Google Analytics Has Cost Me £500 Today

11 comments

So maybe I'm the bigger idiot for using Google's site analytics on an important site but I did. This morning revenue was down so I loaded up my site and ... well it took about 5 minutes to load.
Why???

It turns out the Google Analytics domain which is in my tracking script (google-analytics.com) can't be loaded from my ISP. Given that this code is in the header of all my pages it managed to stop every page from loading.

I'm not sure but this seems to be the case from a few other servers too:
Pinging google-analytics.com [216.239.37.99]:
Ping #1: * [No response]
Ping #2: * [No response]
Ping #3: * [No response]
Ping #4: * [No response]
Done pinging google-analytics.com!

Comments

time-out

Maybe you should add a time-out to the call?

summary plus

just use this www.summary.net
it's a lot less than £500 and runs on your server :-)

404?

Is http://google-analytics.com/ supposed to return

404 Not Found
Not Found
The requested URL / was not found on this server.

I've never used it...

Google Analytics code should be placed at the bottom of the html

Google hosted web analytics, like most other hosted web analytics systems, requires JavaScript, embedded in your pages, to work. The code calls Google's servers every time your pages are loaded. You can minimize the impact on your users by embedding the code at the bottom of the page. You will also get more accurate web analytics statistics.

Initially Google said to insert the code at the top of your html – they have since confirmed it will work fine at the bottom of the html page.

I wrote a detailed article on this:
Web Analytics Embedded JavaScript Page Tracking Code: Place at the top or bottom of the page?.

Sean Carlos
Antezeta

Whoops I forgot to log in

Whoops I forgot to log in when I posted.
sorry should have said it was free to use. The £500 is in lost revenue.

Maybe you should add a time-out to the call?

Yes - I realise that now.
But then I just followed the Google instruction to the letter which as antezeta points out could have actually been at the bottom of the page.

I've gone with the safest option an just removed it all together.

If you have an important

If you have an important site, do yourself a favor and pry open your wallet and buy a decent metrics tool.

Try clicktracks. You'll never go back. www.clicktracks.com

au contraire

I bought clicktracks, don't use it. it was a pain. Plus they've got one of those asinine 1980's 'tie the program to the computer' schemes, so you can't run it on your desktop, then on your laptop...and if you upgrade computers, whole new headache/phone call etc. Bizarre, there's a reason software companies don't pull those stunts anymore. Way too much work for limited results. I just quit using it.

Which reminds me. Time for a thread on tracking/logging software?

I spoke to Click Tracks at

I spoke to Click Tracks at the last London SES and was stuck with one of their moronic salesmen who was more interested in telling me everything he knew about SEM/SEo instead of assessing my knowledge and needs.
Rather than finding out what I needed he kept telling me what I wanted, but just didn't know yet. Eventually I just had to leave, but not before he started negotiating on a trial price.
WTF I didn't even get to ask any questions I'm not going to pull my wallet now now.

I'm sure they have some great staff, i just was really turned off.

That's really sad. The

That's really sad. The clicktracks rep I have is ultra cool. And, yes, the set up of the thing is very 1987, I'll grant you that. THAT is a pita. (Although, I think they may have addressed that in their newest version...)

But

Clicktracks is only metrics program I have found that gives me the information I need without having to dig. All metrics programs will log the information, but with clicktracks, I can easily access it.

This test I use on all metrics programs I have tried that pulls clicktracks from the rest: I want the number of visits to my web site per week for the last three months.

All metrics programs have that, but most make you dig down into each week to pull a number then you go to the next week and then the next week, and the next week for all three of those months. Or, you plug in a date and you'll get ALL traffic, but it is not broken down by week.

With clicktracks, I just define the label, plug in a date and boom, I have visits broken down by week for three months without having to dig down into each week and manually making the report myself.

Very handy when you do trends analysis ("How much money did that term that I did ppc on actually make me in the last two months?")

found elsewhere ...

followup posted *the day after it was reported* :

message I got back from them:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are aware
that many users have experienced delays in their site due to
a new update to the Google Analytics javascript file. Our
*engineers* are currently working to resolve this issue. We
appreciate your patience in the meantime.

If the issue is not resolved for you *by Monday*, please
feel free to follow-up on this email, and I can give you an
update on when a solution will be in place

...umm, testing?

clicktracks question

Very handy when you do trends analysis ("How much money did that term that I did ppc on actually make me in the last two months?")

I can see where that would be handy. I am curious, when doing this type of thing, are you looking on a per landing page basis? Can you get a trend report for just one page?

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