Google Analytics Blowup Likely By End Of Summer?

A web analytics train wreck is expected later this year, when an old version of Google Analytics—still being used by a huge number of retail sites—gets phased out, according to a report issued Wednesday (April 8) from Pingdom. The report was a survey that looked at the top 10,000 Web sites and it discovered two interesting figures: 50 percent of all of those sites use Google Analytics, which in and of itself is fairly mind-blowing; and a full 40 percent of those sites are using an expired version of Google Analytics. "Google switched its development over to ga.js well over a year ago. It's truly remarkable that almost half of the sites using Google Analytics have yet to migrate to the new ga.js script," the report said. "The question is, for how long will urchin.js keep working? Back when Google made the switch it was widely believed that Google would stop supporting the old script after 12-18 months. If that is the case, the end for urchin.js is getting near." The report speculated that "urchin.js will be decommissioned sometime this summer" and, when that switchover happens, all of the sites using the older version will "start returning a 404 error (file not found) and therefore stop registering traffic." (Update: Google is now officially denying that they plan an end-of-summer cutoff. Is Google telling the truth? Most likely. The denial is too explicit.)