I have been using Google Analytics for some time now and have not had much problems with it. But recently I tried enabling analytics on one of my new sites, and it gave me a hard time. It’s a simple setup, you just need to copy the code from Google Analytics in the <head> section of your site, thats all, Google starts tracking your site. The site I was trying to enable this was a WordPress site. My theme already has a section to add extra code under the <head> section (precisely for embedding Google Analytics code), but incase you don’t have such a feature, you can easily add the code through a one of these WordPress Plugins or directly embed it in the header.php file.
Coming back to our issue, I logged in to GA (for Google Analytics) and created a new GA property for my website. The default code Google provides is the new Universal Tracking code, I do not use this code as it does not support demographic data for my website users. I have shown it below for your reference:
If you need Demographics data (age, gender,etc of your website users) do not use the below code*
ga(‘create’, ‘UA-xxxxxxxx-x’, ‘example.com’);
Below is the old code (with support for demographic data), I use this one.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://’ : ‘http://’) + ‘stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
You can get this old code from Google’s help section. I added this code into my website <head>section. After adding the code I went back to the Admin section of GA and under Property selected Tracking Info, and under the Tracking Code section It showed me a big error:
Though this has never happened before, I thought it might take a few minutes for GA to update my site and start tracking the traffic. I got the same error even after waiting for 2-3 hours. I realised something was not correct. I went and rechecked the code on my site, also verified that the code is loading by going through the source of the webpage. You can do this on any browser, open your website, Right click and select “view source”. Everything on the site was fine. I checked the settings of my GA property, that seemed fine too. I also tried putting the new Google Analytics Universal Tracking code (one with analytics.js in it), with same results. After some research I realised, the website I entered in GA property settings was www.example.com, and that was one of the problems. You are supposed to enter your naked domain for Google analytics to work properly. I then corrected it by going to Admin => Property =>Property settings => Change “Default URL” to naked domain, example.com (and not www.example.com), as below:
After making this correction I went back to Tracking Info => Tracking Code to check if my tracking is working and still the same error, Status: Tracking Not Installed.
I rechecked everything (including my code, loaded my site and checked the source, checked GA settings) with no luck. To test if Google was at all seeing my site, I went to Reporting => Realtime, loaded my website on another browser tab, and Voila !! Google was indeed seeing my site. Check this:
This proved Google was indeed able to see my site and my code as well as website settings were fine. This has never happened with few other websites I manages, and the code integration and tracking is almost instant, as quick as 2 minutes. So I was left to think that either something was wrong with my Google Analytics setup or something wrong with Google itself. However few GA users also suggested that if Realtime tracking works fine, that proves the tracking is perfect and Google can take upto 72 hours to completely track your site and take the Status: Tracking Not Installed error off. So im just going to wait for next couple of days and report back !
Update: I wasn’t expecting this to be as quick, but the issue has been resolved overnight, by itself !! Check the screenshot below:
So to conclude, If you are getting an error “Status: Tracking not installed” in Google analytics, regardless of any platform (blogger, wordpress, etc.) make sure you are using naked domain in GA Property settings (domain name without the www) and Insert your code properly, make sure Realtime reporting is happening, and wait for couple of days (overnight for me !) for Google to take the error off.
* NOTE: Please note Google Analytics provides demographic Data (i.e info about the age, gender, etc) for your website users, but this feature (as of the day this article is written) only works with the old GA code (with ga.js). I use the old code and there is no harm in using it. Universal code works fine as well, but will support demographic data only after mid 2015. Also note, as per Google “It is perfectly safe to include both ga.js and analytics.js snippets on the same page.”