__utm.gif --- how to redirect request?

Ilan Berkner iberkner at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 05:35:01 MSD 2009

Thank you so much for the detailed response as well as suggested nginx
configuration, I will try it.

There's no question that this is a problem with something somewhere and I
will need to figure out what.  Right now I don't have the bandwidth and b/c
its clogging up the error log file, I want to clear that up and move on.

I don't think that its happening due to crawlers as the pages that are
coming up in the log file (referring page) are many and there is no
pattern.  I've checked many of the referring IP addresses and they are valid
users of our service.

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM, Nick Pearson <nick.pearson at gmail.com>wrote:

> These requests could be from crawlers.  A couple ways to tell: (1) are
> the requests from just a few IPs, or from lots of different IPs?  And
> (2) do the requests contain all the query string parameters that are
> sent to Google Analytics?
> I run several sites, all of which use Google Analytics, but I've never
> seen this particular request in the logs.  I have seen some others of
> unused assets that crawlers found in various JavaScript or CSS files.
> Some crawlers seem to scrape all referenced files for something that
> looks like a URL and then attempt to access it.  I even get requests
> for "http://tel:/18002345678" from mobile site pages where I have
> links like <a href="tel:18002345678">1-800-234-5678</a>.  The crawler
> doesn't understand, but makes the request anyway.
> I would definitely figure out why this is happening first, but to
> answer your question, this should do what you need:
> location ^~ /__utm.gif {
>    redirect  ^  http://http://www.google-analytics.com$request_uri;
> }
> You'll want to pass the $request_uri, otherwise the request to Google
> Analytics will be meaningless (because it won't contain any tracking
> data).
> By the way, if the traffic is over SSL, be sure to redirect here
> instead, so as not to cause a security warning in some browsers:
>    redirect  ^  https://ssl.google-analytics.com$request_uri;
> Also note that I haven't tested these, but I don't see why they
> wouldn't work.  However, that being said, I don't know how well
> browsers respect redirects for image requests.
> On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM, Ilan Berkner <iberkner at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> > Simple question, I think.
> > Our error log is flooded with file not found requests for __utm.gif.
>  This
> > is part of google analytics and for some reason, the requested pages
> (some)
> > are trying to load it locally.
> > I have yet to figure this problem out in terms of the "why" but for now,
> I
> > want to remove it from my error log.
> > 2 options:
> > 1. Put a copy of the file in our root directory which will quiet down the
> > error log or
> > 2. Redirect requests to the file via nginx configuration file, something
> > like this:
> > location /__utm.gif {
> >   [ redirect to: http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif]
> > }
> > What would be the correct format for above?
> > Also, has anyone encountered this issue before?
> > Thanks
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