With only one day of notice, on July 17, 2012, Google announced that it was retiring the old version of the analytics code in favor of the new version that was introduced in 2011. Read on to discover how to check your site to ensure that it is still tracking your visitors properly, plus easy ways to ensure your tracking code always stays current.
Old Tracking Code
When Google first introduced site tracking, you had to place a snippet of code in the footer of your site.
The problem with that method was that your page had to fully load before the code activated and registered the visit. And, it was slow. All of your tracking data was at least 24 hours old.
New Tracking Code
In 2011, Google introduced new tracking code that would show real-time data. It also required that the code be placed in the header of the site so that it would activate immediately to properly register the visit.
Check Your Site
If you are using a plugin such as Google Analyticator or Google Analytics by Yoast, you’re all set. Both of those plugins were updated when Google rolled out the new way of doing things.
If you manually placed tracking code into your site, you’ll want to check that you have the right code in the correct place. Visit this Google Help page to find the tracking code that you should be using on your site.
Then, see if that code is actually on your site. If you are using a plugin that allows you to place code in your header, check there first.
If you don’t know where you put it, simply check the source code of your home page. In FireFox, hold the Control key and hit the U key. A new split screen window will be displayed below the page with all of your page code. (If you don’t see it, look for an extra thick line near the bottom edge of your browser and then click and drag it up to expand the code section.)
Look for the analytics code in the < head > section (near the top) and then again in the < footer > section (near the bottom).
If the code is in the footer, you’ll want to update to the new code that should go in the header, or simply install one of the two mentioned plugins and let it automatically take care of the code for you.
More Analytics Help
If you would like to know more about managing your Analytics results, see this Google Interface Map help page.
More links are provided on the official announcement page as well.