Solved – Subdomain tracking issue in Google Universal Analytics

Think you don’t need to configure Universal Analytics to track across subdomains?

Google’s documentation for Universal Analytics says you don’t. But, as Reaktor’s Simo Ahava writes, Google’s documentation is, well, wrong.

Fortunately, the fix is an easy one. Ahava recommends defaulting to using cookieDomain : auto in tracker settings.


Why should you care?

If your site includes subdomains and you haven’t configured Universal Analytics correctly, your session counts will be incorrect. If any of those subdomains are particularly popular, with visitors also going to your main site in the same session, then the discrepancies could be huge.

That’s because, unless Universal Analytics is configured correctly, visitors to your site who first arrive at a subdomain (such as will be issued a new cookie and Client ID when they go to your main site.

Setting up or converting to Universal Analytics is either straight forward or complex, depending on your requirements. If you are having difficulties let us know – we can help.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer & Mark Sceats

Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.