The Google Analytics Blog recently announced that a browser-based opt-out for Google Analytics would be released in coming weeks. This plug-in would “allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics”.The announcement has obviously led to much comment about the effects of the opt-out. There are views at either extreme, but the balanced view appears to be that the opt-out would have a minimal effect on site data. eConsultancy suggest that the number of users who will know about and actually install the plug-in will be minimal.
The notion of a web analytics opt-out facility is not unique to Google Analytics. Leading web analytics companies including Omniture and Webtrends already offer an opt-out facility.
Forrester suggest some measures which can be taken by businesses to determine how the opt-out might affect their websites. They suggest benchmarking traffic and known visitors before and after the release of the plug-in. They also recommend that website owners should be ready to accommodate the bias that the plug-in may incur on site metrics.
I will comment further as further details are released in the coming weeks.