The information GoSquared collects

When you install GoSquared on your website, GoSquared runs in your visitor's browser, and sends data to our servers that is used to generate your web traffic reports.

GoSquared collects the following information from each visitor browsing your site:

  • Their web browser: which browser they use & its version.
  • Their platform: Whether they are using a desktop computer, a mobile phone, or a tablet device.
  • Their operating system: which operating system they are running on their device & its version.
  • IP address: the IPv4 and/or IPv6 address from which they are accessing your site.
  • Their location: This is inferred from the IP address, and can indicate which city and country they are located at.
  • The page they are viewing: the URL, title and path of the page they are viewing is used to determine your most popular pages and content.
  • The pages they have viewed during their session: the URL, title and path of the pages they have visited whilst on your site. This is used for showing the journey of individual visitors on your website.
  • The language setting of the browser. This is for reporting the languages and locales of your visitors.

GoSquared, PII and the GDPR

Out of the box, GoSquared only collects one piece of information that is regarded as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - the visitor's IP address.

To avoid IP tracking, you can switch on the "Anonymise IP" option in your Javascript installation code. Follow our guide for how to enable the "anonymizeIP" option. Enabling this option anonymises all IPs so that they cannot be used to personally identify someone and therefore are no longer PII.

There are situations where you might choose to send PII to GoSquared. See "Sending PII to GoSquared" section below for more information about this and GDPR compliance.

Avoiding collection of PII

There are additional steps you can take to avoid your visitors' PII reaching GoSquared:

  • Make sure your page titles and URLs don't contain any PII data. If your page titles or URLs contain PII such as names or email addresses, you will be sending PII to GoSquared. GoSquared shows page URLs, titles and paths in your reports, so any PII that is included in these parts will reach GoSquared.
  • Ensure any forms on your website submit data to your servers using the HTTP POST method rather than GET method. This also helps prevent PII appearing in page URLs via query string parameters.
  • Also take care that your UTM links don't contain PII - these also appear in page URLs, and in the campaign reports for your site.
  • Note that using GoSquared's visitor tagging and event tracking features might mean that you are sending PII. See "Sending PII to GoSquared" for details.

Sending PII to GoSquared

There are situations where you might choose to send PII to GoSquared. For example, you may wish to tag your visitors with their name and email address to help you spot when they visit your site. Or, you might want to trigger an event to indicate that someone has signed up on your site.

In these cases, you will be sending PII to GoSquared. To learn more about how to manage your customer data in GoSquared and obtain a data processing agreement, visit our GDPR centre.

Cookies used by GoSquared

When someone visits your website, GoSquared sets the following cookies in their browser, if they have cookies enabled:

  • gs_u_{PROJECT_TOKEN} - Used to tell if they have visited your site before. It enables calculating the number of new vs returning visitors in your reports. The cookie contains a randomly generated ID unique to the browser they are using, in order to associate multiple visits to the same browser. It also contains a count of the number of visits and pageviews this browser has made on your site, and a timestamp of their previous visit so we can show you how many visitors you get per day, per week, and per month.
  • gs_p_{PROJECT_TOKEN} - Keeps track of a visitor's previously viewed page throughout their browsing session. This is so that, when a visitor browses from one page to the next, we are able to mark their previous page as offline right away when they load up the next page.

Note - {PROJECT_TOKEN} is the unique project token for your site. It looks like: GSN-12345670-A.

If you are using Customer Data Hub, Inbox, or Automation, a further cookie gs_v_{PROJECT_TOKEN} is set when a visitor is identified with an id, in order to recognise them on future visits.

A note about tracking blockers

Sometimes visitors use tracking blockers that block cookies from 3rd party analytics providers. Sometimes, the whole service is blocked - these visitors will not show up in GoSquared at all because GoSquared is now allowed to run in their browser. Other times, only the cookies are blocked and GoSquared is still allowed to load. In this case, the visitor will appear as a new visitor on every pageview they make, because without cookies their browser cannot be remembered between pageviews.

For your site only

The cookies are set as a 1st-party cookie, meaning it can only work on your website - it cannot be used to track a visitor across several different websites.

GoSquared does not track your visitors across websites, and we do not in any way attempt to trace browsing behaviours across websites.

How GoSquared handles your visitors' data

All information is securely transmitted to GoSquared's servers on the US East Coast using SSL. Once there, it is transiently kept in memory for the duration of the visitors' time on your site. This is so we can show the progress of individual visitor sessions in real time, and generate the real-time reports you see in the Now dashboard.

The data we receive from visitors' browsers is logged in raw form and archived to secure storage on Amazon S3. This is so that we can rebuild your reports in case of a catastrophic failure of our database systems. It also means that your raw data is available for export should you wish to work with our team to obtain or delete some or all of this data on request.

Data stored for historical analytics

We store the following information in order to show historical reports and web traffic trends:

  • Aggregated counts of: number of pageviews, number of visits, number of visitors, bounce rate, time on site, new visits, returning visits, pageviews per visit. These are used to graph web traffic trends over time.
  • The number of times pages have been viewed, and the number of times they have been visited, in order to show top content by day / week / month / year.
  • Referring site URLs, social links, search engine URLs, and referring URLs from your own site (internal referrers) along with the count of how many visits and pageviews they referred to your site.
  • Similarly, pageview and visit counts and details for the remaining reports: top languages, platforms, browsers.
  • The number of times custom events have been triggered, along with the corresponding event names and data that was sent along with the event.