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- Eric Fettman


Set the Default Page in Your Profiles

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The Default Page setting can help to consolidate pageviews of your home page in Google Analytics.

When a visitor requests a URL that does not contain a filename and does not match a URL in your content management system, most Web servers look for a default filename in the root directory of the website or the corresponding subdirectory.

For instance, if you enter the following URL into your Web browser:

   http://www.gatipoftheday.com

the Web server actually delivers:

   http://www.gatipoftheday.com/index.php

Whether you access the page directly as www.gatipoftheday.com or maybe click an internal link to www.gatipoftheday.com/index.php, you’re seeing the same page.

Depending on the type of Web server and its configuration, the default page could also be designated as default.aspx, index.jsp, default.cfm, index.htm, and so forth.

What’s important to remember is that Google Analytics does not automatically consolidate the two different forms of the URL. In the Content reports, by default:

   /

would appear separately from:

   /index.php

The same would apply for subdirectories, such that:

   /mysubdirectory

would appear separately from:

   /mysubdirectory/index.php

It’s generally more useful to merge these two forms of the URL into a single Page value in Google Analytics, so that, for example, all requests for / and /subdirectory/ would appear consolidated with the actual requests for /index.php and /subdirectory/index.php respectively. To accomplish this, you only need to specify the Default page in each profile’s settings.

As a related note, the Default Page setting does not in any way canonicalize URL variations to avoid page duplication issues for search engine optimization; it consolidates URLs only within Google Analytics and not in search engines.

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