Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand. Google launched the service in November 2005 after acquiring developer Urchin.
Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service on the web. Google Analytics provides an SDK that allows gathering usage data from iOS and Android app, known as Google Analytics for Mobile Apps.
Google analytics is used to track the website activity of the users such as session duration, pages per session, bounce rate etc. along with the information on the source of the traffic. It can be integrated with Google AdWords, with which users can review online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions (goals). Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file. Google Analytics' approach is to show high-level, dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set. Google Analytics analysis can identify poorly performing pages with techniques such as funnel visualization, where visitors came from (referrers), how long they stayed on the website and their geographical position. It also provides more advanced features, including custom visitor segmentation. Google Analytics e-commerce reporting can track sales activity and performance. The e-commerce reports shows a site's transactions, revenue, and many other commerce-related metrics.
On September 29, 2011, Google Analytics launched Real Time analytics, enabling a user to have insight about visitors currently on the site. A user can have 100 site profiles. Each profile generally corresponds to one website. It is limited to sites which have traffic of fewer than 5 million pageviews per month (roughly 2 pageviews per second) unless the site is linked to an AdWords campaign. Google Analytics includes Google Website Optimizer, rebranded as Google Analytics Content Experiments. Google Analytics' Cohort analysis helps in understanding the behaviour of component groups of users apart from your user population. It is beneficial to marketers and analysts for successful implementation of a marketing strategy.
Google acquired Urchin Software Corp. in April 2005. Google's service was developed from Urchin on Demand. The system also brings ideas from Adaptive Path, whose product, Measure Map, was acquired and used in the redesign of Google Analytics in 2006. Google continued to sell the standalone, installable Urchin WebAnalytics Software through a network of value-added resellers until discontinuation on March 28, 2012. The Google-branded version was rolled out in November 2005 to anyone who wished to sign up. However, due to extremely high demand for the service, new sign-ups were suspended only a week later. As capacity was added to the system, Google began using a lottery-type invitation-code model. Before August 2006, Google was sending out batches of invitation codes as server availability permitted; since mid-August 2006 the service has been fully available to all users – whether they use Google for advertising or not.
The newer version of Google Analytics tracking code is known as the asynchronous tracking code, which Google claims is significantly more sensitive and accurate, and is able to track even very short activities on the website. The previous version delayed page loading, and so, for performance reasons, it was generally placed just before the body close HTML tag. The new code can be placed between the ... HTML head tags because, once triggered, it runs in parallel with page loading. In April 2011 Google announced the availability of a new version of Google Analytics featuring multiple dashboards, more custom report options, and a new interface design. This version was later updated with some other features such as real-time analytics and goal flow charts.
In October 2012 another new version of Google Analytics was announced, called 'Universal Analytics. The key differences from the previous versions were: cross-platform tracking, flexible tracking code to collect data from any device, and the introduction of custom dimensions and custom metrics
In March 2016, Google released Google Analytics 360, which is a software suite that provides analytics on return on investment and other marketing indicators. Google Analytics 360 includes five main products: Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimize, Data Studio, Surveys, Attribution, and Audience Center.
In October 2017 a new version of Google Analytics was announced, called Global Site Tag. Its stated purpose was to unify the tagging system to simplify implementation.
In June 2018, Google introduced Google Marketing Platform, an online advertisement and analytics brand. It consists of two former brands of Google, DoubleClick Digital Marketing and Google Analytics 360.