Google Analytics is a dependable web analytics service for supporting search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing needs. Anyone with a Google account can use it. It consists of data visualization tools, custom reports, email-based communication, other Google-integrated products, and more. The service is ideal for any website looking to track data and understand changes and behavior on the website. Even with some limitations, Google Analytics can tell a story through its data.
In the past, security experts have pointed out privacy issues of Google Analytics, putting websites at risk of cybercrime. For example, users could gather sensitive information on websites from their revenue figures to their bounce rate statistics. Fortunately, Google has been paying attention and working to minimize potential security problems with their platform by switching to HTTPS – following suit with the new trend online by using secure connections.
A Big Change for Google Analytics
Google Analytics users received a special update regarding the security and privacy of web traffic in April. As a result, all traffic communication of websites is encrypted using HTTPS. This change applies to all websites, regardless of whether they were originally using HTTPS or not. More specifically, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) instructs browsers supporting HTTP over SSL (HTTPS) to encrypt all web communication. Included in this are all kinds of users, browsers, and Google servers. It doesn’t matter if you work for an SEO agency or engage in house for an eCommerce site. There is no way any Google Analytics user can opt out of this update.
Why Google Secured the Data
The Google Analytics team’s decision to secure all communication data came from adhering to the public’s wishes for a protected platform. As they dealt with more privacy-related issues, the desire to preserve the operations of Analytics users grew, leading to the April update. This change will help protect their clients, their clients’ end users, and other internet activity.
Not All Positive for Analytics Users
The impact of this change is not positive for all Analytics users. For example, Analytics may miss some short-visit traffic due to HTTPS-encrypted traffic being slower than non-encrypted traffic. The tracking pixel may have less execution time. This can occur if a user closes a web page within one second of opening it. Also, firewalls can block encrypted traffic. No traffic information is received by Google Analytics when users visit websites with a firewall.
Increased privacy means less cybercrime issues.
The Overall Benefits of Securing Data
Besides encryption, the Analytics update provides other key layers of protection: data integrity and authentication. Under encryption, exchanged data is hidden from eavesdroppers. When users browse websites, no one can know their conversations, track their activities, or steal their information. As for data integrity, information cannot be modified or corrupted during transmission without being identified. This applies to intentional and unintentional activity. Authentication ensures users are interacting with the intended website. It prohibits cyber-attacks and builds trust among users.
Users do not need to be concerned with making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS for their Analytics profile. Google is handling it all, allowing webmasters and website owner’s freedom from dealing with code modifications or other complicated tasks. Now, you can execute your eCommerce marketing strategy goals in a safer manner.
Want to read more about Google? Feel free to read How Feed Quality Affects Google Shopping.