Visiolink Server Downloads vs. Google Analytics Downloads

2019-09-26 12:43:09 UTC

Server Downloads

The Visiolink server will count the number of pages that are being downloaded (within a given time period). This number is then divided with the total number of pages in the specific publications. The number of downloads from the server log is an expression of entire downloaded publications. The process is the same for pages downloaded on e-pages and devices. Apps will always create 1 whole download, because they automatically download all pages in a publication. On desktop it is possible to only read half of the publication, and therefore, only create 0.5 download from the server.

The server log is the true number of publication downloads from the server.

Google Analytics

The Download is triggered every time a user opens a publication for the first time. Once the Download starts, the event will trigger. If the user opens the same newspaper again, it will not be downloaded. The only way to create a new download is if a previously unseen publication is opened or the user manually deletes the publication and downloads it again.

Because the user does not create a ‘Download’ on Desktop, we have created a metric to mimic the download action. The metric sets a cookie for an opened newspaper that remains in the local storage for 30 days. The user will therefore not trigger a download on a publication unless they have not opened it in the past 30 days.

It is important to remember that users can choose to disable tracking. If users choose to disable tracking, then the download event will not be recorded. 

The two different counts of downloads cause a natural discrepancy between downloads from Visiolink's server logs and the Download Event in Google Analytics. Both figures are correct but they are based on different counting methods.

Example 1

If a publication of 50 pages is opened and page 1 is read by 50 people, Visiolink's server log will count this as 1 download. In Google Analytics the Download Event will track 50 downloads, since the publication has been downloaded by 50 different users. 

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