What Happens When MLB.com Uses Your Google Analytics Code (Part Deux)

Mar 28 2014

Article

Well, seems my 24 of fame has come to an end. MLB.com updated their website within a few hours of my Websanova is tracking MLB.com posting and removed my Google Analytics and Addthis codes. It was nice being at the top of HackerNews for a few hours but the residue of traffic will slowly die and dwindle and life will be back to normal soon. In the mean time I’m milking it with this second article.

So what does it look like to be on the top of HackerNews for a few hours?

Top of HackerNews

Although I have enjoyed a few spikes in the past, it pales in comparison to this.

And what we’ve all been waiting for, (drum roll) here we have the MLB.com traffic.

MLB Traffic

Nothing too special. The referral numbers are off because I had an incorrect link at first so a lot of people must have copy/pasted the link directly. It’s probably double that.

In a strange sense of irony I suppose this whole fiasco probably got MLB.com more traffic then they would have gotten otherwise. Would make for a good promotional stunt. All in all it’s going to net me some nice Adsense revenue, enough to pay my server costs for a few months. So Thank You MLB.com. Actually I was quite impressed with how my Linode server held up as I’m only using their lowest tiered plan and didn’t notice any hickups in loading the site. You can send me a royalty check for that bump later Linode, thx.

Also interesting to note!

I actually originally posted the article two times before it hit big on HackerNews or Reddit. The first two times was with the headline that I used in my original post title which was Websanova is Tracking MLB.com. It goes to show you a good headlines are everything because once I changed it to “MLB.com is using my Google Analytics code” it took off.

A second note

It seems most likely the developer used my wScratchPad code which is an open source plugin and freely available on GitHub as well. I’m very happy when anyone uses my open source code or plugins, that’s why I wrote them in the first place. But as one commenter pointed out in my original post, my GitHub released code had an index.html demo file with the Analytics code embedded inside. This is a bad practice I stopped a while ago but the onus is on me as well as it’s most likely that was the source of the copy and paste.

The developer is probably just some rookie programmer who is underpaid and overworked and made the unfortunate mistake of copying some extra code over. S/he probably doesn’t even know what a Google Analytics code looks like. I’m sure they will remember now.

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