Google Analytics Now Tracking Adobe Flash Content

Artwork: Chip Taylor
Google Monday announced that it is now collaborating with Adobe Systems Inc. to allow Google Analytics users to track Flash content .

The Google Analytics Tracking for Adobe Flash tool lets users of the free Google Analytics tool overcome the current challenges that disrupt the tracking Flash content on Web pages, Google said.

The announcement is the latest in a series by Google that aim to make the analytics tool more attractive to corporate IT managers.

For example, Google last month added a slew of new features, including custom report generation, advanced segmentation and integration with Google AdSense . And a year ago Google unveiled an event tracking feature to help companies more accurately measure how visitors are using interactive Web site elements like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), JavaScript, Flash movies, page gadgets and other multimedia tools.

"In the past, Flash tracking was not provided out of the box, and every implementation had to be customized," noted Nick Mihailovski, a Google Analytics Specialist, in a blog post . "Moreover, there was a lack of standards, and new developers who tracked Flash had to create their own processes to get it working."

Google developers were able to simplify the tool's ability to track Flash, Adobe Flex and ActionScript 3 by translating Google Analytics tracking code into the ActionScript 3 programming language, Google added. The new tool includes all the features in the JavaScript-based version of Google Analytics, such as campaign, page view and event tracking, the company noted.

Thus, Flash developers can track how may people have watched the videos they develop to gauge if they are developing the right type of content to attract new users, Mihailovski added.

Google is providing libraries for both Flash and Flex to make it easy for advanced ActionScript programmers and nontechnical designers to use the Google Analytics Flash tracking tool. In addition, Google is providing its entire ActionScript 3 code base as open source under Apache 2 License.

"If you are a developer and want to improve the code's functionality, you can contribute to the code base," Mihailovski noted. "Or, if you are a company that is running a content platform ...you can seamlessly integrate the Flash tracking codebase into your existing architecture."

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