Recently I noticed the Google Analytics report for one of the websites started displaying index.htm added after every url. This was very strange as none of our website uses index.htm in the url.
What was even worse was that these url were giving a 404 error when clicked – obviously, because our website follows a structure as www.example.com/one/two/three/ and if index.htm was appended to every url, ie, www.example.com/one/two/three/index.html – this was giving a not found error.
I tried looking up in Analytics Help, Webmaster Tool Help and other SEO community sites to find the reason or the solution to the problem but wasn’t really able to find a concrete answer.
A further digging finds out that the problem is not actually such a gigantic problem as I thought it would be. It was just someone changing a bit of the Google Analytics Reporting View Settings for that website. The index.htm bit was added to the (optional) Default Page field within the settings which can be used to solve a common issue, also highlighted in Google Analytics Support – ‘/’ and ‘/index.html’ tracked separately As it says, this field in the setting is optional and can be used to exclude any duplicate url entries in the Google Analytics reporting.
This setting can be found in
Domain > View Settings > Basic Settings > Default Page