Does Google Analytics code work in the HEAD section?

Posted Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 22:38 by Andrew Liu
Tagged: Google Analytics
Read more blogs...

 

I had a small dilemma where, in programming a site, it would be a lot easier placing the Google Analytics snippet in the HEAD section.  Then the thought came along "would this actually work?".  In essence, yes, it should, and even Google suggests it does, as this post by Google demonstrates.  As they suggest though, the javascript would be executed at the start of the page load, thus causing a (slight) technical speed slowdown in your page load.  If the code were inserted at the bottom of the page (just before the closing BODY tag), the page would have already loaded (and probably rendered on the client's browser) before the Google Analytics code takes place.

 

One point of interest, that I only recently found out by accident, was that Google Analytics actually causes the browser to load a "GIF" file in the browser.  Whats interesting (to me, as a programmer anyway) is:

  • The GIF is a valid GIF of 1x1 size, as it should be, so that it is seen as a valid image file by browsers, and probably by image scanners as well.
  • The GIF is 35 bytes in size.  Smaller than my spacer GIF (which is 43 bytes).
  • If the GIF doesn't load, then Google Analytics doesn't track the visit!  I found this out the hard way when I was trying to load the Google Analytics code on DOM load.  Make sure the GIF is loading!
  • Having thought about it (for about 2 minutes), this is probably the best way to implement the tracker.  The URL generated to load the GIF is always unique, so there is no chance of caching on the client side.  This means that there must be a HTTP call, and Google would then process the call.  It also (possibly) allows the google tracking code to be cached by the browser (so long as the URL generated by the script is always unique, which, if based on a time routine, it probably is).

Web News

SK Hynix sees profit rise 77 percent over the year
SK Hynix has posted 4.3673 trillion won in operating profits for the first quarter of 2018, its second strongest ever.
--- 24 Apr 2018 01:42 PM

NNNCo rolling out Newcastle IoT network
The NSW government has kicked in AU$5 million for NNNCo to build out a LoRa IoT network to support Newcastle's smart city project.
--- 24 Apr 2018 12:05 PM

GoGet 'hacker' case stalled awaiting information from Amazon
Sydney Local Court has heard that Nik Cubrilovic intends to plead not guilty to all charges relating to the alleged access of GoGet's systems.
--- 24 Apr 2018 11:41 AM

SD-WAN & Security - The Ultimate Juggling Act
As long as we take the time to get SD-WAN right and spend a heap of time with customers really looking under the hood. We'll be able to work out what is best for them and importantly get it right.
--- 24 Apr 2018 11:28 AM

Transforming communications is not a discussion of whether to replace handsets with headsets!
There's no need to throw away telephones with an outdated telephony strategy. Let your staff choose for themselves.
--- 24 Apr 2018 09:55 AM

Company Blog


Search Behaviour

Posted Tuesday, 19 October 2010 at 05:58 by Andrew Liu


As an SEO provider, you have one main goal. Get your clients website to show up in search results fo...

Read more...



sm bus drivers missing in Device Manager

Posted Sunday, 18 April 2010
Updated Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 06:39 by Andrew Liu


When installing a new Windows XPinstallation, I seemingly always miss some drivers. One that trouble...

Read more...



Multiple Domains for SEO performance?

Posted Friday, 05 March 2010 at 23:13 by Andrew Liu


Online businesses and websites that cover a broad range of topics or one large topic are sometimes b...

Read more...



Tag Clouds - SEO or not?

Posted Thursday, 04 March 2010 at 04:34 by Andrew Liu


A tag cloud or word cloud is a visual depiction of tags or words related to a site, typically used t...

Read more...



Mozilla Thunderbird and Gmail IMAP Attachments Bug

Posted Wednesday, 03 March 2010 at 20:15 by Andrew Liu


I've been using Gmail since its early inception, and Iwas one of the first to utilise Gmail's IMAPfe...

Read more...



Read more blogs...