Google Adds Heavily Requested Features to Analytics API

    September 21, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has released some new features for the Google Analytics API, including event tracking, navigational data, and increased filter length. The company says these features were prioritized based on feedback from users, with event tracking being the most requested feature.

Event tracking allows users to measure the number of user interactions with a site. You can track things like the total number of times a white paper is downloaded, the length of time it takes to load a video, the number of validation errors users get when filling out a form, etc.

"To illustrate, let’s look at Sprout. Sprout’s integration with Google Analytics helps customers track user interaction within their Sprout content," explains Nick Mihailovski of the Google Analytics Team. "However, users currently must log into the Sprout interface to see billing and account management data, and then also log into Google Analytics to see how their own sprouts are performing. Now that event tracking is available through the API, companies like Sprout can pull the interaction metrics tracked by Google Analytics events and present them directly in clients’ performance dashboards–effectively leveraging Google Analytics as a platform to power their analysis reports."

The Event Tracking API docs can be found here.

With navigational data, developers can create new visualizations to see what gets the most clicks. For example, customer site overlays can be created, and the navigational data can be analyzed to see what performs the best.

Filter expression length has been increased to 128 characters, which means developers can perform more complex queries with fewer requests to the API. This can save bandwidth and quota, according to Mihailovski.

All of the changes to the Google Analytics API can be found at the public change log. This is periodically updated whenever changes are made to the API.