Users upset over Google Analytics outage

By , IDG News Service |  Software

The Google Analytics Web site monitoring service suffered an outage that affected some users for more than 24 hours this week, prompting many to vent on blogs and forums their frustration with the situation and with what they perceived as unresponsiveness on Google Inc.'s part.

Most affected users reported problems on Tuesday and Wednesday, although some still experienced problems on Friday. In seemingly all cases, users could access their accounts but found that the Analytics dashboard reported significantly reduced or even zero traffic to their sites.

Google Analytics, a free service, is used by organizations of all sizes, as well as individuals, to track traffic and analyze usage of their Web sites. For Web publishers, the information Analytics and similar services collect is critical for decisions regarding their sites' design, content and ad space.

Vivek Puri, who uses Analytics to monitor his sites StartupSquad and StartupSquad India, suffered an outage of about 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday, and about 20 hours between Thursday and Friday.

As disruptive as the service interruption was, Puri felt equally annoyed by what he perceived as Google's lack of communication regarding the problem. It's not the first time he has been upset at Google for this reason.

"They need to inform users when a service is down, and when it comes back up, and give people status updates," Puri, who is based in Princeton, New Jersey, said in an interview. "There's no communication from Google about what's going on there."

Indeed, over the past four days, users started at least three active threads regarding this issue on the official Google Analytics Help discussion forum, which is maintained by Google. At press time, Google officials hadn't left a single message in any of the threads.

When queried about the matter by IDG News Service, a Google spokeswoman acknowledged on Friday afternoon that there had been a problem. "Earlier this week, there was a reporting delay within some Google Analytics accounts due to system maintenance. No data was lost, and reporting is back to normal now," she wrote via e-mail.

She didn't immediately say whether Google informed Analytics users in any way about this system maintenance, before, during or after the work, nor how many users were affected.

Google didn't post any information about this maintenance work, nor the subsequent service disruptions, in its official Google Analytics blog, which, at press time, had last been updated on May 21 with an unrelated posting.

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