Physical Web Analytics Nuances

In the post on Discover What’s Behind the Physical Web we explained how and why Google caches Physical Web URL requests. An issue on GitHub  provides additional detail:

This data is then cached (across devices) for approximately 5 minutes and all interactions with this beacon in this time period will land directly on the final destination URL without going through the original redirects.

Many users rely on reporting Physical Web interactions by counting the number of people who land on the broadcast URL. In this way popularity by beacon location can be captured and compared to overall page statistics. Because users are sent directly to the cached destination URL, reporting on a beacon level is not possible for experiences where the destination differs from the broadcast URL.

This means that you can’t rely on your URLs shortener’s web stats to know how many people discovered your beacon. You will only know how many people have tapped on the notification and successfully accessed your web page. If you need to know how many people are discovering your beacon then you will need to use beacon UID-based app discovery rather than the Physical Web (Chrome, Eddystone-URL and Nearby).