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Your Google® Game Plan for Success: Increasing Your Web Presence with Google AdWords, Analytics, and Website Optimizer by Joe Teixeira

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Chapter 10. The Technical Side of Google Analytics

This chapter takes an in-depth approach to the technical aspects of Google Analytics. If you're working in IT, are a webmaster, or are in charge of making sure your Google Analytics account is running smoothly and tracking properly, this chapter is tailor-made for you. However, if you're more of a marketer, an analyst (who doesn't manage profiles or tracking codes and just analyzes data and provides insights), or a director/vice-president of marketing, this is the only chapter in the book that you may want to skim. Fair warning: This chapter contains highly geeky material. Its pages should be handled with caution, as their contents may become volatile.

Let's start by talking about the data-collection process, which — obvi-ously — happens with the Google Analytics Tracking Code.

The Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC)

The Google Analytics Tracking Code (normally abbreviated GATC) is a piece of JavaScript code that is placed on every page of a website. When a visitor reaches a web page that has the GATC installed on it, the visitor will have a set of Google Analytics cookies added on his or her computer, or the visitor's existing Google Analytics cookies will be updated. As I mentioned in Chapter 8, visitor data is also sent to Google's servers for processing via an image named utm.gif that is one pixel square.

The interesting thing about the GATC is that there are three active generations being used online. There's the urchin tracking ...

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