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Non-Interaction Events! Wait... What?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hey event tracking friends, we are really excited to announce a new feature to the Analytics event tracking landscape: non-interaction events. “But wait!” you ask, “How can an event—which measures user interaction—be non-interactive? And why would I want that anyway?”

The answer is simple: sometimes you want to track passive events on your pages, like images from an automatic slide show. In this case, you want such events to be excluded from bounce rate calculations because they don’t track visitor interaction. Now, you can mark these events as non-interaction events, so that they don’t affect the bounce rate for the page.

Let’s illustrate. Suppose your home page has an image slide show that automatically serves up 5 images in rotating order. Like so:

You want to apply an event tracking call with each movement of the slider, so that you know which images are being seen most by visitors to your home page. However, there isn’t really any interaction required on the visitors’ behalf to engage with this slider. You know that in the past, event tracking for this slider would make the bounce rate for your home page drop dramatically. Better to exclude these events from bounce rate calculation, so that the bounce rate for your home page is calculated only from pageviews for the page and not events.

How do you use it? Add our new non-interactive parameter with the _trackEvent() method like this:

_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'ImageSlider', 'Home', 'Image1', 1, true]);

To read the details, check out our Event Tracking Guide or our Reference doc on the _trackEvent() method.

In the past, you had to trade off bounce rate signals for event tracking in some situations. Now, with the ability to designate an event as either interactive or not, you can have your events and bounces too.

We hope you think this features is as nifty as we do. Tell us some of your great applications and uses below!


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