Google Analytics Releases New, Faster Tracking Code

Last December, Google Analytics announced an alternative tracking setup by using a “parallel rail” to execute JavaScript, meaning analytics wouldn’t slow down your site, and your site wouldn’t hold up analytics. They call it their asynchronous code, and it’s now out of beta and available right in the Google Analytics setup process.

This is important for SEOs concerned about site speed (who isn’t, these days?), because it means your analytics will no longer prevent your page from loading while it tries to connect to Google’s servers. Also, if you have a slow site and you’re missing a lot of credit where it’s due (because your analytics code is at the bottom of the page, waiting patiently to execute), asynch is right up your alley. Many SEOs struggle to prove their worth when sites are slow and analytics never actually executes, missing those visits you worked so hard to bring about.

The Google Analytics asynch code fixes these issues by allowing analytics to cue up events that work themselves out on the side, while the rest of your site takes care of itself. It’s like having a nice, little pack of oompa-loompas helping you out with your tracking while your site gets to breathe a little easier and load a little faster. And for the SEOs who aren’t getting credit, asynch ensures that the queue of messages to be sent to Google Analytics continues to process, even as users navigate away from the landing page. Smart oompa-loompas!

The change does require some work, though. The syntax for calling page views and events has changed a little bit to allow for these calls to be queued-up, rather than executed immediately while the world waits. But this is great news and it’s absolutely how new implementations should be carried out to maximize site speed and make analytics less invasive and more accurate.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Google: Analytics


About The Author: is the Director of Client Performance at Search Discovery, an Atlanta-based search marketing and web analytics agency. Evan is a fierce believer in the power of web analytics and the impact it can have on the performance (and lovability) of web sites. Evan also writes a web analytics blog called Atlanta Analytics and can be found as @evanlapointe on twitter.

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  • bryanpieper

    I have been using the async javascript for a little while now. This beta code differs slightly from their original implementation.

    They changed the last line to:
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

    Before it was:
    (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0]).appendChild(ga);

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