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While doing research for one of my company's mobile sites, I discovered that Google has provided an entire serverside API for mobile analytics. Meaning that it doesn't require javascript and that the tracking is done immediately, because the pagetracker .gif URI is constructed on your server and called straightaway from Google.

My question is, What prevents me from using this across my ENTIRE site, mobile AND desktop?

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2 Answers 2

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Just some ideas:

  • Their terms. The links leads to a 404 at the moment so no way to check.
  • They may filter everything but traffic from mobile devices.
  • Do you really want to see all the bots and spiders?
  • You lose many features. HTTP is a stateless protocol. "Normal" GA overcomes this by using cookies. There must be significant differences between the two. For example, a user leaves your site, comes back 20 minutes later. There's no way to tell that whether it's the same user (visit) if you don't have cookies.
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Those are some valid points. I could implement some sort of pre-filtering to prevent bot hits, but the issue of cookies would be interesting. –  Dan Gayle Oct 1 '10 at 23:28
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Google used to include a <noscript> version of their tracking code by default, but it seems to have disappeared with the new GA code they introduced about 18 months ago.

That said, there are ways to do this quite effectively yourself. The script on this page might be of use (we were looking into using it ourselves).

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I don't recall this ever being default. Do you have a link? –  Yahel Oct 5 '10 at 23:45
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