Answers to Your Google Analytics Questions… ON VIDEO!

Ok, here we go! I finally got around to answering some of your questions… ON VIDEO! How fun is this! My co-worker, and good friend, Mike helped me pull this off. Actually Mike did ALL the work. He shot the video, edited it and compressed it.

Today I answer the first three queststions in my queue. All have to do with Google Analytics.

  1. Louis Kessler asks about third party shopping cart tracking
  2. Robin Steif asks about viewing a statistical distribution of data
  3. Rob asks about tracking site specific cookies

If I did not get to your question I will get to it soon.

I will say this… I look TOTALLY stiff in the video! I have way more personality, HONEST! Hopefully I’ll meet a few of you at eMetrics next week where I can prove it.

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    1. says


      Thanks very much for the answer. I thought so.

      I must say that seeing you personally answer my question just blew me away. What an unbelievable idea, to answer it in a video. You may have started a new trend. Wouldn’t it be great if questions to online companies were answered this way?

      I almost feel like showing you a video of me watching your video … but no I won’t.


    2. Justin says

      Thanks Louis! I was _really_ excited to answer the questions on video. It was challenging, I just sat down and started spurting out answers to the camera. Luckily it came out well enough in the first take.

      I like your idea of answering questions via video. One thing we do at EpikOne is offer virtual support. We will RemoteDesktop to your computer and walk through solutions while on the phone with you. While I’m going to continue to use video for the blog, I think the back and forth communication we have when using the phone is very valuable.


    3. Daniel Waisberg says

      Hi Justin,

      your answer was really cool! And it incentivated me to post my own question; who knows, I may have the same luck!?

      I have tried to get an aswer to this question in the Google Analytics group, help center, and the Yahoo group with no success, so maybe you do have the answer. Sorry if it is too specific…

      I am trying to make a comparison between the traffic I receive from Search and the traffic I receive from all other sources. I have succeeded in doing the include filter, but the exclude is not working. Here are both of them:

      Filter type: Exclude all traffic from a domain
      Domain: google (yahoo, msn, etc. one filter for each)

      Filter type: Custom
      Filter field: Referral
      Filter pattern: google (yahoo, msn, etc. one for each)

      Why isn’t it working?

      Thank you very much.
      Daniel Waisberg

    4. says

      Nice work Justin!
      Disagree – not too stiff at all. I didn’t yawn once. :-)

      Couple of followup questions:
      a. Impressive collection of O’Reilly books behind you. Some I’m pretty sure I recognise by colour and vague word lengths. Any more unusual books in the field you’d recommend?

      b. Ping-pong ball or golf ball in the beer glass? Why??? ;-)

      c. And here I am continuing to mentally sound Robbin’s last name as “Steeef”. Shame on me. It’s the ‘i’ in Steif that throws me, I’m sure of it.

      Thanks, some interesting insights in there!

      – Steve

    5. says

      Hi Justin, I had to wait until coming back from the Summit to watch this because my T-Mobile aircard is so much slower than my Verizon fiber optic is. Watching this after spending three days with you and other analysts was *so funny.* I found myself talking to you but you weren’t answering, you were doing the video! Anyway, you have now taught me that I should always always think about what creating a separate profile might do for my problem.

      BTW, the video didn’t come through in my feed (I use Thunderbird.) Maybe if you do this more, you have to have a text link to it that will render in different kinds of feed readers.

      Hope to see you again soon – Robbin

    6. Justin says


      To answer your questions:
      A. For analytics books, I usually recommend the usual. If you haven’t read any of Peterson’s books drop everything and start with those.

      B. Ping Pong balls. We have a table at the office.

      Thanks for reading and participating!


      It was so great to finally meet you. If I could, I would have monopolized all your time! Thanks for the info about Thunderbird, I’ll see what I can do. I should put the actual link to Google Video on each post. That way if the reader fails you can navigate to Google to watch it.

      Take care!

    7. says

      Ok I can vouch for the fact that Justin is not stiff and has a lot of personality, he said I was full of bull crap!!! He said that in person at the emetrics summit standing right in front of me full of personality!!!!!


      This looks great Justin. I like the “strategically” placed EpikOne banner and what looks like a Google lunch box!

      Honestly this is a very useful video.


    8. says

      Hey Justin

      Sorry got another question! I was reading the help docs and came across the one that explains how you can track the # of times a file has been downloaded by giving it a “pagename” and this will show up as “pageviews”.

      Two questions:

      1) Will these pageviews increase my total pageview count?

      2) I read that the tracker code should be placed at the end of the page (near ). Am I correct in thinking that this help doc is telling me to put the tracking code at the top of the page (near )? Is this okay?


      ps – if #1 is yes is there a way to count the # of times a file is downloaded, but not have it add to the total pageview count – because it really is not a pageview and can distort the number?

    9. says

      Hi Rob,

      To answer your questions:

      1. Yes. urchinTracker() creates ‘virtual’ pageviews in GA. These count towards to total # of pageviews. If you do not want these numbers to affect your totals, then I would create a duplicate profile to ‘weed out’ the page hits from urchinTracker.

      2. If you call urchinTracker before you include the GA JavaScript then the browser wil throw a JavaScipt error. The reason is that the page is trying to execute a function that is in a library that has not been loaded yet.

      Thanks for reading and I hope those answers help!


    10. Sarah says

      I am wondering if you can help. Have a peculiar situation on my hands. I have been running google analytics for a few months on my site. The stats were fine if not a little lean compared to my service provider stats. Last week i added mybloglog and techorati ping code to my blog and since then google analytics does not seem to be accurate at all. i know for a fact that it is under-reporting by huge margins and that it is no longer accurate. Do you have any ideas around this???

    11. says

      Hi Sarah,

      It’s very difficult to say that Google Analytics is off without know how your service provider is generating stats. My guess is that the provider is using some generic tracking method (based on IP address) which is far less accurate than GA and usually results in inflated numbers.

      Regarding the Technorati and mybloglog, I would make sure that the GA tracking code is executing and that data is sent to Google Analytics.

      Hope that helps,


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