Do you trust Google Analytics?

27 replies
  • SEO
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Maybe "trust" is not the right word, but thing is, I find Google Analytics quite inconsistent in showing me my site stats. Looking at what I get from my CPanel's traffic tools such a Awsats and Metrics Editor, the disparity is quite confusing.

So, should I trust Google Anlytics or Awstats? And what tool do you use to reliably analyze your site stats? That would really help.


Thanks in advance.
#analytics #awstats #google #google analytics #traffic #trust
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by K Edward View Post

    Maybe "trust" is not the right word, but thing is, I find Google Analytics quite inconsistent in showing me my site stats. Looking at what I get from my CPanel's traffic tools such a Awsats and Metrics Editor, the disparity is quite confusing.

    So, should I trust Google Anlytics or Awstats? And what tool do you use to reliably analyze your site stats? That would really help.


    Thanks in advance.

    Google Analytics weeds out a lot of bot traffic. Awstats does not.

    I don't think I have ever seen a website where Awstats was not showing more traffic than Google Analytics.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelkoehler92
    Yes Mike is correct. I find the Awstats very confusing once I added a new domain and after a month I found awstats showing that I received more than 5k visits a month but I didnt even started a website on that domain.
    So trust Google Analytics its pretty accurate.
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    • Profile picture of the author K Edward
      Originally Posted by michaelkoehler92 View Post

      Yes Mike is correct. I find the Awstats very confusing once I added a new domain and after a month I found awstats showing that I received more than 5k visits a month but I didnt even started a website on that domain.
      So trust Google Analytics its pretty accurate.
      I guess that makes sense, though I still find it not as accurate. For instance, there I day we got 258 signups on this new SEO site we have set up, looking at Google Analytics, we could only see 113 unique visits. It confused me a little.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by K Edward View Post

        I guess that makes sense, though I still find it not as accurate. For instance, there I day we got 258 signups on this new SEO site we have set up, looking at Google Analytics, we could only see 113 unique visits. It confused me a little.
        And some of the signups (assuming they are free) could have been multiple signups from the same IP address. They would look like only one "unique" visit.

        Not sure what kind of site you are running, but those sort of anomalies show up on forums all the time because of all the bot traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Solutions Vibe
    Google Analytics is good, but not best, in my opinion, no tool is best to rely upon, so we have to check from different tools and calculate average which is the best way. My experience with AWStats was also not so good that's is why i would'not recommend you to rely on a single tool.
    hope this will help
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    • Profile picture of the author fajrtechnologies
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      • Profile picture of the author altonroot
        Originally Posted by fajrtechnologies View Post

        When i am running FB ads we can see click and reaches, but these status not included in google analytics. That is really confusing
        It depends on where you have put links. A simple plain text link in post clicked will always go to direct visit as it is not Facebook link. And I can tell you, Facebook is worst on appending utm parameters which are paramount for Google analytics to discriminate traffic sources. I do lot of facebook ads and all the time data are messed up.
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  • Profile picture of the author adamjones36
    As per my research. No tool can give you 100% perfect result. Even google analytics has some drawbacks. Google analytics is just an over view about how good you website is doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author nina789
    There is no way to find out whether google analytic is trustworthy or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Helena R
    Awstats constructs visits from a combination of hits in the server logs from their IP address. Google Analytics uses browser-specific cookies to track visitors multiple times in multiple locations. Awstats overstates numbers and Google Analytics understates them, but that's not an ironclad rule..
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  • Profile picture of the author K Edward
    I guess then I will have to play averages with Google Analytics on the lower end and the likes of Awstats on the higher end. Though am still finding it hard to believe that the entire internet actually doesn't have an accurate tool to determine site traffic stats.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi K Edward,

    First, Google Analytics is measuring something different from Awstats and because those are different data sets that will typically not be the same. It's likely that both are showing accurate data, it's just they are measuring different things.

    Google Analytics measures client-side traffic to pages that have your GA code snippet installed, Awstats measures server-side traffic. Neither of those tools will see the exact same data therefore they should not be reporting the same numbers.

    Awstats will measure web server traffic from any source, including bots, invalid URLs, admin panels, scheduled scripts, and hijacked images. It will not measure traffic on web pages that are loaded from cached proxy servers or client device cache. It will not measure ghost referrer spam traffic.

    Google Analytics will measure client-side traffic, but only on pages that have the code-snippet properly implemented. It will measure pages loaded from client side caches. It will measure traffic from referrer spam, including ghost spam that never actually loads a web page from your website. It does not measure traffic on pages where the code snippet isn't successfully loaded due to improper implementation. It doesn't measure traffic from your CMS's admin panel, nor from invalid URLs, hijacked images, or scripts (other than the GA code snippet).

    Both data sets can be useful, don't get hung up on the fact that they are different, they are supposed to be different. They are both informant and useful. Whenever you see a huge difference it could be a clue that something unusual is going on in your traffic sources, or your code implementation. You can use this data to gain a better understanding of exactly what is happening both on the client-side, as well as the server-side of your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    It doesn't matter if it's accurate. It matters if it's consistent. If the error is consistent, over a period of time, you get information you can act upon.

    But, like others said, it's not a matter of errors/mistakes but of what is measured.

    Yes, I trust Google... Not that if it says this month I got 720 uniques and last month 360 but that today I got about 2 times as many uniques. So, my SEO/ads have produced a 100% increase, so keep doing. If it were the other way around, I'd be worrying and changing something.
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  • Profile picture of the author decenthasoo
    Yes I trust Google analytics because only tool planet to tell everything about your visitor's details.

    If you know any other tool like Google Analytics let me know
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOMastery
    Yes, I do trust Google analytics than any other tools I have used yet. None of the tools can bring you the exact results because of the online bots traffic. The better you can use custom javascript to get more accurate results based on your suspected stats.
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  • Profile picture of the author LisaGrocke
    I'm sure GA is a great platform to start with, I had no difficulties through all the years I'm using it. although, when the business gets bigger there's a need for additional tools to check and recheck metrics. I wouldn't promote any, but here are few links to consider:

    Top 5 Digital Analytics Tools
    15 Google Analytics Alternatives

    p.s. I'll support this kinda flashmob. And my answer would be - YES, I solemnly trust GA (but not blindly).
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  • Profile picture of the author James Clifton
    First of all I must tell you that I prefer Google analytics over any other traffic tool. The thing is that Google Analytic does not update its data on real-time basis. So, Google Analytic is not accurate for sure if you have a high traffic. And it may not be accurate too for the sites having low organic traffic. There is one fact also, i.e. you will even not get the same traffic data from Awstats and other traffic tools for the same period of time. Its is because traffic stats keep on changing frequently, but it is not updated on these tools so frequently. No matter what other tools state, if Google analytic will show less traffic, you will be worried, and if it will show a high volume of traffic, you will be relaxed and happy. Ultimately, you should trust Google Analytics.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEONinjaa
    Yes,Of course Google analytics shows right result and most helpful to track the traffic of website.We can do easily trust on Google analytics and it is the only tool by which you can prove yourself in the digital marketing field by getting Certification of Analytics. If you go for paid version of Google analytics it will give more results regarding the traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    Originally Posted by K Edward View Post

    I find Google Analytics quite inconsistent in showing me my site stats.
    This is true and to tell you honestly Google Analytics is giving you only 10% or less of your whole data traffic while in Piwik Analytic tool 100% full data. GA kept your full data and you will pay to show the other remaining traffic information. Piwik provides the complete data and you own the server but it will need manually programming language to produce the channels and mediums.
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  • Profile picture of the author oiDoubleD
    Although Google Analytics is considered a best practice in most SEO work that is done, the reason I don't trust it isn't about stats. I think they are transparent on about everything except for keywords, and the extent of the use of your data.

    Analytics shares keywords with WMT and AdWords customers, but you don't get much keyword data in Analytics these days. I feel like Google gives away the free product because you are now sharing all your data on bounce rate, engagement, and other statistics of your website that Google now has access to and can use it in their algorithm either to your benefit or to your demise depending on what they do with the data.

    Better to go independent, I hear the less you use Analytics the more likely you are to get better SEO results.
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  • Profile picture of the author buzzfeednews24
    YES. I Trust on Google analytics tool Because This is best easily check sites visits.It is give 100% pure result.After that mostly people use this tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gorkem Cetin
    There are a few reasons for that.

    1. GA uses JS whereas Awstats works with server side logs, which means if js is not loaded properly, GA stats will be lower
    2. Some adblockers block GA code, hence those clients cannot report stats properly.

    Have you tried Countly web analytics alongside those 2? Countly is pretty accurate and downloadable from Github (http://github.com/countly/countly-server) and free to use.
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  • That's a nice question.

    The more I look into various analytics tools - the more confusing the data gets. If you compare GA to SimilarWeb, Alexa, or other tools - you'll find that many things don't match accurately (if not integrated). And GA is definitely not the only one of them providing traffic protection (like Maxymizely). There are also quite a few tools that build on GA. Most marketers, myself including, would agree on that Google Analytics is the industry standart. But I do have doubts in the accuracy of data sometimes. And there are literally hundreds of discussion on "where did this traffic in GA came from (+domain or referrer name)".

    It also depends on where you're getting your traffic from. If you're only buying (or driving) it from Google, Facebook or social networks - I think GA is OK for tracking that. But it gets a lot trickier when you start buying from ad networks or affiliates. Most of them would use UTMs for tracking in GA, but that is no guarantee that you're not buying from botnets.
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    Awstats is the most accurate because it is server side, and tracking the pages the server actually serves, as well as the incoming IP address, however this will includes some robots which are also running around your website, most of the known bots are weeded out, and most that are not are only counted once.

    Analytics only tracks people with medium to low browser security settings. I do not accept ads or cookies on my computer, and have other sorts of additional privacy, including google analytic opt out, so Analytics will not see me, however Awstats will. I am not sure how many people are running similar things these days, but I find some countries like Canada are running them a lot more than the UK or US.

    I can pretty much multiply my analytics by 1.3 on any given day for more accurate numbers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ziyapathan
    Google analytics is a trend analysis tool - thats what they say they are. They're limited by cookies, just like other cookie reliant technologies. If someone clears their cookies then they're going to be a "new" person on your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author NeRetro
    I find google analytics as one of the best. Considering Google algos are ruling the internet i prefer sticking to googles analytics and their other tools.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fahad Nazir
    yes off course google-analytics is tool of google which is used for evaluation of your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Intuz
    Google Analytics' used for generating the reports and statistics about your website for example, how many people visited your website yesterday, past month or year which web browser they used, which pages were the most popular etc.’


    GA can do all this stuff by putting a "tag" on all of your pages. The tag is the javascript code on your pages that runs on the visitor's browser, which tells Google Analytics' servers that they are visiting the page right now.


    GA is one of the most accurate tool to use and analysis your users and define future strategies to increase visits and sales for your website.
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