Google Analytics Changes — All Traffic Now Secure

Google is securing all traffic to Analytics whether your site is https or not (and there is nothing you can do about it).

Google has made changes, effective immediately, that can affect the information that is being tracked in Google Analytics.

Announcing the change by way of an update to the Google Analytics help pages, Google states “Security and privacy are of utmost importance to our clients, our clients’ end users, and to Google, and secure transmission of our JavaScript libraries and measurement data is essential to that end. To implement secure transmission, Google Analytics uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which instructs browsers that support HTTP over SSL (HTTPS) to use that encryption protocol for all communication between end users, websites, and our servers”.


Why should you care?

Google’s help pages mention that slower traffic can result in lost hits from users who close a web page before the tracking beacon is sent to Google Analytics. This occurs, for example, when a user closes a page within a second of opening the page. While this same issue of lost hits exists with unencrypted traffic, it can be greater with encrypted traffic.

Encrypted traffic can also be blocked by a firewall for security reasons. If users accessing a website are using a firewall that blocks https, then the data from those users can’t be collected.

Our recommendation? Add an annotation for in your analytics account noting that this change came into effect on April 28. There may be no significant change to your performance data, but if there is then annotating the change will remind you of a possible cause for any variation.

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About the Author Glenn Marvin

Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.

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