Why Clicky validates your traffic

A couple users in our forums were just talking about how their Google Analytics reports are unreliable because people have copied their GA tracking code (for reasons unknown) onto their web sites, and now the traffic from these other sites is being reported in GA alongside the "real" traffic that should only be getting logged in the first place.

We had no idea GA allowed this to happen and frankly, we were surprised to hear it. If I was a griefer, and I owned a high traffic, off-color web site, I might get my lulz by regularly including the GA code from other random sites in my own web site's HTML. Hypothetically, of course :)

This is one of the reasons we chose to validate your traffic against your registered domain name before logging it. And this was one of the very, very first things we ever did when we were designing Clicky. We're talking October 2006, before Clicky was even available to the public. This has caused headaches for some users over the years, e.g. if they mistype their domain when registering, or their domain changes but they don't update it on Clicky, then no traffic gets logged. But for the most part it's worked well for everyone, and to make it flexible we have offered (also from day 1) a "mirrors" option to add additional domains that are authorized to log traffic for a certain site ID.

We don't know if other analytics services do any validation, but if not, maybe we should add another bullet point to ye olde matrix. I imagine Google may do this for support reasons, so they get as few questions about "why aren't my stats working" as possible, but we still don't agree with it. We get support questions about this maybe once a week, but we have no problem helping people out with it.

What do you think?
17 comments |   Aug 11 2010 5:43pm





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