A company that does social media management for us (creates content, posts updates etc) uses a URL shortening service so they can give statistics in their dashboard about traffic from SM. They add a link in an update which links to the URL shortening service, which redirects to the website.

The shortning serice uses 310 redirests on the URLs.

e.g: The link on facebook/twiter might be http://wu.to/example which in turn 301 redirects straight to the website URL http://example.com/

However due to this it means we cannot view the traffic via the 'social' section on Google Analytics and I'm having a hard time finding any traffic that comes in via the URL shortening service URLs.

Does anybody know where I might find the traffic in GA? I presumed it would be in 'all referrals' section, but I cannot find anything in there, or elsewhere from http://wu.to/, which is the domain where the redirects are from.

Should GA be able to track traffic that has come in via redirects?

  • Updated question to include what type of redirection the shortener is using.
    – Max
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 4:13

2 Answers 2


First find out if their url shortening service uses 301 redirects, if they don't, use another service.
If you stay with them, add GA tracking parameters to your urls. You could create some "fancy" parameters values that perfectly identify visits that are coming through their service.
After adding parameters sent them your urls. With those parameters in place you will be able to see visits in GA > Acquisition > Campaigns, then filter by whatever you set in your parameters values.

From searchengineland, recommendations on what you should care about url shortening services. A little bit old, but still valid recommendations.
From SEO Moz, how do shortened links show up in GA.

An answer to a similar question.

#Edit 1#
From w3d's answer to similar question, linked above:

The URL shortening services bit.ly and tinyurl.com return a 301 Moved Permanently HTTP status - ie. a URL redirect. The browser then sends a new request to the new (ie. long) URL, passing the referer again. AFAIK this is the same for most mainstream URL shortening services.

Check http headers and GA cookies using Firebug and Live HTTP Headers for Firefox, look for Referrer header.
The article from SearchEngineLand recommends this tool for checking headers.


That would depend on how the URL shortening service is redirecting to your website. To test this open the real time analytics in GA. Then click a short URL your SM company posted with and see what the traffic source in real time is.

https://bitly.com/ uses a very good redirect which passes link juice. The analytics they have on their site are very good, and you can view the exact SM source in GA's Social area. Ask your social media marketing company to begin using https://bitly.com/

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