How do New vs Returning Visitor reports work with alternate session tracking methods?


Webtrends Analytics 9.x


When I use other session tracking methods, like WT.shp_login in SharePoint installations, why doesn’t New vs Returning Visitor reports reflect the difference?


Regardless of the session tracking method, the New vs Returning dimension is always based off of the presence, or lack thereof, a cookie. The New vs Returning dimension looks at the WT.vt_f parameter value. This parameter is set by the tag and can have a value of 0 or not present (returning visitor), 1 (new visitor), and 2 or 3 (either cookies were rejected by the browser or the tag is broken and can?t set a cookie, respectively).

You might notice that measure values will change when the Session Tracking definition is changed. By changing the session tracking method, you are “shifting” what activity is included in which visit. As the vt_f value is only counted on the first hit in the visit, if the first hit is changed through the modification of the session tracking method it could increase or decrease various measures depending on the change.

If your Session Tracking definition has multiple methods checked, Webtrends uses them in the order they are listed in the Session Tracking dialog. Once Webtrends finds a value for one of the methods, it uses that value for that visitor session and disregards the other methods, even if the other methods have values too.

For example, your Session Tracking definition that includes WT.shp_login, WT.shp_uname, WT.co_f, WT.co_d as parameters. If Webtrends can match the first parameter, that parameter?s value is used to identify the visitor session, even if there are also values for WT.shp_uname.