After syncing products from the Shopify store to Google Merchant Center - we noticed a huge volume of traffic labelled Google/product_sync. The traffic comes from locations outside of our market (Quincy, North Bergen, Clifton, New York). Once we disconnected the feed the traffic went away. We see this traffic using Google Analytics.
Google Merchant Center says the /product_sync parameter is not native to Analytics - they said its something that the Shopify Product feed is creating. From what we can tell there is something going on between the Shopify product feed that syncs with Google Merchant Center.
Has anyone encountered this problem? Any tips? Feedback.
This is indeed caused by the Shopify Google Shopping integration. When Shopify uploads your product feed to Google Merchant Center, it appends the following UTM tags to the product url:
I now understand what this is. Do not remove this appended query string. It is used to track organic clicks in the shopping tab.
If you remove it, you will not get any organic data in Google Analytics.
Google currently has no way of showing you data from organic shopping clicks. Hence why appending this query will allow you to see this.
I have written an article about it here: https://feedarmy.com/kb/how-to-track-google-shopping-free-listings-in-google-analytics/
Thanks @EmmanuelFlossie -- That's a good find.
After also digging into it some more, I've come to these additional conclusions:
If you use tracking parameters in your link attributes, it is recommend that you use the canonical_link attribute to provide a canonical URL. Use the canonical_link attribute to ensure that products are associated with the correct URL in the Google Search index.