I finagled hosting a static site on Google App Engine at http://corbyhaas.com

The HTML when visiting the URL shows some meta information and a frame to the site's actual address: http://cody-static-sites.appspot.com/corbyhaas which has the content. This is done automagically by Google App Engine.

I've set up Google Analytics by including their script in my index.html, but the report shows 100% of visits coming from referring site "corbyhaas.com", which is useless information.

Has anyone set up Google Analytics for a static GAE site? Is there a setting in my Analytics dashboard I can tweak, or is this a hazard of using Google App Engine for static content? Also, while it's not relevant here (but could be for future sites), does GAE's method of showing only meta information with frames for static data affect SEO?

  • This isn't automagic...you just have your whole site in a <frame>
    – Yahel
    Nov 1 '11 at 3:25
  • @yahelc The whole site is in a frame, but I didn't put it there. Automagic.
    – Cody Hess
    Nov 12 '11 at 18:46
  • 1
    If you use iframes, you have to configure Google Analytics for cross domain tracking: code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/… Try it, it may work for frames as well.
    – Osvaldo
    Nov 13 '11 at 22:03

I don't think there is anything you can do about the referrer as it appears Google is generating the page which wraps the frame.

I personally recommend that you reconsider using Google App Engine if you want to host on your own domain. Your current arrangement is suboptimal from an SEO perspective. If you issue the following searches in Google:


You'll see that the page shows up twice in the search engine, which would count as duplicate content. It is strange Google would setup a website hosting service that is not SEO friendly.

There are many relatively low cost hosting solutions available that range around 5 to 10 dollars a month. They would give you much more control and allow you to consolidate your content under your main domain name.

Of course, I might be missing something, so others can comment as well.

I hope this helps.

  • I agree whole-heartedly. I'm proud of my noble experiment, but already planning to move this static site to Amazon S3 and to develop my future static sites there as well.
    – Cody Hess
    Nov 25 '11 at 20:55

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