Articles in The 'google-analytics-tracking-code' Tag

April 13 2009

The 6 Benefits of migrating to GA.js

by MoreVisibility

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.

November 14 2008

Che Sta Accadendo? Another change to the GA Tracking Code?

by MoreVisibility

My Italian friends at have probably already noticed this as well – when I logged in to my Google Analytics account today to create a new profile (using an existing domain), I saw a GA Tracking Code that looked different:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ?
"https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost +
"' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
<script type="text/javascript">
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXXX-1");
} catch(err) {}

The Legacy Tracking Code (urchin.js) also has been updated to include these new “try – catch” enclosure:

<script src="" type="text/javascript">
<script type="text/javascript">
try {
_uacct = "UA-XXXXXX-1";
} catch(err) {}

It does not appear that any data collection has been affected, which means you most likely won’t have to change any coding on your website, unless Google Analytics officially releases a statement via their blog. However, I am big proponent of having the most up-to-date code on your website if possible, so if these new coding variables stick around for a while, you may want to go ahead and update your website to match.

Also, as a side note, there is a known bug with the Reverse Goal Path report in the Goals section of your Google Analytics profile(s). If you’re noticing some strange data appearing in there – don’t worry, the folks at Google Analytics are well aware of this issue and are doing their best to repair the report, as soon as they possibly can.

August 21 2008

Google Analytics now recognizes 38 websites as organic search engines!

by MoreVisibility

Because I am a geek, and because I love to know the innermost, obscure, and technical aspects of everything Google Analytics related, I do a few things from time to time that you may find peculiar:

  1. I view the source code of because I like to see if Google Analytics engineers make any modifications to the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) on their own website.
  2. I create a “fake” custom advanced filter to see if there are any options from the “Field A” or “Field B” fields that have disappeared or have been added (I am NOT paranoid here – try creating a custom advanced filter and open up the Field A or Field B drop-down menu, and you’ll see that there are some options that are not listed [most notably, Visitor IP Address], but they are there if you use your Up and Down cursor keys to navigate the menu instead of your mouse’s scrolling wheel).
  3. I like to download the ga.js file from and view the list of organic search engines, to see if they’ve added or removed anything recently.

Did you know, at the time of this post, that Google Analytics automatically recognizes 38 different websites as organic search engines? Did you even know that there were that many out there to begin with? It catches me by surprise almost every time, because there is one search engine that I use 99.9% of the time (bet you can’t guess which one it is), and I forget that there are so many other search engines out there to play with.

So I’ve decided that I’d list and link all of the search engines that Google Analytics automatically recognizes as organic search engines here. Visit some of these if you can – perform a search or two on some of them. Perhaps even see what they are offering as far as advertising solutions are concerned – you’ll be surprised at just how many places you can spend money in online advertising these days 🙂

Here is the full list (Updated: August 21, 2008):

(Note: Finding all of these Search Engines was not as easy as I thought it would be! Thus, there is a chance that a few of these links are incorrect. Please let me know if you find any inaccuracies).

Google – The #1Search Engine in the land.
Yahoo – The Search Engine that put the internet on the map in the early 1990’s.
MSN / Live – Microsoft’s Search Engine ( and are the same).
ASK – Formerly ASK Jeeves, headquartered in Oakland, California.
AOL – Formerly America OnLine, currently powered by Google.
Lycos – They have been around for a while. Owned by Daum Communications.
Altavista – Owned by Overture in Sunnyvale, California. Online since 1995.
Netscape – Makers of the popular browser in the 90’s. Now owned by AOL.
CNN – Yes, has it’s own search feature! Go check it out.
Looksmart – They have recently changed from Search Engine to Ad Network. – A great repository of articles and information.
Mamma – The Mother of All Search Engines (Their term, not mine).
All The Web – Powered by Yahoo. Features “Livesearch”, also powered by Yahoo.
Gigablast – Search the Web for pages, images, and videos.
Voila – Popular French Search Engine. Merci bocu!
Virgilio – Popular Italian Search Engine. Powered by Alice. Prego!
Baidu – Popular Chinese Search Engine. (Sorry I can’t do Chinese Characters).
Alice – Roll Your Own Search Engine. Web 2.0 Search.
Yandex – Yandex is a popular Russian Search Engine.
Najdi – Specializs in the Repubic of Macedonia.
Club-Internet – A French Internet Service Provider.
Seznam – Search Engine for the Czech Republic. – Owned and Operated by CNET Networks.
WP – Stands for “Wirtualna Polska”, a Polish News / Social Directory.
Onet – Another Polish Internet Portal/ Directory site.
Netsprint – Our Third Polish Search Engine on this list!
Interia – More from Poland, but this one is powered by Google.
Scukacz – Poland is definitely being counted by GA as organic, no doubt about it.
YAM – I am pretty sure this is a Taiwanese Search Engine.
PC Home – A Japanese Web Portal. Owned by CNET.
Kvasir – Search Engine for all of Norway.
Sesam – A Scandinavian Search Engine / Web Portal.
OZU – An Internet Directory from Spain.
Terra – From the USA, but written in all Spanish.
Nostrum – On the list but I cannot find a reliable URL!
Mynet – Mynet is a specialized engine for the Turkish Language.
Ekolay – I believe that Ekolay is also Turkish.
Ilse – Search Engine in the Netherlands.

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