Why doesn’t Wikipedia use Google Analytics?

Do Wikipedia track their visitors? If Yes, How? Any ideas on why they don't use Google Analytics?

We all respect Wikipedia – the one website which we respect NOT JUST LIKE that. We respect Wikipedia for their astounding contibution to the World and sticking to their privacy policies.



Wikipedia don't want to give Google that kind of ammunition. A known fact is that Google does this privacy invading thingy (takes advantage of IE's P3P). By using Google Analytics we would be making it official. If the browser being used has JavaScript enabled, Google can get your geographical location.

Also if a user logs into any Google service or any other service using Google ID, Google Analytics can clearly identify the IP address and the geographical location. Isn't that enough? Google Analytics may be brilliant and great, but the best thing is not to make Wikipedia depend.

As per Brandon Harries (Senior Designer Wikipedia Foundation) Using Google analytics would be a gross violation of Wikipedia's privacy policy (Privacy policy – Wikimedia Foundation).  It's as simple as that:  Wikipedia cannot give data about any of our users to any third party. Google in this case is a third party.
We do not track our visitors or place any kind of tracking cookies on our users.

Our sources of data boil down to this:



  • Organization-wide Wikipedia rely on a monthly report card (Wikimedia Report Card – October 2012 ) about reader and editor activity. comScore donates some data for this, and the rest is generated in-house by the analytics team. The main sources are squid logs and post-processing of the wiki dumps (this latter one is not used for traffic data, but rather for data about editor activity).
  • On the features engineering teams, Wikipedia use a MediaWiki extension and some associated infrastructure to do custom instrumentation on an as-needed basis. This gives us much more detailed data analysis to support decision making about features currently undergoing development. Doing this means we have complete control over what we track about our readers and editors, and that the data is handled intelligently to protect individual privacy.

That glosses over a lot of detail, but gives you a basic idea of the landscape. I'd also like to note that the question could be a little better: We would be extremely surprised if a majority of the top ten web properties used Google Analytics.

Disqus Comments Loading...