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I wondered if GA tracks visits to my Tumblr accessed through Tumblr dashboard by other Tumblr users. And if it can track visitors who only view my blog via the Tumblr dashboard.

My GA stats are 320 visits for last month, but I have about 400 likes or reblogs for the same time period, so not sure how this is possible, unless the visits through Tumblr are not tracked.

Does GA only track those who type in my site address directly or those who are logged in to Tumblr to access it as well?

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2 Answers 2

ga.js has no way of checking views on the internal tumblr dashboard.

Allowing such a screening would lead to:

  • Legal troubles under many (mostly european) privacy laws

  • [in a worst case scenario]
    (i.e. 3rd party unscrutinized scripts like ga.js running on the dashboard)

    Opening the tumblr dashboard site to a brand new daring world of XSS attacks (tumblr board actually takes the "no-scripts-on-the-dashboard" rule religiously)

  • [in a less awful scenario]
    (i.e. 3rd party unscrutinized external images like __utm.gif allowed to appear on the dashboard)

    Allowing advertising (also maybe phishing) from unauthorized rings on the tumblr dashboard.

  • Issues with the actual gathering of results: a typical tumblr dashboard contains content from 10 different parties, and the infinite scroll feature can push that figure up to 200 in just a few scrolls.

Also note that ga.js and other trackers also have trouble tracking visits to the tumblr mobile version.

And yes most of this issues could be worked out, if Tumblr cooperated w/ Google.

But Tumblr isn't exactly a team player, and Google doesn't really care: Analytics is meant to track actual visits to pages that could generate advertising. Typical digital advertising: a banner, an adsense one, maybe, one that Google can monetize on.

Tracking views over the Tumblr dashboard may help assess the state of a viral campaign, but Google gets squat from that.

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Google Analytics only tracks pages that include your Google Analytics tracking code. This code is a piece of JavaScript included at the beginning or end of your pages that reports each visit to Google's servers.

The tumblr dashboard does not include this tracking code, so no visit will be recorded for people who read your post via the dashboard. There's no way to know how many page views you've had via the dashboard, although likes and follows are a good way to measure overall engagement.

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Actually, the tumblr dashboard does include a Google Analytics tracking snippet associated with UA-97144-8 - I noticed this and inquired with tumblr support over a year ago regarding the possibility of firing off trackPageView calls to account holders' GA accounts (which would not require full scripting access as ZJR described) but haven't heard back. –  danlefree Oct 13 '12 at 10:59
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Isn't that tumblr's own tracking code so they can track dashboard views and gauge tumblr usage? –  Nick Oct 13 '12 at 11:08
    
Right - Google is already collecting data from the dashboard, so pushing data to other accounts would be fairly trivial for tumblr to implement. (There's ambiguity as to whether "tracking code" in your answer refers to the initial ga.js script or the JS calls which push data to GA, just chiming in to clarify) –  danlefree Oct 13 '12 at 11:25
    
@denlefree Not trivial: (A) would probably breach google analytics ToS (B) google analytics, if called from tumblr.com records the hit to tumblr.com, not to xxx_wtf_omg.tumblr.com –  ZJR Oct 22 '12 at 0:51

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