Google Analytics, the most used web analytics tool, recently announced that they will be implementing a browser-based plugin that allows users to opt-out of being tracked.
What does this mean for someone who uses Google Analytics to optimize their online performance? In my opinion, it doesn’t mean much. There will always be users who don’t want their online behavior tracked.
Users already have the ability to deny or delete tracking cookies, both of which result in inaccurate representations of online behavior. However, the benefits of web analytics do not lie in minutia—value comes from analyzing trends.
As a web analyst, it’s important to understand that analytics data is not always going to be a perfect reflection of online behavior. The goal is to take available raw data and extract actionable insights to improve performance.
Google Chrome already allows users the chance to browse the web “incognito” that affords users the ability to browse the web without being tracked. As for Google’s plugin, it will be interesting to see if users proactively manage their privacy settings, or if it will be ignored like Chrome’s incognito mode.