Client-side analytics. Problem No: 221

As highlighted in this e-Consultancy post, Google is considering letting web-site visitors opt-out of their free Google Analytics application. On the face of it, Google seems to being a “good boy” and trying to re-acquire it’s much vaunted “do no evil” motto. However, for a good number of years a great deal of agencies, traffic providers and web-masters have been using GA to make business decisions based on user behaviour. So where do it leave them?

In a word, screwed. The great downside of client-side analytics such as GA is simply that, the tracking is done directly on the visitors’ machine and not at the heart of the web-site and whilst this makes it easy to deploy it also allows it to be easily circumvented. The ideal solution is server-side recording but that’s more involved, more tricky to deploy and requires wider skills and (usually) a, paid-for, commercial solution.