With the release of AMO 5.2 a few weeks ago, we made a tiny change to every add-on download button on the website that made a huge impact: we can now see what parts of the site add-ons are downloaded from.
With the help of Daniel Einspanjer on our metrics team, we’re now able to analyze whether an add-on download came from an AMO search results page, the add-on’s display page, the Firefox Add-ons Manager, or one of around 12 predefined sources we are tracking.
Some of the results were surprising, so without further ado, this is the breakdown of downloads for a single day on AMO (yesterday, in fact).
Keep in mind that this covers 1.7 million downloads, so even sources that only have 1% of the pie can be up to 17,000 downloads. We’ll be digging into where our unknown downloads are coming from, but right now we think they are mostly downloads coming from other websites.
We didn’t want to keep all this data to ourselves, so add-on developers will find a new view in their Statistics Dashboards called “Download Sources” where the sources for each individual add-on can be dissected.
But wait, there’s more!
Our source tracking system also allows developers to add their own tracking codes for external links to their add-on. By simply adding a src parameter to any add-on’s URL or download URL, that source will start being tracked and appear in the Statistics Dashboard.
For example, when we launched the Add-on Compatibility Reporter a couple weeks ago, we had tracking codes in all of the most important places: the announcement blog post, the Firefox 3.6 beta first-run page and release notes, the hacks.mozilla.org post, etc. You can see the results of our efforts below:
There are some caveats to external source tracking, so be sure to read the full instructions by going to your Download Sources dashboard and clicking “learn how to track external sources”.
Have fun with the data, and if your research sparks an idea for how we can improve download conversions on a particular AMO page or another great idea, let us know!