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UTM Codes Explained: A Complete Guide for Tracking Your URLs & Traffic

Brie E Anderson writes in her article that UTM codes can be extremely beneficial for tracking the success of your campaigns. Learn about them and their abilities in this guide.

Have you ever been asked to add a random string of code to the end of your links?

If so, it’s likely because you were working with an analytical nerd such as myself and they wanted to track traffic from whatever campaign or content you were publishing.

That seems important, right?

A Quick Background on the UTM

Originally, UTM codes were created for the Urchin Software.

Urchin was an online web statistics and analysis software created to track traffic information for websites.

In 1997, they were able to pull log file stats for a few days’ traffic in under 30 minutes – this was was unheard of at the time.

From there, their capabilities would increase as they got access to more and more data.

In 2002, Urchin rolled out its Urchin Traffic Monitor which allowed them to give more detailed information.

The UTM allowed Urchin to not only pull the traditional information from the Apache log files but to augment them with cookies as well.

This moved Urchin lightyears ahead of the competition as they were able to provide more information, more quickly than their competitor.

We are talking about information so sensitive that Google wouldn’t even touch it in 2004. Needless to say it would not have complied with GDPR.

Eventually, Urchin was bought by Google and became Google Analytics.

If you want to read more about the history of Urchin and how they were eventually acquired, I highly suggest reading up their company history – it’s a good story.

Further in this article, you will learn:

Original article by Brie E Anderson on

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