We’ve all done it one time or another. That mistaken click, a poorly timed slip of the finger, accompanied by the sense of dread when you realize you’ve accidentally deleted something you’ve worked on for weeks. Thankfully, most (if not all) computers are equipped with “trash cans” or “recycle bins” that allow you to retrieve accidentally deleted data, and now – as Search Engine Land reported earlier this week – Google has now released the Google Analytics trash can – letting you do the same thing!
As of January 27th, the Google Analytics Trash Can feature will allow users to retrieve any deleted views,properties, or accounts within 35 days of that accidental click. All you have to do is go to the Administration tab, select the right account, click “Trash Can” in the left-hand menu, and check off the items you need to restore back to normal.
It’s a handy little feature for sure, and it’s one that would have saved Beth a lot of stress if it had been available back in November 2012. Once specific example she told me about happened when she was first working on becoming a trainer for the Dallas Search Engine Academy. She was attending a train-the-trainer session in Raliegh, North Carolina, when a former employee down in Texas logged back into one of her client’s Google Analytics accounts. This person wanted to erase their own personal information/admin powers from the account, but they ended up deleting the client’s entire profile instead, sending all of the data Beth had been tracking for months (if not years) right down the drain.
It’s a story that could have (and almost did) end in disaster, but Beth was able to brainstorm with her fellow SEO experts and came up with the idea of retrieving the lost data from Google via an old AdWords account. It took a lot of running around while jumping through several hoops, but the data was at last saved and restored.
This is just one example of thousands where a feature like Trash Can could have saved the day. The new tool is also a big relief for any SEO with clients who don’t really understand Google Analytics, but insist on going in and playing with the metrics, because now we have a 35-day long safety net.
It really is the little things in life, isn’t it?
Side note: If you do have several clients, don’t manage all of their data from one Analytics account – each client should have their own account. Otherwise, you can’t let one client access their data without seeing all of your other clients’ data. This happened with a recent student and they can’t see the data for their own site. Remember that the data belongs to customer first!