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Saturday, 2 July 2016

Google Introduced "My Activity" Page That Shows All The Things You Do Online

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Google My Activity


As we know Google always comes with something new. This time Google has introduced a page called My Activity that shows the activity you do online. Actually, it shows the activities that are collected when your browse through Google or its services. Google’s new My Activity page also shows all the search performed using various devices since it is linked to your Google account.

Google had also shared what type of information it saves which includes searches and other things you do on Google products and services, like search and Maps. It even saves your connection information that includes location, language and whether you use a browser or an app. It also keeps information regarding ads that you respond to by clicking the ad itself or purchasing something on the advertiser’s site. It also records your IP address.

Apart from all this Google also keep records of all your chrome browsing history, Websites and apps you use and the data they share with Google. Your activity on websites and in apps that use any Google service. Google said “When Web & App Activity is on and you check the box next to Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services,”

Users can now control what’s being saved by Google, and can manage them according to their wishes. They can delete their past searches and browsing activity etc. Google said: “You’re in control of what’s saved, and you can delete your past searches and browsing activity or turn off Web & App Activity at any time.

Google My Activity
Google - My Activity


My Activity is a really a great tool for anyone with a Google account. However, the important point to be noted here is when you use all these free apps and services of Google, you are actually giving up your personal data to do it.

So, check your activity page now.

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Monday, 9 May 2016

[How To] Remotely Access Another Computer

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Remotely Access Another Computer


Remote connection to another computer is the best way to transfer and receive the data between computers. Remote connections are commonly made using internet connection. By remote connections, we can easily control each and everything on another computer.

We can obtain all files even we can copy files from one computer to another computer remotely further we can shut down and can have admin entrance to that computer. With the good internet connection, it feels like we are really working on another computer. We can also chat with another PC user With Remote Computer Access. In this post, we will tell you the best methods to Remotely Access Another Computer.

How To Remotely Access Another Computer From Your Computer



Method 1: Remote Computer Access Using Google Chrome


Step 1. First Download the extension Chrome Remote Access in your Google Chrome.

chrome remote desktop


Step 2. Now this app will get added to your chrome and you can see it at right uppermost corner. Click on it and click continue.

chrome remote access extension


Now it will ask to allow access to data, proceed with allowing access to it.

chrome remote desktop allow access


Step 3. Now it will ask you to connect to another computer or share your computer. Now if you click on share this computer then it will generate a code.

Remote Computer Access Using Google Chrome


Step 4. Send the code to the partner by whom you want to accessed your computer. Note that other computer must have the same app installed on its computer. Now your partner will enter his code and your desktop will get the share to him exactly same as you can see yours.

Remote Computer Access Using Google Chrome


Step 5. By this anyone having access code can access your computer remotely and even you can
access someone else’s computer by having access code of it.

Method 2: Using Team Viewer


Team Viewer is very popular software to access any computer remotely.

Features Of Team Viewer:


  • Remote Computer Access
  • Text Chatting with partner
  • Video Calling
  • Remote File Transfer
  • Screenshot Capturing
  • Lock computer screen


Steps To Remote Computer Access Using Team Viewer.

Step 1. Download and install Team Viewer software in your computer. Your computer must be connected to the internet.

Step 2.  Now it will display User Id and Password. If you want your partner to access your computer then send him/her your user id and password.

Remote Computer Access Using Team Viewer


Step 3. If you want to access someone’s computer then get the User Id and password of Team Viewer of that computer. Now click on Connect To partner and type User Id of partner and then it will ask for the password. Fill in the password and press Enter.

Remote Computer Access Using Team Viewer


Step 4. Now it will start connecting your computer to another computer and finally, you can remotely access any computer. By this method, you can undoubtedly have remote access over another computer.

Method 3. Using Remote Desktop Connection


With Remote Desktop Connection, you can connect to a computer running Windows from another computer running Windows which is connected to the same network or to the Internet. For example, you can use all of your work computer’s programs, files, and network resources from your home computer, and it’s just like you’re sitting in front of your computer at work.

How To Use Remote Desktop Connection?

Step 1. You need to browse My Computer>Properties>Advance system settings.

Remote Computer Access Using Remote Desktop


Step 2. Now select the tab named “Remote” and then make sure to enable the option of “Allow connections only for computer running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication“.

Remote Computer Access Using Remote Desktop


Step 3. Now whenever your family members or you want to work on your computer from different locations you need to open Remote Desktop and have to enter the Name or IP Address of your own computer.

Remote Computer Access Using Remote Desktop


That’s it now you can easily access your computer from anywhere all you just need is to enable the inbuilt function of windows named Remote Desktop Connection.

Remote Computer Access Using Remote Desktop


So these are the methods to have Remote Computer Access. By connecting remotely, you can control your friend’s, employee and any of other’s computer and can even solve their problems by just sitting in front of your computer. You can also have Text Chatting and Video Calling by these methods. I hope you like this post.
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Thursday, 5 May 2016

[How To] Download Instagram Photos & Videos On Android Devices

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Instagram is the fastest growing social platform that allows you to share your photos and videos. There might be some cases when you want to access a video when you are offline. So, here is the method to download Instagram photos and videos on your android device. Generally, Instagram allows you to only watch these videos and photos but does not permit you to download them. So, it creates a big problem if you want to download Instagram photos and videos. So, if you are searching for how to download Instagram videos and photos on android devices, then you are at the right place.

How to Download Instagram Photos And Videos On Android Devices



There are so many apps available for android to download Instagram photos and videos. However, the question arises that which one is the best application to download photos and videos? Here I’m going to share the top two apps to download Instagram photos and videos.

Using Instagetter


InstaGetter is a utility app, which helps to download images and videos from PUBLIC profile in a fast and easy way. Moreover, the offline videos can be viewed in a built-in player with looping mode. So, we have mentioned some simple steps which would help you in setting up Instagetter :

Step 1. First of all, download the Instagetter and install it your android device.

Instagetter - How to Download Instagram Photos And Videos On Android


Step 2. Now open your Instagram app and open the video/photo which you want to download. Now you have to copy the URL of the Instagram videos/photo which you want to download. For this click on right corner button as shown in below screenshot and the copy share URL.

Instagetter 2 - How to Download Instagram Photos And Videos On Android


Step 3. Now just open the Instagetter app and paste the copied URL into the app.

Instagetter - How to Download Instagram Photos And Videos On Android


Step 4. The app will check the URL and open the thumbnail of the valid video or photo.

Instagetter 4 - How to Download Instagram Photos And Videos On Android


Step 5. Now tap on download to start download Instagram photos and videos on android.

Instagetter Save Photos


Also Read: Top 12 Google Chrome Tips & Tricks

Using InstaSave


InstaSave allows you to download Instagram photos to your device memory, allowing you to see them anytime, anywhere. Let’s know how to use Instasave.

Step 1. You need to download Instasave and sign in with your Instagram account. You need to find an image that you want to save.

Instasave - Select Images


Step 2. Now click on the save button which is located on the top right of the screen.

Instasave - Save Photos


That’s it you can now see your saved photos in your Gallery. This is the easiest method out there if you want to save any Instagram photos.

Also Read: [How To] do Reverse Google Image Search on Your Mobile Phone

There are some similar apps available in the play store to download Instagram photos and videos on your android, but Instagetter and InstaSave are best amongst all. Now you can download your desired photos and videos from Instagram by using these two apps. Hope you like the post. Share it with your friends too!
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Top 12 Google Chrome Tips & Tricks

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Hey friends! It's been a long time since my last post. But don't worry as good things come to those who wait! and I'm sure that this post is worth waiting because in this post I'm gonna share some good Google Chrome Tips & Tricks that you must know about.

Chrome is one of the most used web browser developed by tech giant Google. Since the release of Google Chrome on 2008 it has become so useful and handy for its users and developers as well. It comes with many useful and interesting features; extension is one of them. Extensions make it happen that a pure web browser can't. I have been using Chrome for several years and I love its UI and browsing speed.
There is a lot of things that people don't know about Chrome. These tips and tricks can enhance your browsing experience on Chrome.


Google Chrome Tips & Tricks

1. Fast Calculations

Very few people know that you can do fast calculations with Google Chrome browser. Chrome has the capability to do these fast calculations without leaving current tab. For instance, if I search "5 kg in grams", it shows instant result. Check screenshot below:




2. Prevent from Hanging

Hanging is a bigger issue for low configured computers. When you run multiple tabs and extensions at a time, they require your computer’s RAM and CPU to run. If your computer’s hardware configuration is low and you are opening multiple tabs, then it might hang.



Chrome has its own task manager which shows currently running processes in it. You can view the task manager by going Menu >> More Tools >> Task manager . Or, you can directly open it by pressing Shift + Esc  button. Here you can manage all processes and kill them by using the "End Process" button. If you browser is hanged, then you can easily close its tabs by opening your computer’s task manager. In task manager, it shows all different tasks of different processes which are easy to manage.


3. Store and Access Your Information Anywhere

Every day you use chrome to browse the Internet and many times you save your favorite pages as a bookmark. Chrome also saves your passwords, autofill, history and many more. If you want to access this information on another computer, then how you can do it?



You can easily synchronize your information like Apps, Extensions, Settings, Autofill, History, Themes, Bookmarks, Passwords and open tabs with your Google account. You just need to sign in on Chrome with your Google to synchronize all data. To manage the sync, go to Chrome Menu >> Settings >> Advanced sync settings


4. Use as a PDF Reader / Media Player

You don't need any third party software to read PDF files if you have Chrome installed on your computer as Chrome has inbuilt PDF reader in it. Chrome browser can be used as Media Player also. Chrome as a media player is not a better option to play media files but yeah you can use it any situation when you don't have any good media player installed on your PC e.g. In a cyber cafe. 
Just drag you media file on Chrome and it’ll play instantly. It supports many videos as well as audio files. You can also use it as an image viewer. This is one of my favorite Chrome Tips & Tricks.


5. Save Browsing Session

Suppose, you are searching on a specific topic for your project. You searched on Google and open many tabs for reading or taking notes. At a time, it is not possible to perform all tasks for your project. Therefore, you want to save all the current tabs as a bookmark for further reference. What will you do?



You just add one by one tab as a bookmark or you can save the current session on a single folder. To do so, click on Menu >> Bookmarks >> Bookmark open pages. Now give a name to the current session and click Save button to add all currently opened pages on a folder.
It’ll appear as a folder on the bookmark list. To open all pages at once, right-click on that folder and select “Open all bookmarks” option.

6. Enable Guest Browsing


Suppose, one of your friends borrow your laptop for browsing, then he or she could access all information you saved on the Chrome, like bookmarks, history, passwords, etc. These are your private and sensational data, that no one should know.



But, don’t worry about it. Chrome allows the users add multiple user accounts on it. In order to add a new account, click on Menu >> Settings, and on the “People” section, tick on “Enable Guest browsing” and click on “Add person” button to add a new account. In this way, you can prevent others to access your personal information.

7. Instant Dictionary and Translator


This one of the useful Google chrome tips and tricks I really like. While reading an article, many times we need the dictionary to find the meaning of different words. You can Google it for those word meanings or use a dictionary. But, they take time and distract you from reading.



In this case you can you two useful extensions; Google Dictionary and Instant Translate. If your native language is English, then use Google Translate. But, if you want to translate a word or phrase to your local language, the Instant Translate would better.

8. One Click History


This is a quick feature to see the last visited links on a tab. While you are browsing, if you want to check all those visited links on this particular tab quickly, then just click on the Back button for a while. It’ll show you only the links that have been visited on this tab. To see all the history, click on “Show Full History” option on it.

9. Speed up Chrome Browsing


Among all these Google chrome tips and tricks, this is the most searched query on the Internet. If your Internet connection is slow and you are not able to browse all pages, then this could solve your problem. There is an extension named Data Saver made by Google, which allows you to browse faster with chrome.
Install this tiny extension on your browser and enable it. It compresses all web elements to provide a faster web experience. This is the best feature for low bandwidth Internet users. You can do the same on your mobile to speed up Chrome browser for Android.

10. Chrome Remote Desktop


You can remotely access one computer from another even from an Android device with a great extension from Google called Chrome Remote Desktop. There are many third-party software available on the market to access a computer remotely, but you can’t use it on your mobile. This is very useful for both mobile and computer users.



You’ll need to install the extension from the Chrome Web Store onto any system you’ll be accessing, and also set up a security PIN.

11. Hidden Game on Chrome


Everyone knows about the T-Rex dinosaur that shows up when your computer is not connected to the Internet. The dinosaur image on the Chrome is not only an image; it’s a game and another best Google Chrome tips and tricks. You can play this game on both your computer and android devices.



When the chrome browser is offline on your computer, just press the Spacebar on the computer keyboard. It’ll start running. You can use the spacebar, up and down arrow to control the dinosaur. In case, of Android, switch to airplane mode and tap one the chrome window to begin the game. You need to tap on the screen to jump or fly the dinosaur.


12. Remote Debugging/Inspecting Websites/Devices


Inspect element is the Google Chrome's one of the best option. But, what if we want to inspect a website on Android mobile devices, then there is solution for you that is provided none other than Google. Google Chrome has option to inspect element the website on mobile. To inspect element websites on Android mobile devices follow the steps mentioned below:

Requirements
To begin remote debugging, you need:

  1. Chrome 32 or later installed on your development machine.
  2. A USB cable to connect your Android device.
  3. Android 4.0+ and Chrome for Android.



On your computer, the chrome://inspect page displays every connected device, along with its open tabs and debug-enabled WebViews. For step-by-step follow guide read Google's own article on Remote Debugging.


These were the Top 12 Google Chrome Tips & Tricks. Hope you'll like them. I'll keep this post updated when I'll get to know about some more interesting Google Chrome Tips & Tricks. Thank you! :)
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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Google Analytics Cookies Explained

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Background information about Cookies

Q1. What is a Cookie?


Cookie is a text file which is used to:


  • store information about users’s preferences, location and other details.
  • protect users’ data from unauthorized access.
  • maintain certain websites’ functionality
  • serve personalize ads to users and to make advertising more effective.
  • collect Google Analytics data and other tracking data.


Q2. What are the different types of cookies used?


There are two types of cookies:


  1. First Party Cookies
  2. Third Party Cookies

First party cookies are issued by the website being visited and only the website which issued the first party cookie can read the cookie. Third party cookies are issued by the website(s) other than the website being visited.


Q3. Where are the cookies stored?


Cookies are stored on users’ hard disk.



Q4. Can a visitor disable some or all types of cookies?


Yes.

Q5. Can cookies be set with or without expiration date?


Yes.

Q6. What is a temporary cookie?


Temporary cookies are cookies without expiration date. They expire as soon as you end the web session or close the browser window.

Q7. What is a persistent cookie?


Persistent cookies are the cookies with expiration date. They remain on your computer even when you have ended the web session or closed your browser window. They can be read by the website that created them on return visits.


Q8. Can you determine exact number of visitors who have cookies enabled or disabled?


No.



Q9. What happens if you try to create a cookie which already exists?


In that case the original cookie is overwritten.



Q10. What types of cookies are set by Google?


Google set different types of cookies for different purposes. Following are the type of cookies set by Google on a user’s hard disk:


  • Preference cookie (called PREF) – used to store users’ preferences (like preferred language or any type of customization).
  • Security cookies (like ‘SID’ and ‘HSID’) –  used to protect users’ data from unauthorized access.
  • Process cookies (like ‘lbcs’) – used to maintain certain websites’ functionality
  • Advertising cookies (like ‘id’) – used to serve personalize ads to users and to make advertising more effective
  • Conversion cookies – used to track users’s interaction with ads.
  • Analytics cookies (like _utma, _utmb, _ga etc) – used to collect Google Analytics data.



Google Analytics and Cookies


Q1. What types of cookies are set by Google Analytics?


Google Analytics mainly set first party cookies. But it can also set third party cookies (DoubleClick cookies), if a website is using Google Analytics’ display advertiser features, such as re-marketing.



Q2. How Google Analytics decides which cookies to use?


GA uses cookies based on the JavaScript library being used.

Google Analytics support three types of JavaScript libraries for tracking website usage data:


  • urchin.js (oldest version of GA tracking code, now deprecated)
  • ga.js (used in Classic Google Analytics)
  • analytics.js (used in Universal Analytics)



Q3.Why Google Analytics need cookies?


GA needs cookies to store information about a visitors’ web session.



Q4.How Google Analytics uses cookies?


GA either creates or update a cookie to store the visitor’s information it has collected.

Note: GA does not store any personally identifiable information in its cookies.



Q5. Which first party cookies are set by Google Analytics on a visitor’s hard disk?


Google Analytics can set up to 5 first party cookies:


  1. _utma (unique visitor cookie)
  2. _utmb (session cookie)
  3. _utmz (Campaign cookie)
  4. _utmv (visitor segmentation cookie)
  5. _utmx (Google Analytics Content Experiment cookie)

Note: There is one more cookie which Google Analytics set on a visitor’s hard disk. This cookie is known as _utmc cookie. Google Analytics doesn’t use this cookie any more for ga.js JavaScript library.



Q6. When the Google Analytics cookies expire?


Following cookies expire after 2 years from the last time your visitor visited the site: _utma , _utmv  and _utmx.

_utmb cookie expires after 30 minutes of inactivity on a website or  at the end of a day.

_utmc cookie expires as soon as you close the browser window.

_utmz  cookie expires after 6 months from the last time your visitor visited the site.



Q7. Which Google Analytics Cookies are persistent and which are temporary?


All of the Google Analytics cookies are persistent except the _utmc cookie which is a temporary cookie.



Q8. Does Google Analytics set different set of cookies when you return to a website via another web browser?


Yes. This is because all cookies are browser specific.



Q9. When cookies are created /set up by Google Analytics?


Cookies are created as soon as you visit a website on which Google Analytics tracking code is installed.



Q10. How you can view the various cookies set by Google Analytics when you visit a website?


Step-1: Click the Chrome menu button on the browser toolbar and then select Settings:



Scroll down the page and then click on the link ‘Show Advanced Settings:


Step-2: In the “Privacy” section, click on the ‘Content settings’ button:


Step-3: In the “Cookies” section, click on ‘All Cookies and site data’:




You will now see a dialogue box like the one below:


Step-4: Click on a website name to see all the cookies set by it:




You can now see the cookies set up by Google Analytics on your hard disk.

Note: You can use the above method to see all the cookies (not just Google Analytics cookies) set up by a website on your hard disk.



Q11. What is _utma cookie?


GA uses this cookie to identify unique visitors.



Q12. How you can interpret the _utma cookie?



Domain Hash => This number represents the domain which set up the cookies.  All Google Analytics cookies set by a particular domain have same domain hash.

Random Unique ID => This is the second number which is randomly generated.

Timestamps => The next three numbers are timestamps which represent the time of initial visit, beginning of previous session and beginning of current session. All these three numbers also represent the number of seconds elapsed since Jan 1, 1970.

Session Counter => The last number is the session counter. It is incremented each time a visitor starts a new session.



Q13. How Google Analytics define visitor as unique?


Google analytics assign unique ID to each visitor on your website. This ID is called the visitor ID and it is made up of random unique ID and the first time stamp (also known as the time of initial visit).


 Note: If you look at the three timestamps above, you will notice that they all are same.



Q14. What does all the same timestamps in the _utma cookie tells you?


It tells you that this is your first visit to the website.



Q15. How you can reset your session counter in _utma cookie to 1?


You can do this by deleting all the Google Analytics cookies or by using a different web browser or computer to return to a website.



Q16. Can you change the expiration date of _utma cookie?


Yes through _setVisitorCookieTimeout() method.

This method is used to change the expiration date of _utma cookie. By default, _utma cookie expires after 2 years. But you can set it to expire after 1 week or any time you want to.

For example:

_gaq.push([‘_setVisitorCookieTimeout’, 604800000]);

Here _setVisitorCookieTimeout() method sets _utma cookie to expire after 604800000 milliseconds or 1 week.

Note: Use a search query like ‘1 week in milliseconds’ on Google to convert any time into milliseconds.



Q17. Can you set the _utma cookie to expire as soon as the browser window is closed?


Yes. For this set the expiration timeout of the _setVisitorCookieTimeout() method  to 0. For e.g.

_gaq.push([‘_setVisitorCookieTimeout’, 0]);



Q18. What is _utmb cookie?


GA uses this cookie to identify a web session and to store information about the session.

When your visitor loads a web page, the Google analytics tracking code check for _utmb cookie on the visitor’s hard disk. If this cookie is missing then Google Analytics treats the session as a new session and creates a new _utmb cookie. If the cookie is already present than Google Analytics update the cookie to expire in 30 minutes.

Note: Web session is also known as visit.



Q19. When _utmb cookie expires?


1. This cookie automatically expire after 30 minutes of its set-up provided a visitor does not navigate to other pages on the website. If the visitor navigates to other pages of the website within 30 minutes then the cookie is automatically updated to expire after another 30 minutes.

2. The _utmb cookie expires at the end of a day or when a visitor returns to the website via a different traffic source value (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_content, utm_term, utm_id or gclid) even within the 30 minutes time frame.

For example if a visitor come to your website via a PPC ad and then later return to the website via organic search listing then his second visit will start a new web session even if 30 minutes have not elapsed between the two page views/visits.

Note: _utmb cookie does not expire if the visitor closes the browser window or navigate to other websites within the 30 minutes time frame.



Q20. When Google Analytics end a web session?


when _utmb cookie has expired.



Q21. How a web session can be longer than 30 minutes when _utmb cookie expires after 30 minutes?


Whenever a visitor navigates to other page of a website, Google Analytics updates the _utmb cookie to expire after 30 minutes. So as long as the visitor doesn’t stay on a web page for more than 30 minutes and continue to navigate other pages of the website, the _utmb cookie will not expire and hence the web session will not terminate.



Q22. How you can interpret the _utmb cookie?



Q23. Can you change the session time out length (which is usually 30 minutes) to anything you want?


Yes you can. Use the _setSessionCookieTimeout() method in your Google Analytics tracking code.

This method is used to specify when the session should time out in milliseconds.

1 millisecond = 0.001 seconds

Syntax:  _gaq.push([‘_setSessionCookieTimeout’, 100000]);

Here you are telling Google Analytics to end a web session in 100000 milliseconds or 100 seconds.

Note:  Avoid using this method as it can considerably increase or decrease the number of visits reported by Google Analytics. It can also skew all those metrics which use visits in its calculations.



Q24. Can you set the _utmb cookie to expire as soon as the browser window is closed?


Yes. For this set the expiration timeout of the _setSessionCookieTimeout() method to 0. For e.g.

_gaq.push([‘_setSessionCookieTimeout’, 0]);



Q25. What is _utmz cookie?


It is a campaign cookie which is used by Google Analytics to store campaign information.

The campaign information is stored in campaign variables.Following are the campaign variables supported by Google Analytics:


  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_term
  • utm_content


Q26. How you can interpret the _utmz cookie?



Domain Hash – The first number in the _utmz cookie is the domain hash which represents the website that set up the cookie on visitor’s hard disk.

Time stamp – The second number  in the _utmz cookie is a timestamp.

Session Number – The third number in the _utmz cookie  is the session number which is incremented every time a visitor starts a new session. For example: from the image above we can see that this is the 8th session of the visitor.

Note: For every new session the campaign cookie values gets overwritten with new value.

Campaign number – The fourth number in the _utmz cookie is the campaign number. This number is incremented every time a visitor arrives at your website via a different campaign even within the same session. From the image above we can see that the visitors arrived on my website via 6 different campaigns.

Campaign Tracking values –  The last number in the _utmz cookie contains information about the campaign which resulted in the current visit.

utmcsr = >It represents campaign source and stores the value of utm_source variable. For example, from the image above we can see that the campaign source for the current visit is Google.

utmccn = >It represents campaign name and stores the value of utm_campaign variable. For example, from the image above we can see that the campaign name for the current visit is organic.

utmcmd = >It represents campaign medium and stores the value of utm_medium variable. For example, from the image above we can see that the campaign medium for the current visit is organic.

utmctr = >It represents campaign term (keyword) and stores the value of utm_term variable. For example, from the image above we can see that the campaign term for the current visit is seotakeaways.

utmcct = >It represents campaign content and stores the value of utm_content variable.

So in short the visitor clicked on my search engine listing for the keyword ‘seotakeaways’ via Google Organic search.

Note: once Google Analytics read the _utmz cookie it sends the campaign information to the Google Analytics server which then sends the data to analytics reports.



Q27. How the content of the campaign cookie _utmz will look like if you visit the following URL:


http://idigitalorbis.blogspot.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=web-analytics&utm_content=st-brand-1&utm_campaign=brand


The campaign cookie will look like this:


Q28. How you can see the campaign information collected by _utmz cookie in your Google Analytics reports?


Check the  ‘campaigns’ report under ‘Acquisition’ menu (not the Google Adwords campaigns report) in your Google Analytics account.



Q29. The _utmz cookie has a 6 months time out. What does that means?


It means Google Analytics attribute visit to a campaign for up to 6 months or until the campaign cookie value is overwritten with another value.



Q30. Can you change the campaign cookie time out length?


Yes you can. Use the _setCampaignCookieTimeout() method in your Google Analytics tracking code. This method is used to specify when campaign cookie expiration should time out in milliseconds.

1 millisecond = 0.001 seconds

Syntax:  _gaq.push([‘_setCampaignCookieTimeout’, 100000]);

Here you are telling Google Analytics to delete the campaign cookie (_utmz) after 100 seconds.




Q31. Can you set the _utmz cookie to expire as soon as the browser window is closed?


Yes. For this set the expiration timeout of the _setCampaignCookieTimeout’ () method to 0. For e.g.

_ gaq.push([‘_setCampaignCookieTimeout’, 0]);



Q32. What is _utmv cookie and how can you set it on a visitor’s hard disk?


This is a visitor segmentation cookie which is used by Google Analytics to identify a visitor  as male, female, member, non member, signed in or signed out visitors, pro-member, pro++ member, employee, non-employee etc.

To set this cookie you need to use the _setCustomVar() method in your Google Analytics tracking code.

Syntax: _setCustomVar(index, name, value, opt_scope)

Example: _gaq.push([‘_setCustomVar’, 1, ‘visitor-type’, ‘pro-member’, 3]);



Q33. How you can interpret _utmv cookie?



From the cookie above we can determine that the visitor is a pro member.



Q34. When _utmv cookie is set up by Google Analytics on a visitor’s hard disk?


This cookie is set up only when Google Analytics tracking code call the _setCustomVar() method and the javascript library used is ga.js.



Q35. What is _utmx cookie?


It is Google Analytics Content Experiment cookie which is used for A/B testing of different versions of a web page.



Universal Analytics and Cookies


Q1. What types of cookies are set by universal analytics?


Universal Analytics set a single first party cookie called ‘_ga’



Q2. Why universal analytics need cookie?


Universal Analytics (UA) does not really need any cookie to collect data. It can collect data even without any cookie through analytics.js JavaScript library and through the measurement protocol.



Q3. Why analytics.js uses only one cookie?


In order to significantly reduce the number and size of cookies that are sent.



Q4. What is _ga cookie?


It is the only cookie used by UA to store information about visitors, sessions and campaigns.



Q5. When _ga cookie is created?


As soon as you visit a website on which Universal Analytics tracking code is installed.



Q6. How you can create _ga cookie?


By creating a tracking object through ‘create’ command.

Syntax: ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’);



Q7. What are the various attributes of _ga cookie?


_ga cookie has got following attributes:


  1. Cookie name – which is obviously ‘_ga’ by default.
  2. Cookie domain – it is the domain at which the cookie is set up. By default the _ga cookie is set on the top level domain. So if you have set cookie at top level domain like www.example.com then the cookie domain would be ‘example.com’.  (without ‘www.’ Prefix)
  3. Cookie Path – it is the path at which the cookie is set up. By default the _ga cookie is set on the top level domain with the root level (/) path.
  4. Cookie Expires – It is the time in seconds after which the _ga cookie will expire. By default _ga cookie expires after 2 years from the data it was last refreshed.



Q8. In case of the domains www.example.com, fun.example.com, more.fun.example.com which is the highest domain level (or top level domain)?


 It is ‘example.com’

‘www.example.com’ and ‘fun.example.com’ are the second highest domain levels and ‘more.fun.example.com’ is the third highest domain level.

Note: analytics.js cannot set up cookie at ‘.com’ level.



Q9. How you can modify _ga cookie?


By changing the attributes of _ga cookie.

For example by changing the cookie name, by changing the cookie domain, cookie path and/or cookie expiry date.

Note: Google recommends not to directly access the _ga cookie as the cookie format might change without warning which could lead to script errors and incorrect data.



Q10. How you can rename the _ga cookie to say ‘Amit’?


ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieName’: ‘Amit’,});



Q11. How you can set the _ga cookie at sub domain level like sub.example.com?


ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘sub.example.com’,});



Q12. How you can end up setting an incorrect value for ‘cookie domain’?


By using a cookie domain which is not the ancestor of the current domain.

For example, if the current domain is ‘sub.example.com’ then you can set the cookie at ‘example.com’ as ‘example.com’ can be considered as an ancestor of ‘sub.example.com’. But you can’t set cookie on some other website say example.com.

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘example.com’,}); // correct

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘newexample.com’,}); // incorrect



Q13. What happens when you set an incorrect value for ‘cookie domain’?


The _ga cookie will not set.




Q14. How you can modify the _ga cookie path from the default ‘/’ to say ‘/lib’?


ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookiePath’: ‘/lib/’});

Note: Google does not recommend changing the cookie path.



Q15. How you can set the _ga cookie to expire after 1 second?


ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieExpires’: 1});



Q16. What happens when you set the _ga cookie to expire after 0 second?


ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieExpires’: 0});

In this case the cookie turns into a session based cookie and expires once the current browser session ends.




Q17. How you can set _ga cookie on a local host?


By setting the value of ‘cookie domain’ to ‘none’. For example:

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, ‘none’);



Q18. When you should disable _ga cookie?


When you want to send data directly to Universal Analytics servers without using any cookie.



Q19. How you can disable _ga cookie?


By disabling the cookie storage.

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘storage’: ‘none’,’clientId’: ‘35009a79-1a05-49d7-b876-2b884d0f825b’

});

Note: you have to supply your own clientId



Q20. How you can retrieve the clientId value?


Through ‘get’ command. For example:

ga(function(tracker) {var clientId = tracker.get(‘clientId’);});



Q21. Does deleting _ga cookie and then returning to your website means, you will be labelled as a new visitor by Universal Analytics?


There is no guarantee because UA does not need to rely only on ‘_ga’ cookie for collecting data and can collect visitor information through other methods like measurement protocol.



Q22. How you can track traffic across all sub domains in case of Universal Analytics?


By default you can track traffic across all sub domains in Universal Analytics. This is accomplished by configuring tracking objects to set cookies at the highest domain possible (which is a default setting anyways).

For example, if you have a website with 3 subdomains: one.example.com, two.example.com and three.example.com, you would configure their tracking objects as follows:

// Configuration for one.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘example.com’});



// Configuration for two.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘example.com’});



// Configuration for three.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’, {‘cookieDomain’: ‘example.com’});



Q23. How you can configure tracking objects to automatically set cookies at the highest domain possible (top level domain)?


By using the auto parameter.

For example, if you have a website with 3 subdomains: one.example.com, two.example.com and three.example.com, you could configure their tracking objects as follows:

// Configuration for one.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’,’auto’);



// Configuration for two.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’,’auto’);



// Configuration for three.example.com

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’,’auto’);



Q24. How _ga cookie is able to work for all sub domains of your website?


This is because by default _ga cookie is set at the top level domain.



Q25. How Universal Analytics define visitor as unique?


UA assign unique ID to each visitor on your website. This ID is called the ‘user ID’ (or client ID). The user id is made up of random unique ID and the first time stamp.



Q26. What is the biggest drawback of _ga cookie?


You can’t dig out session or campaign specific data from _ga cookie as all of these calculations happen in the backend on UA servers.



Q27. How you can view the _ga cookie set by Universal Analytics when you visit a website and how you can interpret it?


The process of viewing the cookie is same as it is in case of GA. You can view the cookies through chrome advanced settings:


_ga cookie is made up of 4 fields:


First field is version number (GA1). It seems to be fixed at the moment and may change if the cookies format changes in the future

The second field is number of components at the domain separated by dot. By default the _ga cookie is set on the top level domain with the root level (/) path.



The third field is random unique ID (randomly generated number).

The fourth field is first time stamp i.e. the time when the cookie was first for the user.


That's all about Google Analytics Cookies. You know more? Share in the comments! :)
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