Google Analytics: The Mystery of the Facebook /l.php


Google Analytics Facebook Referral Path /l.php

The other day I was checking referral traffic my client’s website. Facebook has been doing really well for this site and wanted to know what we’re doing right. Is it the content of the fan page? Is it the “like” button on our blog posts? Is it Facebook Ads?

When I go into Google Analytics>>Traffic Sources>>Referral, I see Facebook. I click on it, I’m taken to a laundry list of referral Facebook paths. The first one that comes up is /l.php. So what is /l.php?

The /l.php is actually Facebook’s exit/redirect page also called a “web redirector” and it looks something likes this:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.yoursite.com.

This is just another way Facebook can track clicks from links in messages, statuses, comments, etc. For example, if you are chatting with someone on Facebook about how to make chicken soup and they send you a link to a good online recipe, you will see the /l.php redirect. Another example would be if you have a blog and you do have a Facebook “like” or “share” button on an article. When a visitor clicks on that button, their friends will see the link on their news feed and clicking the link from there will also trigger the web redirector.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses so far.

  1. Great info! Sometimes trying to understand Google Analytics can make my head spin.

  2. Patricia, yes! There’s so much to know that I’m always learning new things.