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Force a specific variation using a query parameter, does not show in results

KeesV 12-11-14

Force a specific variation using a query parameter, does not show in results

I set up 3 different facebook ad campaign. I want to send each campaign to a different homepage variation. I tried to do this using the URL parameter, like this:  https://mywebsite.com/?optimizely_x2205924766=0

 

Every campaign does indeed see it's own landing page, but the results do not show up in the results dashboard. I followed every step in the tutorial (https://help.optimizely.com/hc/en-us/articles/200107480), including the "Disable the force variation parameter" checkbox. 

 

Did I do something wrong, or is this just the way it works? A work-around is to setup a different campaign for every variation, using targeted audiences. But this is of course not ideal for comparing the different variances. 

 

Thanks in advance

Level 1

Aisha 12-11-14
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter, does not show in results

Hi KeesV,

Thanks for posting! The purpose of force parameters is to test your variations so you can see what they'll look like on your site before you start your experiment. Your visits to the page with a force parameter won't actually show up in your Results. It's just a way to check your variations to ensure they appear the way you want them to.

There's also a way you can enable tracking so that you can test your goals. For that, you can use this parameter: ?optimizely_force_tracking=true. This will allow you to test goals in your Network tab--information that will show up on your Results page. Keep in mind that your experiment also needs to be running for this to work!



Let me know if you have any other questions!

Cheers,

Aisha
Customer Success and Technical Support @ Optimizely!
Optimizely
Mike_in_SF 04-08-15
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter, does not show in results

Aisha,

Playing around with a force parameter and got 2 conflicting ideas from the conversation here: When using a force parameter to test a variation, should the experiment be running or paused?
- Mike
savannahrez 08-14-15
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter

Hoping to know if there is a good reason you wouldn't want to to enable the ability to force query parameters for testing?

 

I know it's automatically disabled, and I would really like to be able to do it to share the variations with my team before the experiment goes live WITHOUT them having to login to optimizely.

 

Can someone please help?

Mike_in_SF 08-14-15
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter

@savannahrez,

 

Big assumption here (I don't work for Optimizely): I'm assuming that it's set to disabled as a default is simply because with that URL string literally anybody in the world with an Internet connection and some intelligence on your Optimizely snippet/experiment ID's could begin to pull up your experiments before they went live.

 

Why, in my totally nut job conspiracy theory response, would somebody want to do that? Who knows. But it is possible.

 

In conclusion: simply follow these steps and turn on force parameters. We do that for all our internal reviews as well as client-facing reviews and it works swimmingly.

- Mike
Keenan 01-05-16
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter

Hi there,

 

Sorry just need a bit of clarification here.

 

We are running an 50/50 A/B test from an email platform which simply alters copy. I need to use Optimizely to support this test so that 50% of email variation A see the optimizely test variation A. This would normally be easy if the email was going to a landing page however as these copy changes are on multiple pages throughout the website (navigation, headings, breadcrumbs etc) this is not possible.

 

My thoughts were to use link from the email using force variation parameters,

 

eg. Variation A - www.domain.com?optimizely_x4483550013=0

eg. Variation B - www.domain.com?optimizely_x4483550013=1

 

Is it to use this method if the experiment has multiple pages? Obviously in order to avoid a disjointed and poor user experience, it's important that whatever copy the user sees in the email, the same copy is seen correctly throughout the website.

 

Appreciate your help.

Level 2
Mike_in_SF 01-05-16
 

Re: Force a specific variation using a query parameter

Unless I'm misreading the situation, using a force query parameter wouldn't help you actually deploy that type of experiment.

 

What you are discussing is a multivariate experiment across different pages/user flows.

 

Using the force parameter really helps you avoid hitting 'set live' on the experiment BUT still being able to force those page variations to appear in a Quality Control process.

- Mike