I've been loocking on all my server calls, and I figured that I should see what we are really sending as Custom links.
It seems that we have a lot of "link clicked" on my custom link Report. How can I go further in my analysis ? I breakdowned by my URL prop to see which URL is launching these. Any further info or analysis I could do ?
When the value of "link clicked" is populated in the custom link report, this means that a value for the friendly name of the Custom Link was not sent. Unfortunately doesn't give you much more information, but when you look at the tag in your debugger, check out the pev2 value.
In case of custom link calls (s.tl() calls in general), the page related parameters aren't captured. This is why you are unable to breakdown custom link report with pages. And it is an easy workaround to capture URL in a prop and break it down with that prop, as you are doing.
Further, you're correct, in case of s.tl() calls, hit is definitely being sent to the Analytics server, it is just that the page related parameters (such as pagename) are discarded.
Custom link reports are generally used to perform a comparative analysis on different links on a page. For example, on Sports page of a website, they are multiple links related to Cricket that takes a user to espncricinfo.com, say one is a simple link, other is embedded in an image. You could analyze the numbers against those links to see which is performing better.
Further, to analyze, the page URL breakdown would give the URLs. Additionally, you could analyze the parameter "pev2" (it specifies the link name) in the server call (using debugger). Or, if you pass that in an eVar or prop, you could break the custom links by those as well.
Follow-up question - in my reports, all of my custom links can't be breakdowned with my pages (that's why I the URL prop to get where are they comming from) . I was wondering , is this consequence of checking s.tl() ?
And another question - someone once told me that checking the s.tl() bullet also meant that no hit was send to the servers - but I guess he was totally wrong ?