Google Expands Mobile Reporting In Analytics

analytics_logoI’ve always found it surprising that while Google pushes so hard to cater to the mobile realm, it still lacks some of the most basic of services for mobile publishers and advertisers.  A prime example of which would be the fact that Google is just now expanding its mobile reporting capabilities within its Analytics solution.

As reported yesterday in a Google blog post, Analytics will now track mobile Websites and mobile apps with a new server-side code-snippet that will be released within the coming weeks.  This allows Google Analytics to track traffic to your mobile website from all web-enabled devices, whether or not the device runs JavaScript.  The release will support PHP, Perl, JSP and ASPX-based sites, and will be in addition to allowing users to track visits to their regular website coming from high-end, Javascript enabled phones.

In addition to expanded mobile reporting capabilities, iPhone and Android mobile application developers can now also track how users engage with apps, just as with tracking engagement on a website.  What’s more, for apps on Android devices, usage can be tied back to ad campaigns: from ad to marketplace to download to engagement.  In the near future, Google is also promising the ability to see breakout data on mobile devices and carriers in the new “mobile reports” area of the Visitors section.

While this is a welcomed improvement to Google Analytics, it’s still surprising that it’s just happening now- after several third-party providers and startups have been offering the same functionality (and beyond in some cases) for a long time.  I realize that Google Analytics is geared toward an overall analytical overview, and therefore lacks mobile attributes that other mobile-oriented analytics solutions provide, but it’s still Google.  Whatever the case may be, the new additions fill in important gaps in Google Analytics that mobile publishers and advertisers using the solution have been needing for a long time.