There’s no easy way to say this – if you don’t upgrade to the new Google Analytics Tracking Code, you will be playing catch-up with the rest of the analytics world from here on out.
On October 16th, 2007, Brett Crosby – the Senior Manager of Google Analytics – introduced a new version of the Google Analytics Tracking Code at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, in Washington, D.C. On December 13th of 2007, Google Analytics officially released this new tracking code throughout every Google Analytics account.
Why the New Tracking Code?
The new Google Analytics Tracking Code, known as “GA.js”, is a more dynamic and efficient tracking code model than its predecessor, now known as the “Legacy Code”, or “urchin.js”. GA.js is completely object-oriented, versus urchin.js, which relied upon variables and functions as its framework. In Layman’s terms, GA.js is to urchin.js what HDTV is to Analog Signal TV.
Here are five good reasons why you should replace all of your urchin.js Tracking Code with the new GA.js Tracking Code:
1. Future Google Analytics Upgrades
Google Analytics has made it perfectly clear that all future upgrades, improvements, and enhancements to the Google Analytics interface and reports will only be available to those using GA.js on their websites. This means that urchin.js will become more and more obsolete over time.
2. Event Tracking
One of those “future upgrades” is Event Tracking. In the very near future, all Google Analytics accounts will have the ability to track dynamic user-initiated events on their websites, separate from page views. Event Tracking is considered by most industry experts as the future of Web Analytics, due to the rapid progression of Web 2.0. Examples of objects on your website that can take advantage of Event Tracking are Movie Files, Interactive Maps, Games, and Flash Animations. For instance, with Event Tracking, you can track different actions taken by the visitors to your website on your Interactive Map, such as zooming in, zooming out, dragging the map, or changing from a street-view to a satellite-view.
3. Automatic Outbound Link Tracking
GA.js will automatically track and report on outgoing links from your website to another website, without any additional programming or coding required.
4. Automatic Secure / Non-Secure Page Detection
The New GA.js script will automatically detect if your web pages are non-secure (http://) or secure (https://). With GA.js, it is no longer necessary to have two different sets of code for non-secure and secure pages.
5. Easier Ecommerce and Sub-Domain Tracking
GA.js has made Ecommerce Tracking and Sub-Domain tracking much easier to implement and much more efficient than before. This means Ecommerce and Sub-Domain Tracking data will be able to be collected much quicker and with greater accuracy.
Migrating to the new GA.js from the old urchin.js technology is rather easy. To further assist you, Google Analytics has published a migration guide, which is an excellent resource with great visual examples on exactly what you need to do.
One important note: GA.js and urchin.js do not like each other very much. (Personally, I think urchin.js is just being jealous…but you didn’t hear that from me). The two styles of tracking code are not compatible with each other, which means you cannot have both urchin.js and GA.js together on the same page.
Stay ahead of the curve in 2008, and upgrade your website with the new Google Analytics Tracking Code!