Google Analytics Is Losing E-commerce Data: Don't Panic?!!

Ian Lurie

If you’re using Google Analytics to record sales data, you may have noticed really horrible sales over the last couple days.
Don’t panic. I don’t think it’s you.
It appears that, starting April 30th, Google Analytics isn’t correctly reporting e-commerce revenue.
We figured this out after noticing that, of our 10+ clients using Google e-commerce reporting, all were showing the same drop in sales. Here are graphs from two completely different sites, on different servers, in different industries:
lostdata.png
Bounce rates, site traffic and visit quality have all remained totally stable on these sites – there’s no evidence anything went wrong.
Even more telling, goal conversions (sales) remained the same.
Number of transactions is the same. Revenue dropped by 50-90%. Hmmmmm….
I’m still waiting for confirmation on this from the folks at Google. I’ll update the moment I hear something.
Update: Google reports that this is indeed a problem on their end. The data is fine – the reporting system is showing $0 for many transactions. Once they fix it, reports will be accurate.
5/5/08 Update: Google Analytics is still not reporting correctly. Google, I’m patient, my clients are not. They will start demanding a new analytics package (I predict) in the next few days. You have lots of smart people there. Fix. Your. Problem.
5/7/08 Update: Looks like data is back to normal, but Google’s still working on restoring the previous days…

Ian Lurie
Founder

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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Comments

  1. Don’t hold your breath. Google isn’t the incredible place you think it is. They have a handful of brilliant engineers. Past that, the place is piled high with business and web poseurs who are too busy drinking Starbucks and Razor-scootering down the hallway while dressing like they’re in CSI: Miami to learn anything about business. In all seriousness, until recently I worked for a VERY large retail corporation and met with a bunch of Googlers in middle of 2007, at their NYC offices. Pathetic. Worst business meeting I’ve had in probably more than five years; I damn nearly stood up and walked out twice. All of them were rude, amateurish wannabe GAP models that didn’t know anything substantial about their own products or about business in general. Complete waste of time, airfare and hotel. In retrospect, it doesn’t surprise me. They are a victim of their own luck. After all, they could screw up every single part of their business as long as the PPC revenue keeps ticking away. With that going, why would they bother being accountable to know anything or be effective?

  2. Whoa. Red, I think that’s a little excessive.
    First, PPC revenue is driven by search relevance. If they didn’t deliver the most relevant results, they’d lose PPC revenue.
    Second, I have to say their response on this analytics issue is far superior to companies who charge thousands of dollars a month for their service.

  3. We experienced the same issue but only after changing to the new urchin.js code that Google announced… We switched back to legacy and it’s working fine. I don’t think we’ll switch to the new code again until we’re forced to. 🙂

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