Optimizing feed clickthrough tracking

If you’ve activated link click tracking for your feed, and you’re a TotalStats customer, we offer two ways to rewrite your item links: one way is optimized for capturing the most comprehensive stats (this is the default), the other advanced option is targeted at those customers concerned about potential effects on search engine rankings of one link redirection type over another.

What’s the difference? How does it work? We’re glad you asked.

Optimize for complete item use statistics

Our default method for tracking item link clicks uses Temporary Redirects (that’s status code 302 for the HTTP-savvy). When an individual clicks an item in your feed, we record the click on our servers, then redirect them to the item link destination you specified in your feed.

This method records every click in your feed so the numbers reported on your Analyze tab are comprehensive.

Optimize for search engine ranking

Since search engines may in some cases favor Permanent (301) over Temporary (302) redirects, we offer TotalStats customers an alternate method for tracking item link clicks that uses Permanent redirects.

This method has one downside — some applications (web browsers, feed readers, proxies) will store the permanent redirected URL and as a result, subsequent item link clicks (after the initial one) from that client will not be counted.

Which one should I choose?

Most publishers should stick with the default, “Optimize for complete item use statistics.” The impact on search engines of changing is not at all certain, and the default guarantees the most accurate clickthrough statistics.