I got a scoop; Google Analytics Events are out!

Don’t know about bloggers not being journalists and all but I sure feel like one with this premium scoop.

Google released today a forum for their analytic counterpart and I had already a question waiting for them: Why with all the documentation being available about it since at least February haven’t you released the Event tracking? But before you ask a question like that, with that tone, you check what you are asking. So I go in my Google Analytics account and under the Content section there it was, just lying there, waiting for me to discover it : Event Tracking (don’t know if this has been released officially, but I have seen it on 2 different GA account so far).

What’s up with all this fuss? We could already somehow track events using pageTracker._trackPageview.

You are right, but being able to track events as a separate thing than a pageview is really important.  Not that much for a website completely made in Flash with only one HTML page, but for anything else, it sure is important. You see, when you use pageTracker._trackPageview to track events, the statistics you gather that way counts as pageviews while they are not really, so it kinda skews all your results. You can still draw conclusions from them, but it is not as precise.

With pageTracker._trackEvent, there is a distinction between event and pageview so it doesn’t skew your data. Plus the _trackEvent methodhas 4 parameters giving you more options about what you want to track.These parameters are the category, the action, the label and the value; more informations about them in Google’s documentation.

There are tons of stuff that would be appropriate to track with events like the answer of a quiz, which track in your MP3 player is most played etc. For Flash, any action you want to track and is not really a page can be tracked that way. You could have done that before using a database and server-side scripting, but it is much more convient to not have to bother with that and to have all your stats in one single place.

I am going tracking this minute. What are you going to track?

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  1. #1 by Andy - January 8th, 2009 at 02:49

    Getting there first is not the only characteristic of a journalist but I don’t really want to get into that argument…

    I just added event tracking to my site as it was having the problem that the numbers were getting skewed because of the way I was using the page tracking. For each page I’m servering up some different Amazon widgets based on the users IP address hence I wanted to track which ones are being displayed. Using page track reports a significant increase the numbers of pages show which is not really correct.

    However my events are still not being returned.

    There suggestions from online users that the event tracking is still in Beta. The documentation says nothing with regards to what is current code and what is still part of the beta programme.

  2. #2 by zedia.net - January 8th, 2009 at 13:07

    Ya Google is silently adding more and more accounts in the event tracking beta. But even if your account is activated when you create a new profile that profile won’t be activated for event tracking…

    I found this little form that might help get some profile activated:

    http://code.google.com/p/gaforflash/wiki/EventTrackingRequest

    Have fun with it

  3. #3 by Andy - February 6th, 2009 at 09:53

    Thanks, I’ll give that a try, I might be too late but if so hopefully they will at least tell me.

    There’s been another interesting change for Analytics which is the inclusion of the Adsense metrics there too. I’d not be surprised if we see some of the feedster functionality migrated across too.

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