An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

September 4, 2008

Google Analytics Tracks Chrome

TechCrunch reports that Google Analytics included Chrome in the list of detected browsers. It's probably irrelevant that 8.64% of today's visits for this blog were from Google Chrome because a lot of users test the new browser to see if it's better than IE, Firefox, Safari or Opera.

(Find the report in : Visitors > Browser Capabilities > Browsers)

Two days ago, Google Analytics Blog admitted that the web analytics service intentionally concealed the identity of the new browser. "Because Google Chrome was not launched externally until today, we haven't yet changed Google Analytics to recognize it when you segment by browser within reports. However - this will change in the coming weeks (until then, the browser will show as Firefox)." The blog post has been edited and it no longer contains the reference to Firefox, but I can't help wondering if Google Analytics hides other things.

If you want to detect Google Chrome, this user-agent should be helpful:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/XX (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/YY Safari/XX

For now, most services don't detect Chrome, probably because Safari has a very similar user-agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/XX (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/ZZ Safari/YY

10 comments:

  1. This is perhaps a more accurate indicator:

    http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-whos-losing/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Independent StatCounter analysis:

    http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-grabs-1-in-one-day/

    http://blog.statcounter.com/2008/09/chrome-whos-losing/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now that Google is a player in the browser market, its analytics are no longer reliable.

    They already admitted as much when they said "the web analytics service intentionally concealed the identity of the new browser."

    What else are they concealing? What are they adding?

    Google analytics is now a corrupt source.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did they mean to say they concealed it, or that they just didn't change Analytics so far (i.e. that they need to adapt Analytics whenever a new browser is officially released, which would be now)? And what would be the use of them concealing it if any other stats program could show Chrome anyway (wouldn't it make more sense to send a fake user agent for internal pre-releases of Chrome to hide the product)?

    In any case, for reference here's the text comparison using Google's cache:

    Before:
    "Q. Will I see Google Chrome listed as a browser in my Google Analytics reports?
    A. Because Google Chrome was not launched externally until today, we haven't yet changed Google Analytics to recognize it when you segment by browser within reports. However - this will change in the coming weeks (until then, the browser will show as Firefox). We'll let you know when the change happens."

    After:
    "Q. Will I see Google Chrome listed as a browser in my Google Analytics reports?
    A. Yes, very soon. We'll let you know immediately once the change happens."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Opere identifies itself as Internet Explorer by default. Can Analytics see through that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Youtube videos don't play properly on chrome. Any info abt this welcome

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Philipp:
    It's not very clear if Google changed something or the detection worked that way, but editing the paragraph makes it look even more suspicious.

    @mko:
    "Opere identifies itself as Internet Explorer by default."

    That's no longer true since Opera 8.02.

    @Batrasden:
    YouTube videos play fine in my Google Chrome. You can report issues by going to the Page menu and selecting "report bug or broken website".

    ReplyDelete
  8. As with any new piece of software there will always be problems and bugs to be worked out. I wouldn't necessarily say that Google Analytics is no longer reliable. But to be safe you can drop in another stat counter and do a cross comparison to see if the results line up. Can't hurt!

    ReplyDelete
  9. >Opera identifies itself as Internet Explorer by default.

    And that is stupid for Opera, since Opera that way rank extremely low in stats :-)

    Same goes for Google Crome that indifies itself as Mozilla/Firefox

    fc

    ReplyDelete