Google Chrome Pre-fetching impacts Analytics

Published on 22nd Feb 2012 in News

Pre-fetching is a technique used to pre-empt which links a user is likely to click, the browser requests the pages it thinks the user is going to click on and loads them in the background.

This unfortunately can impact analytics services such as Infinity Tracking, as well as Google's own analytics service, as it generates invalid tracking activity caused by the background requests.

In the last few days we have started to see some odd behaivour from Chrome users that use the search bar where they appear to be visiting the site from the SEO channel, before landing a few seconds later from PPC (their genuine click).

We have been investigating this issue and are looking at using the WebKit Page Visibility API to detect if a tracking visit is not being displayed and is actually just a pre-fetch request.

We hope to have a resolution to this shortly.

Update 2012-02-22 16:04:

We have released an update to our tracking system to ignore tracking requests from browsers that send the Document Visible State as "prerender".

This will now fix the issues being seen by Chrome's pre-fetch features.

Chief Technical Officer

Thomas Parrott
Chief Technical Officer

Tech & telephony geek who makes sure we are at the cutting edge of tech and keeps the phones ringing.

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