Google Analytics tracks users across the web


In 2005, Google launched its web analytics service, which tracks and reports website traffic. The most widely-used analytics service on the web, Google Analytics comes in three versions: free, the subscription enterprise service 360, and a mobile service that collects analytics from both iOS and Android apps. The service works by storing cookies on computers that visit the websites on which Google Analytics is installed; the cookies contain a unique "cookie ID" identifier; this enables website owners to track visitor demographics, the software and tools they have installed, and the revenue earned from that visitor. Google can also use this data to fine-tune its own services, including the types of ads users see.

Google Analytics also offers additional tools that site owners can use to create targeted advertising campaigns. These include options to anonymise visitors' IP addresses and track users in detail. Because this data is sent to Google, turning on the tracking options for your own site also means enabling Google to track your users across the web to any site they use.

tags: Google, analytics, data collection, tracking, web, 
Writer: Eric Hellman
Publication: Library Journal,

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