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Track unused file download links


Level 1

Hi all,


I've set up simple tables and bar charts to show me popular downloads.  The lowest values in these tables show 1 download.  Is there a way to see download URLs that get 0 uses?  Or does Adobe Analytics not know a download URL exists until it is used at least once?




2 Replies


Level 5

@kitkoeneman Adobe Analytics cannot automatically track download URLs that have not been used at least once. However, you can still monitor these URLs by creating a custom report that compares a list of all download URLs with the ones that have received at least one download.


Here's an approach to achieve this:

  1. Compile a list of all your download URLs: Create a list of all the download URLs you'd like to track, either manually or by extracting them from your content management system (CMS).

  2. Set up download tracking in Adobe Analytics: If you haven't already, ensure that you're tracking downloads in Adobe Analytics using custom events, custom link tracking, or any other relevant method.

  3. Export tracked download URLs: In Adobe Analytics, create a report to display the download URLs that have received at least one download. Export this list of URLs.

  4. Compare the lists: Using a spreadsheet tool like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, compare the list of all download URLs with the list of tracked download URLs. The difference between the two lists will represent the download URLs with zero downloads.

Please note that this approach requires manual intervention and regular updates to keep the list of download URLs accurate and up-to-date. Adobe Analytics can only track and report on interactions that occur on your website, so it cannot automatically recognize download URLs that have not been used.


Community Advisor

Adobe Analytics (and every other analytics tool) can only know what exist based on what is sent to it.... If no one clicks on something, Adobe will not know about it.


That said... if you really want to get creative (and crazy)....depending on how many links you have, if they all show on the page (or do this per pagination, when the download link is available based on whatever criteria determines that they show)... you could try something like tracking the list of all available downloads into your s.products variables when the page loads. I would use a "reserved" category to identify "downloads" so that you can exclude them from actual purchases (if you don't have purchases on your site, then this is even better).


You could pair each "download" item with a specific numeric "impression" event:

s.products="download;download item one;;;event1=1,download;download item two;;;event1=1,download;download item three;;;event1=1"

This will indicate that there are three download files on the page, each one increments "1" into the impression event.

On the download, you would then want to use the Products notation for the item being downloaded, and use a specific numeric "download" event

s.products="download;download item one;;;event2=1"



You could then pull a report like:


 event1 - impressionsevent2 - downloads
Products                              9                             4
    download item one                              3                             3
    download item two                              3                             1
    download item three                              3                             0


If you have other items in your products, you will need to add the category "download" at a top level Breakdown:


 event1 - impressionsevent2 - downloads
downloads (category)                              9                            4
    Products                              9                            4
        download item one                              3                            3
        download item two                              3                            1
        download item three                              3                            0


(You might be able to use a segment, but if there is any possibility of another product being on the same call as your downloads, then any tracking call that contains downloads will return all products whether they are "downloads" or not.....)

But essentially, you now are tracking both impressions and downloads for your files... there still may be download links that exist in your system but no one ever sees them.. so they wouldn't be tracked... but this is a viable option.


This really only works with s.products unfortunately, as s.products is the only complex object that allows you to specifically stitch events to each item in isolation (i.e. the impressions... you want to make sure that each download link tracks correct impressions per and that those impressions add up to show a proper total for all download links)... but this usage does make your products implementations much more complex...and using products in reports is also more complex...


If you are considering this.. make sure you do proper testing in a QA environment and make sure that you can continue to pull reports properly.