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Anybody Else Having Problems with Google Analytics?

Web analytics is not exactly a beat that I cover, but it is something that I’m interested in from a purely operational perspective. I’ve mentioned other solutions in this space such as Mint previously, but because our host 1and1 essentially restricts us to non-dynamic uses of our MySQL DB’s our only real logging/analytics option – apart from Apache log crawlers – is something outsourced.

As a result, I was intrigued to see the news that Google had taken the technologies they’d acquired from Urchin and made them available for free. While I’m not ready to junk Statcounter just yet, I was looking forward to seeing what Google Analytics could do. The good news is that a cursory examination of the available reporting options reveals a wealth of reporting options, and the UI is outstanding.

The bad news is that I can’t populate it with data. It shouldn’t be that complicated; as an offering, Google Analytics works much like Statcounter or presumably Mint does – by embedding a simple script in a webpage. Choosing both a personal site and the space here – both of which are managed by Movable Type – the process should just be open up the templates, finding the header section of the file, dropping in the script, and rebuilding the site.

Trouble is, I’ve done that, and Google Analytics refuses to acknowledge it. Instead, I’m getting the message:

Tracking Unknown
The Google Analytics tracking code has not been detected on your website’s home page. For Analytics to function, you or your web administrator must add the code to each page of your website.

Complicating matters is the fact that the site and its content are sort of flaky. I couldn’t get in when I tried yesterday, and even the help content is occasionally returning me HTTP 502s. So where I might keep trying b/c the obvious conclusion would be that it was something I was doing wrong – not that there’s much to screw up – now I’m unclear on whether it’s me or a hiccup on the Google Analytics side. Either way, it’s frustrating. Anybody else out there experiencing something similar, or is it just me?

Update: Along with Alexander and Tim Howland, Tim Bray is also having a bit of trouble, and has been waiting a bit longer than expected for the first reports. Thx for the suggestion on a fix, sir; despite having set up a subdirectory filter for redmonk.com, I was concerned that the fact that I’m not measuring the web root might be a problem, so I took the trouble to install a second script in the root page of another domain I control. Unfortunately it’s the same deal. But given that it’s not urgent, I can wait for the Googlers to get some of the kinks out; my guess is that they’re simply being overwhelmed, much as they nearly ran out of bandwidth when Google Maps was launched.

Update 2: As of about 11 AM this morning both of the sites I set up were recognized by Google, and I’m getting some preliminary data trickling in already. Hope it’s the same for the rest of you.

Categories: Product Announcements.

  • http://www.wortfeld.de Alexander

    No, it’s not just you.
    http://sirstick.blogspot.com/2005/11/google-analytics.html
    http://formerpundit.blogspot.com/2005/11/google-analytics.html
    And myself as well.

    If you figure it out, please let me know! :)

  • http://www.wdogsystems.com Tim Howland

    I’m having the problem too. It says I’m registered, and the first reports will be ready in 12 hours… it’s said this for 24 hours now.

    I assume they just have an enormous backlog that needs to be processed- once the story broke, I’m sure they went through the load test from hell.

  • http://www.blackrimglasses.com ethan

    No, not just you. I’ve known this product was coming for a long while, and it has thusfar met far short of my expectations. Of course, after finally getting the software to recognize my site, I have to wait 12 hours (????) for the data.

    I dearly hope that the data looks good! MeasureMap by comparison, which I’m using on my blog, works flawlessly. I love it.

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  • http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor james Governor

    so is google innovative? buying a company that offers a good service and screwing up the launch hardly seems like innovation to me.

    amazingly – i dont know if you read the blogs about other people with problems- but existing customers also lost their service-and these are folks paying hundreds of dollars for the privelege of analytics.

    gmail a hit

    blogger- not much innovation since the acquisition

    google maps – a hit

    picasa – the jury is out

    where is the internal development? all in the search engine? I am confused- google has all these folks doing 20% time. the smartest people in the world. where are the products? is this MS all over?

    i mean – notions of Gates and Ballmer back in the day laughing at IBM’s lack of productivity. i am pretty sure the google twins say something similar about MS.

    But where is the beef?

  • http://gilbane.com Frank Gilbane

    Mine finally kicked-in sometime last night after about 48 hours. I’m only using it on one page to start, but it looks promising.

  • http://www.wdogsystems.com Tim Howland

    Mine finally kicked in as well. It looks like it’s a little delayed (the reports are not running at 6 hours behind), but that’s a minor quibble.

    They do some great stuff with the app, things that are hard to do with conventional logfile analysis. In my opinion, the reports appear to be on a par with the omniture and hitbox offerings- they include the same datapoints, and allow for a degree of customization that seems pretty much right on.

    I’ll be interested in cross-checking them against my other log analysis- it’s possible that their growing pains have resulted in outages with the collectors, which would have lost data. This is probably something to keep an eye on as they become popular.