It’s official – urchin.js is not “going dark” anytime soon. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t upgrade your website’s Google Analytics Tracking Code to the newer, fresher, more dynamic GA.js tracking module. Sure, you can continue to use urchin.js and your data will still be collected and appear in your reports. However, there are not one, not two, but six benefits of spending a bit of time editing your footers, includes, or hard-coding your HTML source code to include the GA.js tracking script.
Let’s review these six great benefits one by one:
1. A Faster and Smaller Source File – Even though the actual sizes of the files are almost identical at 22.1 KB, the urchin.js file is over 600 lines long and is slower, less efficient. The ga.js file is a mere 41 lines long and is a very modern object-oriented tracking model. See them for yourself (Download urchin.js | Download ga.js). Think of this like you would think of two of the same car – for example – two Toyota Corollas, one from 1995 and the other from 2009. They both weigh about the same, but one is much more modern, environmentally sound, and better on gas than the other one.
2. Automatic detection of HTTPS – This saves a boatload of programming and coding time. Simply insert ga.js across all of your website’s pages without having to worry about coding differently for those secure pages that are being uploaded to the secure server. GA.js will automatically detect the protocol – urchin.js cannot do this unless you physically edit the tracking code.
3. Increased Namespace Safety – What this means in the most basic of layman’s terms is that ga.js does a better job in protecting your individual security (in terms of data) than urchin.js can. While ga.js never collects personally-identifiable information, such as zip codes or personal email addresses, it still needs a way to uniquely identify each visitor that accesses a website, which ga.js does in a safer way.
4. More convenient for tracking Ecommerce transactions – With ga.js, you can simply add the calls to _addTrans, _addItem, and _trackTrans right after the call to _trackPageview within the tracking code. There is no need for additional scripts or onLoad events like there is with urchin.js.
5. More customizable code for AJAX-based sites – The ga.js tracking code opens the door for “Web 2.0” websites that are loaded with videos, applets, widgets, and flash movies. This is almost not possible to do with urchin.js.
6. Take advantage of tracking functionality as it is added to Google Analytics – New, jazzy features such as Event Tracking can only be used if the website is using ga.js. The web is becoming less and less static with each passing day, and the need is increasing for being able to track actions on movies and flash games that are on many websites today. With urchin.js, this is not possible. Also, as new reports and sections are added to Google Analytics, you will need to be using ga.js to be able to take advantage of them.
Is migrating to urchin.js required? No, it is not. Is it highly recommended? Yes, positively it is.
Dear Sir / Madam,
You may be very surprised on receiving this letter from me, since we have never met before. My name is barrister Joe Teixeira, a Malaysian national and personal representative to my client, Google Analytics.
The reason that I write to you is of the utmost importance. I need your help in securing the funds that your website can bring to you, before the National Bank of Malaysia closes the account. The funds in my client’s account are estimated to be valued at ONE HUNDRED FORTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS, which have been deposited in your name as the next of kin, provided you agree to the terms outlined below.
The bank has issued me a third and final notice to contact the next of kin (you), or the Google Analytics account will be declared unserviceable and the funds will be dispersed to the treasury department. All efforts to get a hold of someone else have failed – you are the last person I could find to contact.
I am asking you for your due diligence, and advise you to perform the following actions on your website to increase your Ecommerce Revenue by ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENT:
1. Design a clear “Call-To-Action” on your website’s homepage, and pay-per-click landing pages,
2. Continually refine, test, and optimize your landing page, your CPC ads, your keywords, you keyword’s match types, and any other settings possible,
3. Use Google Website Optimizer to conduct A/B or Multivariate experiments to boost conversions and increase revenue,
4. Test out different selling propositions, conversion incentives, ad titles, and anything else outlined in this blog post,
5. Install Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking Code, and perform Traffic Source, Campaign, and Keyword-level analysis, focusing on revenue, average order value, and conversion rate,
6. Offer a clean, easy-to-use and friendly Ecommerce Shopping Cart, with flexible payment options, clear pricing sub-totals and grand totals, and smooth page-to-page transitions,
7. Provide discount coupons and promotional codes for all return customers,
8. Work to provide fast, reliable, secure shipping and delivery confirmation of purchased products.
When these elements are achieved, and a culture of testing and optimization has been successfully instilled in your company, we will share the funds on a mutually agreed percentage, as my client outlined in his will.
The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any infraction of laws. Please accept my sincere apology if this proposition offends your moral ethics. Please kindly get back to me if you wish to achieve this goal with me.
Barrister Joe Teixeira, Esq.
Google Analytics Authorized Consultants
+01 561 620 9682
If you’ve been to our website recently, or have just seen our site’s footer, you’ll notice that MoreVisibility is a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant (GAAC), making us one proud company. We love everything Google Analytics, which means you’ll read a lot of GA-oriented material on this blog. We really feel that Google Analytics can help every company, every business, every ONE, regardless of size, number of employees, or complexity of needs / wants.
With all that being said, this doesn’t exclude Google Analytics from suffering a few bugs, glitches, breaks, and flat-out inaccuracies – this is life on the World Wide Web. A lot of posts and emails have come across my eyes over the last few weeks about some of the troubles with certain elements in Google Analytics. So, below, I have a few of the biggest current bugs / issues with GA. Rest assured, each and every one of these items is currently being looked into or being worked on as you read this. They may not be able to turn things around in 24 hours – but give them a break; they are very busy people with a lot on their plate!
1. Column Sorting
Clicking on any column heading within any table in GA Reports will not properly sort that column by the metric you clicked on. It’s definitely a frustrating bug. In the meantime, what you can do is you can download the report in a CSV file, which is available towards the top-left of Google Analytics, and do any kind of sorting locally, if you absolutely must.
2. Site Overlay “Gray Screen”
This is an issue that has received a lot of attention, especially lately. At random times, Site Overlay will fail to load successfully, causing a gray overlay over your website’s homepage. You can still see your website, but none of the overlay bars or metrics will appear. If this happens to you, try closing your browser and re-open it (not just the tab where you have GA open – the entire browser).
3. AdWords “Clicks vs. Visits” Discrepancies
There are have been some issues in some accounts with the importing of AdWords data into the AdWords Campaigns reports in Google Analytics, found underneath the “Clicks” tab. Even though Visits are not the same thing as Clicks, they should be “somewhat close”. There have been accounts that have not had all of their AdWords data properly imported over, causing huge data discrepancies for some accounts. If this pertains to you, simply use the actual Google AdWords interface for the time being until this bug can be sorted out.
4. Inability to halt automatic reports
Some users are currently affected by a bug that continues to send them automatic reports from the Google Analytics Email Scheduler, despite being removed from the email (or despite the email being deleted). The workaround to this temporary problem is to set up a rule to automatically delete the email in your email client, or, click on the “Unsubscribe” link towards the bottom of the email.
5. Ecommerce Data “way off”…
This is something that has been mis-reported as a bug, when in fact it is just the way it works. The reports pertaining to Ecommerce in Google Analytics are on a different schedule in terms of viewing the data, separate from the rest of the GA Reports. It takes anywhere from 24-48 hours for complete Ecommerce data to appear in Google Analytics, which is different from all other data, which takes anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours. The solution? You will need to wait a day or two in order to view full Ecommerce data for your website.
6. Absolute Unique Visitors shows “N/A”
In almost every account, having an advanced segment turned on will show “N/A” for the Absolute Unique Visitors metric / report. This is not necessarily an error, but due to the way Google Analytics uses Advanced Segmentation, Absolute Unique Visitors is a metric / report that cannot be displayed.
I’m experiencing other technical issues / bugs with my GA Account, or I have a suggestion for Google Analytics – is there a way to tell them about this?
Yes, there is. You can use the Google Analytics Contact Us for, located here:
You can also keep track of known issues with GA from this page: