Does putting Google Analytics' and Clicktale's code onto our password protected Alpha site expose the content?


We are launching a new site this summer and will have the Alpha version available shortly. We'll be testing this privately with a small group of trusted people before we do our public launch. To maintain the confidentiality of the site before launch, each tester will have a unique password that we'll change frequently.

We'd like to use Google Analytics and Clicktale to assist us in our testing and want to understand the risks of putting their code onto our site. On one hand, it appears that they don't actually crawl our content. On the other hand, there are concerns that their employees could have access to our site content and could use this in inappropriate ways.

It appears from both sites that they don't actually crawl the content but I'm wondering if anyone has insights into the real story here.

Is this a risk? Should we wait till after we launch publicly to insert their code?


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asked Jun 9 '10 at 21:51
Warren E. Hart
2,181 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


I don't know about ClickTale (though JaC0b looks like he's got that answer), but for Google Analytics, they do have to crawl your site to make sure the JavaScript beacon is installed. However, this won't trigger a site-wide crawl. They'll look at just your homepage to check for the beacon, and that's about it.

There's a possibility they'll crawl more, but it's very low. Most people have a problem trying to get Google to crawl them, so I don't think you need to worry.

Also, they can't provide data on password-protected pages. I doubt ClickTale can either.

There may be other solutions. If you want to get general analytics data during the Alpha, piwik (like jimg said) can work. It's a self-hosted solution. You can also track each user, since you're assigning each individual with a unique password.

If you're placing this code so you're ready for production, I'd say just wait until the production launch. Otherwise, you'll muddy the analytics data with test users and not real users.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

answered Jun 10 '10 at 20:15
Mike Lee
1,356 points


I can't imagine Google employees will care looking at your site's content. Why get into the trouble look at a site that they know nothing about? Is not like the next beta site...

Let me ask: why all this secrecy?

If you afraid so much that someone will steal your idea don't enter the google code, until you move it to production.

I can't remember where I read that but I think is relevant:

"If you want to confuse your competitors, give them ... your source code". 8-)

answered Jun 9 '10 at 23:30
Stefanos Tses
981 points


IF you desire analytics on a pre-launch basis, why not just run something like piwik?
No one will have access to the data but you and your hosting environment..

answered Jun 10 '10 at 01:05
Jim Galley
9,952 points


I suggest you ask this over at google analytics support ( or a related forum. The question pretty off-topic for this community.

Good luck!

answered Jun 9 '10 at 23:04
250 points

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