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Google Analytics crippled by autoimmune disease

Prefers Hotmail to Gmail

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Updated You have no interest in using Google Gmail? You're not alone. Google Analytics feels much the same way.

Hugh Abbott, a London-based IT consultant, runs Google Analytics on behalf of several clients, generating detailed reports on the traffic hitting their websites. Naturally, there are times when he's interested in sharing these reports with his customers. And Google Analytics lets him do that - but only if his clients are using something other than Gmail.

"You can share this data with the client if they have a Microsoft Hotmail address," Abbott tells us, "but not if they have a Google email address."

When we asked Google to confirm this autoimmune disease, it did not immediately respond. But Abbott is not alone. Other Analytics admins are seeing much the same thing.

Google Analytics is a web-based service. Admins can share reports simply by adding additional users to their account. Once a user is added, they too can view the account via a web browser. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

Users can't be added unless they have a master Google account - i.e. an account that bridges all Google services, from Google Docs and Spreadsheets to Google Calendar. And they can't have a master account unless they supply an email address. But if they use a Google email address with that master Google account, Google Analytics somehow prevents them from accessing their own Google data. "If they try to log in, they can't see anything," Abbott explains.

And that's a pain. "So, I send notes off to my clients, telling them how much they're going to love this tool, and then they can't use it," he says. "Then I have to make sure all my clients have something other than a Gmail address."

So, it's more than a pain. It's also a good laugh. ®

Update

Google has replied to complaints over this apparent Google Analytics bug. In a post to Google Analytics Help Forum, the company says that the problem should be solved if affected Gmail users log on to Anayltics in a different way. "If this [bug] affects you, it is most likely that you are using a Google Apps G-Mail account, also referred to as a 'hosted account,'" a Google employee writes. "This account is often referred to by the full domain that you assigned to is, such as 'user@mydomain.com' Please try logging in with the G-Mail domain instead: 'user@gmail.com.'"

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