Google Analytics Gets Non-Interaction Event Tracking

By: Chris Crum - October 27, 2011

Google announced the addition of non-interaction events to its set of event tracking metrics.

“”But wait!’ you ask, ‘How can an event-which measures user interaction-be non-interactive? And why would I want that anyway?,” says Patricia Boswell of the Google Analytics Team. “The answer is simple: sometimes you want to track passive events on your pages, like images from an automatic slide show. In this case, you want such events to be excluded from bounce rate calculations because they don’t track visitor interaction. Now, you can mark these events as non-interaction events, so that they don’t affect the bounce rate for the page.”

She uses an example of an image slide show that automatically serves up 5 images in rotating order on a site’s homepage. “You want to apply an event tracking call with each movement of the slider, so that you know which images are being seen most by visitors to your home page,” says Boswell. “However, there isn’t really any interaction required on the visitors’ behalf to engage with this slider. You know that in the past, event tracking for this slider would make the bounce rate for your home page drop dramatically. Better to exclude these events from bounce rate calculation, so that the bounce rate for your home page is calculated only from pageviews for the page and not events.”

Non interaction events

She explains how to use the code in this blog post.

There’s been a lot going on with Google Analytics this month. For one, Google announced that it would make encrypted search the default for signed in users of, meanwhile blocking specific referral data. This hasn’t gone over incredibly well with the webmaster community. There’s even a petition aimed at getting Google to reconsider.

Google also started letting Analytics users get Webmaster Tools data in their GA accounts, an extension of a previously launched pilot program.

Finally, Google announced Flow Visualization in Google Analytics, which lets you analyze insights in a visual way, to help you better understand how visitors flow throughout the pages of your site.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Steven

    I don’t know this is such a good idea.

    I mean the bounce rate is a signal that Google uses along with other signals to rank your site. So if you’re getting a lower bounce rate through interaction of the page and you are using Google Analytics, then you’re giving data back to Google that it is using for it’s algorithm to determine relevancy. I don’t even understand how trackable events lower the bounce rate of a page if the user never left the page. Sounds like Google Analytics may have a glitch and maybe Google came up with a bandage for publishers to use until Google can figure out how to fix it. I mean if Google tracked all events by default without requiring publishers to track those events specifically (such as when an external link was clicked, or a specific part of a page, or a video was played) I don’t see why anybody should track events as non-interaction events.

  • kevin blumer

    google analytics such a good program the only thing i think it is missing is real time viewing i think that if they integrated that it would be much better i have used it for about 3 years and had no problems and the best bit i have never been unable to log into it.