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Google Analytics: Account and Profile issues

I manage over a dozen Google Analytics Profiles for my clients. Some like to be able to go into their Profiles and generate their own report, while others prefer me to simply summarize things for them in simpler terms. For me, either option is fine, because either way, the client gets exactly what they want. A couple of weeks ago, I had a client in to discuss their Google Analytics Profile and how to make the most of it. They’re also running some Google AdWords Campaigns, so here was a chance to see if Google had made that all-important update. Sadly, no…

You see, what I wanted to be able to do is have my clients Profile listed under my company Account and then be able to link through his AdWords to his own Profile.

But that’s not how it works. I can link his AdWords and Analytics Accounts together, but to do so, I have to give him Administrator privileges, which means he’s got access to all of the Profiles for all other clients under my Account, too.

Now, some of you will be wondering why I have any clients at all listed under my Account. And that’s a good question.

The answer is actually quite simple: when Google rolled out Analytics way back when, they restricted the number of Accounts and the number Profiles you could have in each.

That means I couldn’t have just created new Accounts and listed those Profiles for my clients within them.

Additionally, some clients didn’t want to go through the process of creating themselves a Google Account, so I had to do it for them. And to do that, it was much easier to just add their Profile to my Account.

To compound this problem even further, there doesn’t seem to be a migration tool to move a Profile to a new Account. So those clients that want to link through their AdWords and Analytics accounts together can’t.

Having read through their recent ‘blog post, which lists new features for Google Analytics, there’s no mention of any additional changes to how AdWords and Analytics link together.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had cause to take issue with Google Analytics, which I reviewed recently.

The first time around, I was just offering Google some ideas about how to integrate some of their other applications with Analytics.

The second time around, I was suggesting to Google ways of extending existing features of Analytics.

So if you’re listening, Google, let’s have something done about this new situation, please!

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

8 replies on “Google Analytics: Account and Profile issues”

Agreed. I have the same problems with linking my accounts. I set up a bunch of analytics profiles within my account before I knew I needed AdWords to have their own analytics accounts… now I’m screwed because I’m collecting data to profiles I can’t link.

Hi erik, and thanks for the comments.

Google must have seen that problem coming when they limited accounts way back when.

A migration tool would be useful…

There us a section called Access Manager which gives different levels of admin privileges to the account for a new user. Have you tried this?

Hi James, the Access Manager is only used for giving out user privileges and doesn’t cover actual Accounts or Profiles in that way.

I’ve got most of my clients signed up to their Profiles with just read rights, rather than as administrators.

Thanks for your suggestions, anyway…

Can’t understand how Google can envision so many integrated capabilities and miss something as fundamental as recognizing that a service provider would need to manage multiple AdWord and Analytic accounts and link them together under a single login.

Like so many others, I too have many web profiles within a single Analytic account. I had planned to have multiple AdWord campaigns withing a single AdWord account. My thinking was to link each campaign to a specific web profile. I also assumed each campaign would have a separate budget and billing, but it doesn’t work that way.

Google does offer an MCC account that will allow you to easily switch between multiple AdWord accounts, but it doesn’t offer a similar capability for easily switching between multiple Analytic accounts.

Apparently you can ultimately get there, but you have to orchestrate the creation of many accounts with many different email addresses. It’s an administrative burden to say the least for the service provider. And then of course, as you rightly point out, you can’t migrate your web profile to the new account. Let’s hope they recognize the problem and work toward a solution so others don’t fall into the same trap.

Hi Kirk, and thanks for the great comment! Always appreciated.

It’s the rigidity of Google’s software that often frustrates me — like not being able to set the time zone of my Analytics account to GMT 0 without sending them a written, signed letter! I mean, that’s just bizarre, isn’t it?

So this topic’s been on my mind for quite some time, and recently I broadened the scope of my criticisms of the (not so) great Google empire to include an case for combining Google FeedBurner, Analytics and Webmaster Tools

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