Google’s Instant Pages – Analytics Skewer?
A few months ago Google released a feature called Instant Pages in their newest version of their Chrome browser. The idea behind this technology was that Google could predict which page in the search results you would most likely click on and then pre-render or pre-load the page for you. This made it so that when you clicked the link there was no load time, and the page instantly popped up on your browser.
Sounds cool right?! Well, to users it is but to webmasters there’s a big catch to this shiny new toy…skewed analytics results. When Google pre-renders a site it could be mistaken as a conversion by some analytics programs, effectively creating a false positive. Nothing makes us number junkies more upset than someone messing with our stats.
So what does Google have to say about this? They simply state that it’s a possibility. Google analytics has a built in work around to know when a site is getting an actual conversion or just being pre-rendered, so they aren’t worried about it. Simply put – if you want the most accurate results you need to use Google’s analytic software instead of someone else’s. And of course as Chrome takes more of the browser market share, the numbers of false positives will increase.