Google Analytics offers site owners an easy and free way to gather highly detailed analytics about their websites' visitors. A lot of people, however, don't feel comfortable with the idea that Google can track their every move on the Internet. After all, even if you don't use any Google product yourself, you will still send personal data about yourself to Google through programs like Google Analytics. According to an announcement the Google Analytics team just posted on its blog, you will soon have the option to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.
How Will This Work?
It still remains to be seen how this opt out feature will actually work. According to Google, the Google Analytics team wants to offer a "global browser based plugin." This is a very vague statement and given that there is no standard for browser plugins, it remains to be seen how Google will implement this. It is also worth noting that a lot of users probably don't know how to install a plugin. Those users who care about being tracked by Google Analytics will likely know how to do this, but it is probably in Google's best interest to explain this opt out procedure in great detail.
Google plans to make these plugins available globally in the coming weeks.
Will this Make Stats Useless?
What About Other Analytics Tools?
It will also be interesting to see how other analytics firms will react to this. While Google Analytics is probably one of the most often used analytics services, other companies like Clicktale, Sitemeter and Woopra also collect large amounts of data from Internet users. Those users who want to opt out of Google Analytics will surely also want to opt out of other programs as well.