Safari Blocking Google Analytics

If you do a search on Google for “safari blocking google analytics” you will probably find a lot of posts like the following:

As mentioned above, Safari does not block Google Analytics. You can still still see your website analytics.

Jun 3, 2022

No, Safari 14 (or any other version of Safari) will not block Google Analytics from loading and running on a website.

June 24, 2020

Let me inform you that those posts are wrong and Safari as of October 2022 appears to be blocking Google Analytics from logging data.

Running some year end reports from Google Analytics in Google Looker Studio on some of my websites clearly shows that Safari traffic is pretty much nonexistent. There is traffic from Safari doing some log analysis but not that Google Analytics is recording.

Safari Blocking GA

If you have been seeing a dramatic drop in your pageviews and other statistics using Google Analytics check to see if your Safari reporting is being blocked. The good news is it appears so far that Google Analytics 4 data collection does not appear to be affected only the original Google Analytics. A good reason to switch over before the New Year if you can.

Google Analytics Exporting Guide

If you have been using Google Analytics to track your website usage and have historical data you want to keep you might want to put this on your to-do list in the New Year. As you may know Google Analytics will stop processing new data effective July 1, 2023 and you will need to move your statistics collection to Google Analytics 4 before then, or perhaps you might want to start looking at other statistics services.

Since July is such an odd month to switch data collection over you might want to get setup on Google Analytics 4 before the New Year so you can start collecting data there and once January comes you can start exporting historical data from Google Analytics into CSV or Google Sheets so you can then create reports using a tool such as Looker Studio (Datastudio) or some other tool like AirTable does something similar.

If you are looking for some help on how to export your data from Google Analytics I found this helpful post, the Ambitious Guide on How You Can Export Google Analytics Data. Unfortunately there does not look like there is a way to export it all. You will have to decide what historical data you want to retain and manually export it and possibly combine so you can use it.

It is unfortunate that Google once again is shutting down a well loved service and making it difficult to get all your data out. While I have already moved to Google Analytics 4 I know I will be looking at other alternatives in the near future since Google Analytics 4 is really not very end user friendly.

Core Web Vitals Biggest Flaw

I will say the majority of time the engineers at Google are really smart and I understand the rational behind Core Web Vitals. Fast web pages are better for everyone, but the way Google measures Core Web Vitals has a major flaw, see if you can spot it in the quote below taken from the Google Support.

The report is based on three metrics as measured by actual user data: LCP, FID, and CLS. Once a URL has a threshold amount of data for any metric, the URL group’s status is its most poorly performing metric. So, for example, if a URL group has poor CLS but good FID, the URL status is “poor.”

Did you see the big flaw? Read it again? Still didn’t see it?

Here I will pull it out and bold the flaw Google has made in measuring Core Web Vitals.

as measured by actual user data

Now you might say that is not a flaw that makes perfect sense, by measuring the actual user data Google can see how long the web pages actually load for real people. Except it assumes that your readers have a decent Internet connection. What if, for example, you run a website whose main readers are not privileged enough to have a high speed connection? Your website, by virtue of having readers that are on slow connections, is then pushed down in the rankings. It won’t matter what you do to improve your website if the end users Internet connection is below what Google is expecting for average Internet speed.

For some interesting reading you might want to check out this release from the CIRA. It shows the rural median internet speed in Canada is 9.74 in 2021. Compared to in urban centres the median speed is 51.09. If your website is primarily focused on issues and needs of say the agricultural community, the speed the majority of your users have is roughly a 5th of what Google is seeing for urban users, but Google calculated the Core Web Vitals speed based on the majority of users on the Internet. The majority of Internet users live in urban centres.

Certainly Google would be smart enough to realize this right? It does not appear so. Core Web Vitals does not take into account the users Internet speed to determine rankings that I have been able to find. Of course it might be hidden behind some of Google’s almighty algorithms, but to us poor web managers it is not available. The fix to this problem is not very difficult. Google is already collecting the data to fix it, simply find the speed of the majority of users for sites and base a websites Core Web Vitals on ACTUAL USER DATA, based on the actual speed of the users that visit the site. Unfortunately I can’t see Google making such a move.

I guess Google is not always as smart as they need to be.

Google Search by Country

There is no doubt that Google is the top search engine in the world and it sends the most traffic compared to other search engines. When you are trying to rank for a certain key phrase or keyword Google can sometimes make it hard for a person doing SEO to find the real rank of a phrase. To be fair Google does it for a reason, it wants to show the best results to me based on where I am. This makes perfect sense, except when I want to know what the best results are for people in the United States.

To overcome some of this country bias that Google has there are a couple things you can do:

  1. If you are using Google Chrome open an incognito mode window to do your searches on If you are like me and logged in to Gmail, Reader and now Google+ your searches are going to be personalized. By switching to an incognito mode window you get a more generic search experience.
  2. Google will still customize your search based on your IP address. Being being from Canada and searching I still get search results that differ from a US based searcher. To overcome this you can add an extra query string to the search address. Just enter your search in and after it is returned add &gl=us to the end on the address bar and hit enter. This should return the results that are for the geographic location of the United States. This accepts other two letter country codes, so you can check other countries as well. Some of my favourites are:
    • &gl=us – United States
    • &gl=ca – Canada (althought I get this one automatically usually)
    • &gl=uk – United Kingdom
    • &gl=au – Australia
  3. You can also use a web proxy. My favourite is Easy to use and if you select the advance options you can select a server from the United States. Occasionally though I have seen Google still return the Canadian search results, so it is not perfect either and you still might need to use the &gl=us for US based results.
  4. If you are going to need US or another countries search results a lot, you can get a subscription to VPN service. That way you appear like you are from the country you want to be from and you can save a lot of time doing your search engine results look up. There are other benefits as well being from Canada and using a VPN in the US, but that is another topic.

Here are some of the different search results just for my name. is my personal blog in case you were wondering.

It is important to know that there are different search results depending on where you live. Depending on what market you want to rank in. Something to keep in mind as you work on your SEO.

Speed Matters in Ranking

Having a fast website has officially become more important this past week with Google’s announcement that they are now using site speed in web search ranking. I have always tried to make fast loading websites it is another factor that webmasters should pay more attention too if they want to not only improve their website visitors experience but also to improve their search engine rankings.

The Google blog post gives some good suggestions for tools to examine your websites speed but here are some common sense tips that can help you speed up your website quickly.

  • Remove extra widgets and gadgets – Things like the Twitter widget, MyBlogLog, Google FriendConnect and even Google Adsense can all slow down a website.
  • Combine your CSS files into one file – If you use WordPress this can get tricky depending on the number of plugins you use.
  • Compress your CSS file – Check out CSS Compressor to help you remove extra space and optimize your code.
  • Combine Javascript into one external file – This can get difficult if you are using WordPress or another CMS, but it can be done.
  • Compress Javascript files – Like compressing your CSS file. It helps remove extra space and comments to compress your Javascript.Javascript Compressor
  • Use Google Javascript Libraries – Google hosts several popular Javascript libraries that website can link to and load. This can improve your website speed since your visitor could possibly already have that file cached making your load time much faster. If you use WordPress check out the Use Google Libraries plugin to make it easy to start using the Google versions of those Javascript libraries. Thanks to Douglas Karr for that WordPress tip.
  • Speed Up Your Website with GZIP Compression – I have talked about GZIP compression before to speed up your website. Not all hosts offer the ability to enable GZIP compression, but if you can it can make a drastic improvement on the speed of your website.
  • Reliable web hosting – A fast and reliable web host is critical to server your site fast. If you are just starting out it can be expensive to get your own dedicated server to make sure your site is served fast. I do recommend you take a look at either iWeb or Hostgator for shared hosting accounts. Price wise they are competitive and I have been pleased with how fast they have been.

I am still in the process of doing some of these tips here on the LGR website as well. I have had GZIP compression enabled for a while and it has made a significant difference in the speed of the website. If you can only do one thing try to enable GZIP compression. Since I am using Wordress to power this website I have been slow to combine CSS and Javascript files and compress them. I do plan on doing more of that. Perhaps there is a WordPress plugin that can help to combine them and compress them on the fly. If I find one I will let you know.

Not sure where to start to speed up your website? Let me give you a hand. I can do a website speed audit to give you more ideas on how to speed up your website. Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to look over your website.

Blogger Shutting Down FTP Service

It seems like a long time since I logged into to update a powered blog. was the only service I knew of that offered FTP publishing. FTP publishing was a great way to publish a powered blog to your own domain name, before they started offering custom domains. Soon I will not be able too since FTP published blogs since Google and are closing down the FTP publishing feature effective March 26, 2010.

For those blogs that I did occasionally update I will have to consider switching them to a custom domain hosted on This will have an impact on some of my clients, since it was an easy way for them to update a blog on their website that was easier to learn than WordPress. For those clients that this will effect I will be in touch with you later this week with some easy alternatives for you to continue updating your websites.

Here is a copy of the email that I recieved regarding closing down FTP publishing.

Dear FTP user:

You are receiving this e-mail because one or more of your blogs at are set up to publish via FTP. We recently announced a planned shut-down of FTP support on Blogger Buzz (the official Blogger blog), and wanted to make sure you saw the announcement. We will be following up with more information via e-mail in the weeks ahead, and regularly updating a blog dedicated to this service shut-down here:

The full text of the announcement at Blogger Buzz follows.

Last May, we discussed a number of challenges facing[1] Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogs. FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing.

Three years ago we launched Custom Domains[2] to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year’s post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP[3] and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you’re interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview[4] of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users.

For that reason, we are announcing today that we will no longer support FTP publishing in Blogger after March 26, 2010. We realize that this will not necessarily be welcome news for some users, and we are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. To that end:

o We are building a migration tool that will walk users through a migration from their current URL to a Blogger-managed URL (either a Custom Domain or a Blogspot URL) that will be available to all users the week of February 22. This tool will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL, and will handle the vast majority of situations.
o We will be providing a dedicated blog[5] and help documentation
o Blogger team members will also be available to answer questions on the forum, comments on the blog, and in a few scheduled conference calls once the tool is released.

We have a number of big releases planned in 2010. While we recognize that this decision will frustrate some users, we look forward to showing you the many great things on the way. Thanks for using Blogger.

Booting ChromeOS in Virtualbox

Yesterday was Google’s big announcement and press conference about the Google ChromeOS. Apparently my invite to the press conference must have been lost in the mail, so I had to settle for reading TechCrunch and their post Live From Google’s Chrome OS Event. What is ChromeOS all about? Well Google made this video to try and explain it.

While that is all nice and good, I was happy to see this next post from TechCrunch on how to try out Google Chrome OS. As it happens I already had Virtualbox installed so it was a simple process to download the Chrome OS virtual machine torrent that TechCrunch mentioned. Once I was done downloading the torrent it took me about 10 minutes to get the Chrome OS virtual machine up and running.

There were a couple of tweaks that I had to do to make it run. The TechCrunch article talked about using Ubuntu as the OS when you setup the virtual machine. I could not get it to boot using that setting. Simply changing the OS setting in Virtualbox to Linux – Other got the OS to boot and start up. I also had to tweak the network settings on the virtual machine. Chrome OS is pretty useless with out a network connection, since it logs in using a Google Account. I simply set the network setting in the virtual machine to NAT. It defaulted to bridged when it was created and it would not connect. Once switched to NAT the OS was able to connect to the network and allow me to login.

Here is a screencast I took of the Chrome OS booting up in Virtualbox. It is not the fastest OS on the planet yet, and of course it only boots into Google Chrome. I used a temporary Google Account to test it out just in case there was any malicious code in there wanting to snoop my Google Account login. In fact that account and login are already deleted.

Google is keeping Chrome OS simple. It’s focus is web applications, like GMail, Docs, Reader etc. It is not going to replace your Windows, Mac or Linux desktop right now. As Mark Poppen pointed out in a tweet there are many applications that people use that do not have web application equivalents, yet. While Photoshop web applications are still coming along, and some are getting better like Aviary, the web versions still no not provide the experience that people need.

Mark Poppen Tweet

Chrome OS will not be replacing your desktop anytime soon, but if you have a Netbook and need quick access to your email, reader and other web applications Chrome OS could be the OS of choice for you soon. There are still a lot of questions about the OS and time will tell how the new Google Chrome OS works in the real world, not just Google’s pie in the sky world.

Feedburner – Email Subjects and Friendfeed Stupidity

I use Feedburner to manage my blog RSS feed like many other bloggers. Recently Feedburner has made two changes to their service that are worth talking about. One that many have been waiting for years to have and one change that has many of us shaking our heads.

First the change that many of us have been waiting for, Feedburner has finally made it possible for the subject lines of RSS to email to be customized. Feedburner has been providing an RSS to email service since before they were bought by Google. The emails were all sent out with the same subject line though, so email subscribers really had no clue what the latest post was about before they opened the email. This is a good move by Feedburner will make many bloggers happy.


Feedburner makes one good move with email subject lines, but not long ago they made a change that still dumbfounds me, they started counting Friendfeed subscribers as RSS subscribers. This move just makes me shake my head. It literally makes the Feedburner subscriber count useless. The idea is that the people who follow you on Friendfeed are subscribed to your blog, but the truth is that the majority of people that might follow you on Friendfeed might never actually notice your blog posts on their stream. For example, the majority of people that are subscribed to my Friendfeed account are my Twitter followers. The majority of those people do not follow my blog but my Twitter feed. Given the amount of noise that is on Twitter and Friendfeed they are not subscribed to my blog, they might not even notice my blog posts on those services. My ego might like seeing the inflated subscriber numbers but that is all they are, inflated and inaccurate. This move has made the subscriber numbers from Feedburner totally useless.

On the one hand it is nice to see Feedburner doing something. Many of us were starting to think that they might just be forgotten about by Google and left to die a slow death. Unfortunately with bad moves like adding Friendfeed subscribers to the numbers perhaps Google would rather force us all to abandon Feedburner so they can kill it.

Tweet from Google Reader

Google Reader Mobile
Attribution License by byrion

I hate doing things twice. There are not many things that bug me but doing things twice has always been one of my pet peeves. Like many people I use Google Reader to read RSS feeds and as TechCrunch pointed out Google Readers social features are lacking. I was often reading posts in Google Reader and then tweeting them out to my followers but that meant visiting the original blog post, then tweeting it out. There had to be an easier, faster way for me to tweet the blog posts that I thought were interesting and might interest my followers?

Google Reader does offer a simple method to share posts that you like. Simply click the Share link at the bottom of a post and Google Reader shares the post with your friends on Google. Those shared items are placed on a new web page that you can find by clicking the Shared items under your stuff on the Google Reader menu in the top left. For example here is my shared items page. Google creates an RSS/Atom feed for this page so people can subscribe to it and follow what stories you are sharing.

Since Google Reader creates an RSS feed of your shared posts all it takes is a way to take that RSS feed and have it tweeted out on Twitter. The easiest way to publish an RSS feed to Twitter is to use Twitterfeed. Once you login to Twitterfeed you just need to setup a new feed that uses the RSS feed URL of your Google Reader shared items. Twitterfeed even allows you to prefix each tweet with some text. I simply added “Reading – ” to mine. Now everytime I share an item on Google Reader it is automatically tweeted out to my followers on Twitter.

Now you do not have to do things twice to tweet an interesting post you read in Google Reader. There is also the added benefit that if you read an interesting post on your mobile device, you can share it and have it tweeted out without leaving Google Reader mobile. I imagine you can do with with other web based feed readers. Give it a try with your favourite feed reader and leave a comment about how you share your favourite blog posts from your reader.

Google Friend Connect API and WordPress Plugin

Google just announced a new Friend Connect API is available for developers to use to intergrate Friend Connect more into a website. It was announced at #pubcon and there is an official blog post about it on the Google Social Web Blog.

It did not take long for the WordPress plugin guru Joost de Valk to take the sample code and create a Friend Connect commenting WordPress plugin. The plugin allows you to sign in to a WordPress blog using your Google Friend Connect account and comment. This is similar to how many Facebook Connect has been implemented on sites like TechCrunch for example. If you run a WordPress blog you might want to check the plugin out. It is easy to install and setup. I had it running here in under five minutes.

Once installed people should see an image below the comment for that they can use to login and comment using their Google account.