing of my emails. It seems they do not want us having the ability to monitor their referrals. Now we have to believe their system with no way of checking them against our own analytics.

 

Dodgy much!?

 

This is akin to the power companies taking away our power meters so we have no way to check how much power we are using.

 

I cant actually see why PriceSpy would want to do this other than to cover up any indescrepencies.

 

Can they even legally do this?

 


TLDR
If you run a featured store on PriceSpy, double-check you are indeed getting the referral traffic you are paying for!


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jarledb
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  #1716721 7-Feb-2017 18:29
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Have PriceSpy been using SSL for a long time? You might be loosing referer information if they have switched to SSL but you have not.. Just one thing to check.

 

BTW: These kinds of services really should allow you to add an Analytics campaign tag, that would be helpful in gathering more information about the traffic they send your way..





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RexHavoc

100 posts

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  #1716724 7-Feb-2017 18:36
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jarledb:

 

Have PriceSpy been using SSL for a long time? You might be loosing referer information if they have switched to SSL but you have not.. Just one thing to check.

 

BTW: These kinds of services really should allow you to add an Analytics campaign tag, that would be helpful in gathering more information about the traffic they send your way..

 

 

Not sure about their SSL or if or how long they have been using it?? I asked them last week about the above so if its some kind of coincidence I'm sure they will point that out to me.

 

Just waiting on that reply of course.

 

 

 

Thanks


kobiak
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  #1716750 7-Feb-2017 19:43
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other things to consider:

 

- if your GA included at the top of the page (loaded before the content) or at the bottom. As their click event would be fired as soon as someone clicks the link, but you won't capture that if you load script at the bottom. Some of users on low speed internet won't load page content 5-10%

 

 - Another concern is adblockers extensions, some of these will block analytics :( not major but something along up to 5-10%

 

And there're other 2-3 points/issues I would investigate before blaming another analytics tools (pricespy clicks events in this case).

 

I work not directly but close to eComs team at huge online business and have access to GA and metrics results from different vendors could vary by big margin :(





helping others at evgenyk.nz




raytaylor
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  #1720354 15-Feb-2017 01:01
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My suggestion, send pricespy referrals to an intermedary page.

 

Eg.

 

Pricespy > www.yourwebsite.co.nz/referralpricespy.php 

 

Then have referralpricespy.php direct the customer to your website content page using some sort of redirect script with a countdown of 0 seconds. .

 

You can then count the visits as the visitors pass through the referral page. Disable google indexing on it do prevent any visitors not from pricespy from passing through it.

 

 

 

Also contact pricespy and tell them if they want to leave referral info off, then you are no longer a featured store and they will miss out on revenue from you. Remind them there are more profitable ways you can spend your marketing and with audit-able ventures is the only way your marketing budget can be spent.





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surfisup1000
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  #1720393 15-Feb-2017 08:41
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RexHavoc:
If you run a featured store on PriceSpy, double-check you are indeed getting the referral traffic you are paying for!

 

 

Interesting... normally it would be a suicidal business model to rip off customers, but since they seem to have cornered the NZ price comparison market it doesn't matter as the choice is binary. 

 

How do they retrieve the prices from stores? Some kind of data feed?   I ask because someone in a non-IT industry recently asked me about some kind of price consolidation data across his supplier chain.   

 

You do see some strange things too, such as prices that are way more expensive than the RRP. 


RexHavoc

100 posts

Master Geek


  #1720434 15-Feb-2017 10:05
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Well it seems PriceSpy did switch to SSL mid-January which is why we are no longer seeing their referrals, so that mystery has been solved and was just a coincidence.

 

The issue of the referrals sent vs referrals received still remains and we are still working with PriceSpy on this.

 

 

 

 

 

surfisup1000: We provide a datafeed for the price comparison websites to use.


jarledb
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  #1720694 15-Feb-2017 15:43
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RexHavoc: You can fix the referral problem you are seeing now by switching to SSL. Which I would recommend in any case. Especially if your host supports http/2.





Jarle Dahl Bergersen | https://keybase.io/jarledb - Referral Links: Buying a Tesla? Get free extras by using my referral code. - Want $50 off when you join Octopus Energy? Use this referral code.
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RexHavoc

100 posts

Master Geek


  #1720703 15-Feb-2017 15:48
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jarledb:

 

RexHavoc: You can fix the referral problem you are seeing now by switching to SSL. Which I would recommend in any case. Especially if your host supports http/2.

 

 

 

 

Yes. We are in the process of doing this. Thanks.

 

 

 

 


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