Google’s new Analytics Beta currently has an odd bug that combines URLs generated by a user’s own website and affixes them to a domain of a completely random website, it has been revealed.
The bug is easily replicated, meaning that anyone with a Google Analytics account is able to generate a new popup with random website URLs loading with suffixes from their own website. It’s not just one website that loads, a refresh will load a completely new one.
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To try it for yourself, head into your Google Analytics account, choose any of the tracked websites and then navigate to the following (courtesy of Pleer):
- Content -> Site Content -> Pages / Landing Pages / Exit Pages
- Click on the “open in new tab” icon to the right of any pages.
The new website popup will almost always generate a 404 not found error, as the URL structure of a user’s website will in almost every case not match the URL on the random website that is loaded.
The following screenshot shows me replicating the bug using my mattbrian.com website:
Some could also argue that this is a privacy issue, as it shares links on user’s websites – although it still takes an enterprising website admin to match the URL to the originating website.
The bug also comes at a time when Google announced that it would be increasing privacy for its users with automatic SSL encryption on searches, protecting those that performed searches but frustrated webmasters because they were no longer able to see the search terms that led visitors to their websites.
It should only be a matter of switching a piece of code to fix the issue but many will be unhappy with their website URLs being shared with administrators of other websites.