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Google Analytics to release opt out plugin

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday March 20, 2010 )

It appears that the Google Analytics team will soon be releasing a browser plug-in that will allow people to opt-out of being tracked by the web analytics application.

According to a post on the official Google Analytics blog, it’s being done to allay privacy concerns of some.

“We concluded that the best approach would be to develop a global browser based plug-in to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics. Our engineers are now hard at work finalizing and testing this opt-out functionality. We look forward to make it globally available to our users in the coming weeks.”

I get Google’s position, but this isn’t the best of news. Of course, if they roll out it with minimal fanfare, then few people might actually use it. If a bunch of people do use it, it will make traffic analysis all the more challenging.

I think Surfer Joe needs to be educated about being “tracked” by web analytics applications such as Google Analytics; that it’s not really widely used for nefarious purposes nor really all that suitable for the same, but an opt out mechanism will give the bottom dwellers and crackpots who seek to wreak havoc on sites another layer of protection.

The average surfer needs to understand these package are more to help merchants not only gauge performance, but improve their web sites.

Google Analytics has helped me many times to find problems on a site I was working with that might have otherwise gone undetected.

However, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good I guess. Those companies that suffered as a result of Google Analytics being provided as a free service may soon see sales of their own web analytics software packages increase as a result of this.


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