Stone Steps Inc.

Article ID: Q20050201-01

Q: Can Stone Steps Webalizer analyze search arguments/query strings?

A:Yes. Starting with v2.1.10.13 Stone Steps Webalizer will by default analyze URL components following the question mark, which are commonly known as search arguments or query strings. Note that your web server must be configured to log search arguments in order to be able to use this functionality. 

Individual search arguments may be excluded from analysis using one or more ExcludeSearchArg configuration parameters. For example, if your website uses a search argument to maintain visitor's session state, similar to the userid argument shown in the example below, such search argument would cause URL data to be excessively fragmented in the reports:

/store/showcase.asp?userid=728468861350276&dept=23&prod=11  [hits: 2]
/store/showcase.asp?userid=919172832438316&dept=23&prod=11  [hits: 5]

In order to avoid such fragmentation, userid may be removed from all URLs by adding ExcludeSearchArg to the configuration file. Multiple search arguments may be excluded using multiple ExcludeSearchArg statements:

ExcludeSearchArg   userid
ExcludeSearchArg   browsertype

All search arguments may be excluded using a special wildcard exclude filter, as shown below.

ExcludeSearchArg   *

When Stone Steps Webalizer is configured to exclude all search arguments, individual search arguments may still be included using one or more IncludeSearchArg configuration parameters. For example, if the following filter configuration will instruct Stone Steps Webalizer to analyze only prodid and dept search arguments:

IncludeSearchArg   prodid
IncludeSearchArg   dept
ExcludeSearchArg   *

Note that even though search arguments are displayed in the URL report, they cannot be used to group URLs.

Starting with v2.1.10.18, IncludeSearchArg and ExcludeSearchArg may contain wildcards. However, unlike other include/ignore filters, non-wildcard Include- and ExcludeSearchArg values are not treated as sub-strings and must match search argument names exactly in order for the corresponding filter to be activated.

For example, the following two exclude filters will remove search arguments x and y, which are commonly submitted by browsers if image-based buttons are used on the page, but will not affect search arguments that contain characters x or y, such as query or xpath.

ExcludeSearchArg   x
ExcludeSearchArg   y