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Google Analytics – First Impressions

I turned on my computer this morning looking forward to checking out my first statistics with Google Analytics (which apparently takes up to 12 hours to see it’s first stats come in).

Unfortunately they seem to be having some ‘issues’ – probably due to the number of people signing up for the service. I’ve had a number of problems so far with it:

1. I recently was asked to swap my AdSense and AdWords login email addresses to a gmail one which I did. I signed up for Analytics with this gmail email but it’s constantly trying to get me to log in with the old login and sometimes halfway through a session (after having logged in previously with my gmail one) it will suddenly swap me to my older login which means I need to login again.

2. Logging in is a hit and miss thing. I’m either timing out, seeing a maintenance page or taking a few minutes to get logged in. Similarly after logging in I click on a link within the page and either time out, get switched to my old login which asks me to sign up again, see a maintenance page or have a very slow transition to the new page.

3. When and if I do get logged in I’m still seeing no data – 17 hours after adding the code two of my blogs.

So all in all – my first impressions of Google Analytics are that it has potential (the glimpses of the stats that it’s supposed to give me look worth having) but that it’s slow and incredibly frustrating. I expected more from a Google product to be honest – I know there are always bugs with new things but if I’d been them I would not have promised a 12 hour delay if there was any chance at all that it might be longer.

I’m going to stop trying to use it for another day or two til they get the bugs out of the system.

update: while the US sleeps it seems that Google Analytics has sped up a bit. Logging in is possible and it’s all loading reasonably quickly. Still no actual stats/data yet though after 24.5 hours so far.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Cary says:

    I’m experiencing the same thing. Just a few minutes ago, while in the middle of a session, I got a screen saying to come back later because they are moving all of their old users over right now (I suppose this means their Urchin users.)

    I’m sure it will get better with time, but I’m a bit surprised they released it running so slow…I mean, what was the rush?

  2. vivek says:

    Yup it is slow… I’m not even able to login :(

  3. Ignat says:

    I think the experience so far is pretty universal. I can only imagine how many new members Google is getting. The bandwidth usage must be enormous! Google Analytics team must be buisy right about now.

  4. jesse says:

    Why is google stuff always so crappy on first release? Why don’t they wait until it actually works? (remeber the feed reader?)

  5. Indiblog says:

    Google Reader also suffered from server load and problems during the first few days – its the same story again!

  6. Netwalker says:

    I also had several troubles to make my account. Several pages showing the maintenance thing.

    One of the things I can’t get working, is to register http://www.fandino.net/cesar, it seems it has some troubles hadling this kind of url’s. But I get to register other domain and subdomains.

    I agree with Jesse, it seems the first releases from Google have lots of bugs, but in this case they didn’t announced as a beta version.

  7. It’s completely down for me right now. 2 more hours until my stats go live. Fingers crossed they figure this out before then ;-)

  8. jesse says:

    I’ve been able to log in, but I only signed up a couple hours ago, so it’s gonna be tommorow morning before I see stats

  9. (I probably know the answer to this one but…) Could this be the reason why my adsense clicks and dollar figures have not moved today since about 10am CST? Because the page impressions have been moving.. i’ve just rationalized it ‘Because My Site Sucks’ as the explanation

  10. IO ERROR says:

    Try clearing out all of your Google Cookies. I’ve seen Google get quite confused by cookies that conflict with each other, and it sounds like you might have some of those.

  11. Jojo says:

    Google Analytics isn´t a new Google product. It´s only the old Urchin with a new name. But the launch for free has get them probably more interest than they expected. I think the problems will be vanished in a few day.

  12. Darren Rowse says:

    my Adsense stats seem normal Hart

    IO Error – yeah – have tried that – nothing is clearing up the problem. Hopefully in time it’ll work it out.

  13. pcunix says:

    The Analytics is certainly going to be useful, though most of it is nothing a good log analyzer and a little Javascript can’t give you anyway.

    What would make this the killer app is tight integration with Adsense. If they did that, I’d probably have to drop YPN and Chitika because this would let me focus in on what really makes money. Right now I have a pretty good sense from using tools like Asrep, but it’s very chunky – I can’t really zero in as I’d like to.

    Google obviously has the ability to tell us what ads were clicked and what their value was. I’ve never yet had an answer to my question which simply is “why don’t they?”.

    Apparently there is something I’m not seeing – some way that the system could be scammed if we knew that information – but I just don’t see it. Why else would they be reluctant to tell us? Knowing what articles make the most money for me would cause me to try to improve other articles using the succesful ones as guidelines. As I said, I know some of that information now, but it’s hazy and unfocused.

    I’m not saying that my writing would be driven by ad dollars, but if I have two articles in mind and I knew that the first one is going to be more profitable, I might spend more time on it. If I knew that articles over 637 words always pay me less, I’d make sure it was 636 words or less. If I knew that articles with bullet lists are more apt to make more money than articles without such lists, I’d be sure to use bullet lists and so on. These activities would benefit the advertiser, Google, and me.

    So what am I missing? Or do you think Google does plan to integrate this with Adsense?

  14. Jon says:

    pcunix…wouldn’t you just add all the ads that didn’t pay well to your competitive filter. I can see that as a reason why they don’t tell.
    Another reason is that if they told you the value of a click for an ad you could look up the bid amount in Adwords and then know what percentage Google pays out. Then if they decide to ‘adjust’ this percentage, everyone would freak!

  15. Michele says:

    I’ve been using Urchin for the last couple of months for our company site and I had a lot of “fun” this morning with the changeover. The service is practically unusable at the moment, whereas before it was quite fast loading and responsive – now it just sits there and doesn’t load. Quite frustrating!

  16. chris busse says:

    Netwalker, check out the filters:

    “Include only traffic from a subdirectory: use this filter if you want a profile to report only on a subdomain or subdirectory (such as sports.example.com or http://www.example.com/motorcycles) ”

    https://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=26798&hl=en_US

  17. @@ron says:

    Google promised that the report can be shown within 12 hrs, but i doubt that, because it is 17hrs after i applied for GAnalytics, i still cannot get through my first report.

  18. hagrin says:

    Google Analytics is just another victim of Google’s own popularity.

    Google must struggle with effectively testing heavy load on new applications since mirroring their production enviroment probably isn’t the easiest task. Google is such a great company and I am sure that they already do load testing, but it seems they need to refine their load testing for new products.

  19. Brad says:

    Boy did I screw up. I got in a hurry and between that and the frustration of the site problems, I didn’t install the tracking code Now I guess I’ll have to wait until late tomorrow to se any results.

  20. Hey Darren,
    Any results yet? I haven’t seen anything yet but I am not sure if that is my not 100% correct install (seeings as I can’t put it in the head of my page).
    Molly

  21. pcunix says:

    I was hoping that this would be fixed this morning, but it isn’t: all of my sites still say “Waiting for data – check status”. Clicking “Check Status” confirms that all is installed correctly, but the front page still insists that “Tracking has not been validated or added to one or more of your Website Profiles. Report data is not being gathered for one or more of your Website Profiles.”

    We probably just need to leave this alone for a day or two and see what happens.

  22. Darren Rowse says:

    Still no results – 32.5 hours and counting….

  23. 24 hours here and no results.

  24. I managed to sign up yesterday and today the site is lightning fast (at least for me.) However, I still have no results, as for pretty much everyone here.

    But it’s a step towards teh bright side… :)

  25. Carlos Gomes says:

    It looks wonderful but +24h passed and still waiting for data to create the first report, does anyone already have a working report?

  26. Swanie says:

    For about 12+ hrs, it just showed it couldn’t detect any working code. So I had to make sure the code & where I placed it was right. But still it says 12 more hrs to see the first report. I hope it doesn’t take that long later on, since there are some stats analysis programs a lot faster than this. We shall see.

  27. Mark Daoust says:

    I talked to one of the guys over at Analytics today (here at PubCon, Vegas). He said that they are rolling out some fixes for the delays today, although he still anticipates some problems. Evidently they were not ready for the huge number of signups they received…

  28. Darren Rowse says:

    I find it pretty bizarre that a company with the influence and size of Google didn’t anticipate that there would be a lot of sign ups for a free service for website publishers (of whom they should have a pretty good idea of the numbers of :-)

    I guess you get what you pay for and it’s looking at this stage that that is a package that contains nothing useful after coming up for 48 hours.

  29. themaxx.ca says:

    The funy thing is how good some of the reviews are but no one has yet been able it use it! LOL Someone commented that they might have not expected to generate so much trafic.. well com’on… They knew everyone would register to get something expensive for free!

  30. Darren Rowse says:

    And it’s finally working….at last…

  31. themaxx.ca says:

    Well Darren, you’re lucky.. I’m still “Waiting for data”

  32. Tim Flight says:

    Anyone who is still waiting for stats and is using the Safari browser, note the following FAQ from the Google Analytics Help Center:

    “reports are not viewable on Safari browsers on Mac OS X. Try accessing your account with Firefox, Netscape, or Mozilla”

    Even though my account said “Still waiting for data” and Safari showed nothing, Firefox was happy to display data.

  33. It’s ALIVE! :-D

  34. I think you’re quite right – it’s good that we’re able to take advantage of the US Downtime!
    Don’t be too hard on Google – this is a new tool, and there was a massive rush on Tuesday to sign up – did you see it hit del.icio.us?! Once things settle down (and Google up the server power!) I think things will speed right up.

    I’ve got my list of feature requests ready and waiting!

  35. Netwalker says:

    Chris

    Thanks for the help, but it still isn’t working. Google it’s trying to find the code on the frontpage of the domain, but in there I have one CMS and on the subdirectory I have another one.

    On the page to create a new profile, it’s an example “stores.website.com/apparel”. But when I enter the domain with the subdirectory I get a “invalid input” message.

    I think I will have to wait a little bit more for that one.

    Meanwhile, I can see the first report of other blog, and I think it will be very useful. Shame that you have to wait so much time to see the reports, internet moves much more faster than 12 hours. Maybe the people that have Adsense would like to have more continuos reports, to see exactly how a change affects the site.

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  1. [...] Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.com has also experienced some major delays with stats getting reported. However, after 48 hours the stats started to roll in. [...]