Google Analytics Customers

waspDiscovering Google Analytics customers is actually quite easy to detect which web analytics tool a web site is using – you simply view the source code and look for the tell-tale JavaScript page tags yourself.

*This post updated 30-Apr-2013*

To save you the laborious task of manually checking html source code, there are now various tools available that can detect the javascript page tags for you. One excellent one I use myself is WASP – a Firefox plugin (originally developed by Stephane Hamel) that shows you the web analytics vendor as you browse around the web. It can detect hundreds of different analytics vendors including GA, Urchin, Omniture, Nedstat, Webtrends, Unica, Clicktracks, Coremetrics etc., as well as advertising platforms such as AdSense, Dart/DoubleClick and voice of customer tools such as Uservoice, Kampyle etc.

Spending 30 minutes browsing around reveals interesting information on a number of household names that using Google Analytics and/or Urchin. These include:

Update 30-Apr-2011: Google Analytics enterprise users

Who uses Google Analytics?

What is interesting is the number of web sites that use multiple tools and there appears to be a pattern – US companies tend to be the ones with multiple vendor tags on their pages, while European organisations tend to only have one.

Any ideas on why this would be? Is it simply a sign of a more mature market that samples the benefits of multiple web analytics vendors? Please share your thoughts via comments.

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  1. Ryan

    Thanks for the post, I always wonder if a site is using Analytics and now with the add-on I see quite a few sites I visit use it.

  2. Amir Mullick

    Thanks for the info, I didnt know it was that easy to find out what analytics someone was using lol. Thank you.

  3. John Hossack

    To answer the question – Who is uses Google Analytics (or any other analytics platform)? I decided to research using Stephan Hamel’s WASP on the Internet Retailer 500 to see what analytics platforms where the most popular. The full report can be found at
    The highlights were that over 37% of the websites were using GA, and almost 2/3 of them were only using GA. I plan to follow this study up with the Fortune 500 and others.

  4. rich alot

    Has anyone considered it’s possible that many of these companies are now using multiple solutions because they’re taking GA for a test drive, comparing it to their paid solution? If GA meets organizational expectations it can free up around $15k annually, which can be allocated elsewhere. Taking that a step further, if you agree Europe is a bit behind on the Internet front, it’s easy to see why companies wouldn’t be investing limited resources into analytics. A free solution like GA opens the door to analytics for these cash-strapped, Euro companies and it does so without the worry of having to break the bank.

  5. Brian Clifton

    Pelle: I certainly agree that education is a key requirement needed in Europe.

    Dennis: I am not sure I agree with your ‘less agressive in Europe’ comment. Perhaps not so many vendors have offices around here so it is less intense…

    I know you love referring to GA as a starter product, but the latest version really isn’t. The clients I list using Google Analytics are testiment to that – they simply do not have basic requirements when it comes to understanding their visitor data. One theory I have for GA being successful for these clients (apart from being free of course!), is that the competition have focused too much on the development of features – at the expense of accessibility and discoverability of information. Having the latest and greatest features can be perceived as being better. But in my opinion that’s changing. The best tool is what gives you the greatest insight into your traffic for the least amout of resource on your part – staffing, implementation costs, user training etc.

    My analogy is the use of MS Office – for example I speculate the vast majority of purchasers of that product never use Access or would even know what a pivot table is. Of course there are some users that cannot live without such features – a bit like Formula 1 requiring the most technically advanced cars. However for most web analytics users its about gaining actionable data quickly and easily – or getting from A to B in a reliable, efficient car…

    Of course as the market matures in terms of its requirements, then tools need to advance and mature in their features to match this. We’ll just have to see 🙂

    Yep – I am at San Jose in August. Anyone fancy meeting for a beer (Tequilla for Dennis – yuk!)?

  6. Dennis R. Mortensen

    Hi Brian

    >>Any ideas on why this would be?

    I think that is a very difficult question to answer or at least difficult to add some certainty to – however; I think it is commonly agreed upon that most European sales strategies (WA Vendors included) are less aggressive than those of our American counterparts. That said; we (as in IndexTools) actually recommend some leads to start out with Google Analytics – if it in fact fits their needs.

    … and this is not just because I think you are a genuinely friendly dude Brian – but because I confidently believe that this (being honest and upfront) is for the better in the long run for any company (perhaps this could be the attitude of other EU vendors and consultants as well). When and if they hit a “reporting” wall with the capabilities of Google Analytics we hope that they turn to back to us.

    OR it is simply because YOU are doing a better Job than your American colleagues 🙂

    .. and see you in San Jose I presume?

    Dennis R. Mortensen, COO at IndexTools

  7. Pelle Strid

    I think one big reason for European sites to use just a free tool like GA is that they still are in “lerning mode”.

    Most of my clients still struggle with zero staff for web analytics and therefore don’t want to spend any money on tools.

    They have also found that they get the same information for free that they used to pay for with an other tool.

    What they still need is help and education with the more sophisticated reports not jumping out of the box.

  8. Brian Clifton

    Joost: Nice script, definately worth a mention.

    If anyone has a script or knows of one that can detect WA vendors, please post here. So far, I have:

  9. Brian Clifton

    S.Hamel: Actually, in terms of pay-per-click advertising and search in general, Google is even more popular in Western Europe than in the US…

    For web analytics adoption, it could just be that as GA is free and easy to insall/setup. People think “what the hell” and just give it a try along side their existing solution. However, my thoughts are that the US market is probably 1-2 years more mature than in EMEA – with US organisations trying out multiple tools as their requirements have evolved.

    Being free though is a double edged sword. Some people just don’t take free products seriously, dumbing them down. However I am sure that will change over time. In fact, I used to be the same – preferring a paid product than freeware. I thought that paying was some kind of comfort blanket. I was a paying customer – I had rights, right?

    Google happen to have a different business model based on advertising revenue. Google search is a free resource, as is Gmail, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Calendar, GTalk and even making money from Adsense. So as long as it helps advertisers, I guess you can expect products from Google to be free.

  10. Joost de Valk

    Hi Brian, I can’t help but drop a link to a greasemonkey script I created in here, as it gives a small popup in the top right showing which analytics programs the site you’re currently viewing is using: the statistics detector greasemonkey script.

  11. S.Hamel

    Thanks for the nod!
    I have also noticed a very large number of sites using multiple solutions, more often then not, it’s GA along with something else. I guess anyone doing PPC on Google will be tempted to implement GA. Could it be that PPC isn’t as dominated by Google in Europe (i.e. there are more alternatives?)

    Another thing that was really a shock to me: some companies claiming to offer WA solutions are not even implementing their own tool on their site!

    WA practitioner and blogger



  1. Advanced Web Metrics by Brian Clifton » Blog Archive » Why is Google Analytics unique (free)? - [...] analytics industry - a deep dive reporting tool suitable for companies of all sizes (past article - Who uses…

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