Call tracking and JavaScript


freerunr

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One of the questions of the decade as it relates to Local Search is how to track success. Call tracking numbers is one of the primary ways in which marketers track the success of a campaign. I'm aware that there are lots of methods of doing this while attempting to prevent issues with Local performance, such as Dynamic Number Insertion, or a utilizing service like CallRail. What I'm wondering about is a very specific tactic: using JavaScript to display a tracking number to users, and including the tracking number and direct/destination number in the HTML (not visible to users). One objection is that hiding the direct/destination number from users goes against what Google wants. Another potential hurdle relates to a video Matt Cutts recorded 11 months ago, but published two days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6mtiwQ3nvw. It sounds like Google can process JS before indexing a page, which means it would see the tracking number, not the direct/destination number.

I'm curious if anyone knows enough about this topic to shed some light.
 

freerunr

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Thanks Blair, but I'm wondering if anyone has any opinions on the Cutts video I referenced. I wasn't really looking for an opinion on if call tracking affects local search performance (although my preface vaguely assumed that this was true).
 

Rob Hermann

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Hi freerunr,

I realize that this is an older post, and was wondering what you have learned on this topic.

Here is my take, Google can and does read java script now. This means that they will see your tracking #'s. To stay compliant by having the destination number available on the page you can write it up in schema in the footer colored the same as the footer.

Let me know your thoughts.

Rob
 

freerunr

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@Rob, The announcement that confirmed that Googlebot would be able to read JavaScript and CSS came a month and a half after this thread was started, so that's probably the biggest development since then. Since Google's goal is for users to see what the User-agent sees, my suggestion probably falls under the category of cloaking, and that's not good. My opinion on your suggestion is to not do that, since that would be hiding text, which Google is not a fan of.

I guess it's back to the drawing board...
 

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