Excluding your own company from Google Analytics – an update

Last year I discussed Excluding your own company from Google Analytics and I know a lot of you did this. It’s certainly something I’d recommend. Here are some updates, however. Firstly, I did write that to have Google Analytics ignore accesses from your site, you needed to find out your “IP address”, and enter it into Google Analytics in a rather odd format called a “regular expression”, which is enough to put most people off. Those of you who took the plunge may have found out that this was soon out of date: it’s now simple to enter your IP address, exactly as it is. Here’s what the new form looks like:

That’s the encouraging piece of feedback. The other one, however, came from a reader who is fortunate enough to have an IT Manager in-house. Now don’t get me wrong, IT people who know more than I do (and that’s just about all of them) have got me out of no end of difficulties in the past, and for that I thank them. But a good one should be seen and not heard. Being disallowed from doing quite straightforward things on a PC at a company “because we have an IT policy against that” has been one of the biggest pains in my working life over the years. The “policy” is often there [1] to avoid unwanted occurrences which it’s almost impossible to ever envisage happening, or [2] to cover an eventuality which became impossible due to technological developments years ago.

Anyway, the reader said that her company IT Manager didn’t like the idea of anyone entering the company’s IP address into Google Analytics because he didn’t like the idea of letting Google know what it was. Now, I’m sure some IT Manager may come along and give some reason why your company’s IP address should not be broadcast. But let’s not pretend we can keep things like this a secret from Google. I really don’t care if Google knows IP address so-and-so is The Red Widget Company’s head office, but even if I did, should Google want to know this stuff (and who knows, maybe they do), it wouldn’t exactly be hard for them to work it out. Put it this way: Google Analytics account XXX belongs to The Red Widget Company. Google Analytics account XXX was signed-into 10 times last week, each time from IP address YYY. I suspect the IP address of The Red Widget Company is YYY, don’t you?

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