Trying Google Analytics

I am currently in the middle of writing the year-end report for the MetaBrainz Foundation and its clear that our ancient web statistics system using webalizer is hopelessly outdated. Following a glowing recommendation from Wendell at MuiscIP, I’ve turned on Google Analytics for the MusicBrainz site so we can get a better idea as to what our traffic is and where it comes from.

Google Analytics works by having the client browser send a tiny ping request to Google — this tiny request is enough to track all sorts of things about the MusicBrainz traffic. If for some reason this should cause some issues, please post a comment here.

If it does work out and gives us good results, we’ll keep it. If it causes problems we’ll dump it. Let’s wait and see!

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4 thoughts on “Trying Google Analytics”

  1. The only downside that I see is that some people, such as myself, either disable javascript (which GA uses to ping) or block requests sent to google analytics. I do this via NoScript for Firefox. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but if many other people are doing it, there would be many page views that aren’t being recorded. You don’t have this problem with processing your web server logs.

  2. No, Matt, I don’t think you’re part of a minority. By chance I just saw that AdBlock Plus had blocked a request to ‘’. I first wondered since when MB uses ads, but then remembered this blog entry. And AdBlock Plus is the most popular Firefox extension…

  3. There is about a 10% difference between javascript based solutions like Google Analytics and web log based ones like Clicktracks. You do get an overall opinion of user behavior with both though to recognize trends, etc.

  4. Is there any implications of letting Google track MusicBrainz visitors? I must admit I wasn’t happy when I saw in the HTML source of a MusicBrainz page, but only because I’m concerned about my privacy.

    Can you point us to the terms agreed upon between MusicBrainz and Google, as far as what data can be used by whom, and for what purposes?

    P.S. I did “Preview” before I did “Post,” and for some reason it thought I’d already posted and made me wait.

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