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No Pages Showing in Content Reports other than /

If you use the Google-hosted ga.js version of the code to make GIF hits to your local webserver for processing in Urchin, you may have noticed that, recently, Urchin is not showing any pages other than / in the Top Content report or other Content reports within Urchin (look at 9/21/2009, for example). This is due to a change in ga.js which automatically encodes all query values, specifically the utmp value. If you use any version of urchin.js, this issue does not apply to you.

Update (20090924): Google has announced that Urchin 6.6.02 will contain a fix for this issue.

What is the UTMP value used for?

The UTMP value in the query string is what Urchin and Google Analytics use as the page in the content reports. When you take a look at Top Content, for example, each page is a unique utmp value that was sniffed out of the query string. When either urchinTracker() or pageTracker._trackPageview() are called with empty parenthesis, this value is just the page that is displayed in the user's URL bar. When a virtual pageview is made, e.g. pageTracker._trackPageview('/my/page'), the value passed to the method is stored in this utmp value.

What does this have to do with my problem?

After a recent change in ga.js, All query values are being encoded. This means, instead of reading utmp=/my/page, the hit in the log will contain utmp=%2Fmy%2Fpage. In order to process a __utm.gif hit, Urchin requires the utmp value to begin with a decoded forward-slash (/). Therefore, Urchin will ignore all of your hits, but may, for some reason, show some as just a forward-slash.

Short-term Solution

Until this issues gets worked out within Urchin itself, Actual Metrics has developed a script that will run through your log files and decode all utmp values found. This script must run against your log files prior to Urchin reading them in order to be effective. So, if you have Urchin set to process logs every morning at 2am, you must be sure the logs have already been processed with this script by that time.

Run the script as such: utmpdecode -i INPUT

-i INPUT: Script input. May be a directory, exact filename, filename with date substitution (YYYY,YY,MM,DD), and/or filename with wildcard (*) at the END ONLY. Logs must be uncompressed.

Linux Examples:
./utmpdecode -i /logs/
./utmpdecode -i /logs/YYYYMMDD*
./utmpdecode -i /logs/YYYYMMDD.log

Windows Examples:
utmpdecode.exe -i "C:\Logs\"
utmpdecode.exe -i "C:\Logs\exYYMMDD*"
utmpdecode.exe -i "C:\Logs\exYYMMDD.log"

-h: Shows this help information.

A new file will be created for each log file in the same directory. The new file will contain '-processed' in the filename. Any file found with '-processed' in the name will be skipped. Be sure to point the Urchin log sources toward these logs with '-processed' in them.


Windows (utmpdecode_windows.zip)
Linux (utmpdecode_linux.tar.gz)

NOTE: By using this utility, you understand that Actual Metrics provides no guarantee and may not be held liable for any adverse effects on your log files. We recommend backing up your original log files before running them through this utility.