Google Real-time analytics
I gotta admit I’m really impressed with Google Real-time analytics. Not so much from a UI perspective (tends to be a little “clicky” to get what I want. For example 4 clicks to see my search traffic: Click Traffic Sources, Click Sources, Click Search, Click Overview). But I am impressed from an engineering point of view.
In terms of web stats, measuring the bounce rate is problematic because given the stateless nature of the conversation, you never know when someone really left your site. So if you have a very long product page and the person reads the entire page but doesn’t go anywhere else, well that’s still considered a bounce.
Not so with real-time analytics. Somehow it detects leaving a page within seconds. Which makes me think there must be some form of asynchronous polling going on. Yet, the regular analytics is incapable of knowing an actual bounce.
I don’t know what magic is happening here. I should probably sniff the traffic and see if there is some ping happening back to google while the page is being displayed.