[FreeBSD-Announce] The FreeBSD Project is enabling Google Analytics on www.freebsd.org

Glen Barber gjb at FreeBSD.org
Tue Dec 4 14:59:28 UTC 2012

The FreeBSD Project is enabling Google Analytics on www.freebsd.org.


From a strictly documentation point of view, it is essential to be
able to easily identify user behavior on the FreeBSD.org site.  This
includes the main Project website, the Handbook, and others article
and books.

By using Google Analytics, some of the things we can learn
(specifically about our documentation) include:

- We will be able to identify the most actively visited pages within
  the site as a whole.  This information, especially in documenting an
  Operating System, is essential in identifying "priority" pages, and
  can help the Documentation Project prepare such pages before

- We will be able to identify length of time users spend on specific
  pages which, in turn, can help us identify pages that should either
  a.) have more content added, or
  b.) have content broken out to make the content less dense, and
  easier to digest.  (Note that this is data we simply cannot get by

- We will be able to identify key search engine keywords, and will be
  able to better maintain the documentation accordingly.

- We will be able to see data on things that are impossible to find
  out through logs, such as screen resolutions used, to make sure we
  do not accidentally "break" things from a usability perspective.

In the long run, this change ultimately means better documentation.

But we can do this on our own, why do we need to send data to a third

- Doing this on our own means increased infrastructure, increased
  maintenance, and increased security exposure.

- Google already supplies a large number of tools, there isn't a need
  to duplicate effort.

- Google Analytics answers questions that cannot be discerned from
  just grepping logs.  For example, How long do FreeBSD users browse
  the website; which pages are most likely to bounce users or draw
  users in; what is the most common screen resolution, which Operating
  Systems visitors to the website read and which pages specifically?

But I don't want Google to know I exist!?

It is possible to opt-out by setting the "Do Not Track" flag on your

This page covers the major browsers:


A quick Google search can help find solutions for other browsers.  In
addition, disabling JavaScript will also opt you out.

With regards,

On behalf of:	doceng@

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