September 25th, 2009
Counters and Analytics
We all know that Webmasters are generally a lazy bunch. The same holds true for coders, another lazy bunch. And I mean that in an affectionate way because I too am guilty of being lazy. We use software and technology to make life easier – and it isn’t always welcome news when that same technology causes us to do a little work that we never intended to do in the first place.That’s why so many Webmasters use tools like Google Analytics, and then move on to other things with the assumption that they have filled the need for a good Web metrics tool. After all, it has the name GOOGLE right in the title – and who understands the Internet better than Google?
To be clear, my intention here isn’t to bash Google Analytics, but rather to warn Webmasters that if you’re using Google Analytics for your sole source of statistics about your website’s performance, you’re almost certainly getting only a partial view of the real picture.
There are a number of reasons why traffic that you receive from Google Analytics might not be 100% accurate. But the purpose of this article is less about why Google Analytics isn’t 100% accurate, and more about fighting the common misconception that it is in fact completely accurate for counting unique visits.
Rather than reinvent the wheel here, I’ve pulled together a collection of snippets and links from around the Internet that will give you an idea of what various experts as well as average Webmasters think about the accuracy of Google Analytics. So without any further