What in the….? “Google Analytics” is a browser?!
(For the quick answer, skip to the “Conclusion” below…)
We ran into a confusing situation the other day with a client. They were getting traffic from a browser called “Google Analytics“. It threw us for a loop, because obviously, we’re familiar with Google Chrome, Firefox, the awesomeness of Internet Explorer (sarcasm), Opera, and Safari. Haven’t had the chance to use the Google Analytics browser though.
That’s cause there isn’t actually a Google Analytics browser as you might have guessed. So we were weirded out to see that in our reports. What does it mean when you see on your reports that a large number of visits are coming from “Google Analytics”?
Here’s what we figured out:
The number of visits from the browser “Google Analytics” essentially didn’t change (the change was so minor, we could assume this was due to sampling). Thus, it looks like this traffic is pretty much mobile traffic.
For this client in particular, they saw a spike of traffic that corresponded to this number. We asked if anything special happened around the time of the spike. They confirmed that they had recently launched a new version of their mobile app.
Conclusion: The Answer Is…
After some more digging and testing, we concluded that when the browser says “Google Analytics”, it’s mobile app traffic! Apps using either the iOS or Android SDK for Google Analytics will report their usage under the browser “Google Analytics.” Not sure when Google will change that, but hopefully, that will help anyone trying to solve that mystery explain to their executives or clients where this traffic is coming from. One method of preventing this from happening entirely is to report mobile app traffic to an entirely different account than your web traffic.