sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Please Note - Its Google Analytics not Google Statistics
Please Note - Its Google Analytics not Google Statistics


A highly regarded IT specialist Ben Kemp explains that many businesses are misunderstanding what Google Analytics does. - Its is NOT a website traffic statistics package. If you want webstats you must use server log data stats.

Here is an extract from the Ben Kemp's website The SEO Guy:

-

Google Analytics is NOT designed to record website traffic statistics accurately. Google Analytics is far from accurate, especially when compared directly against server log files. G A is intended to track and analyse what people do when on the site. That’s why its called 'Google Analytics' and not 'Google Statistics'…

Variations between Google Analytics and web server log files can vary from 10% to as much as 75%… That variation depends on the site architecture, any conflicting JavaScript code etc.

GA results are indicative rather than absolute, and are best used to identify trends, assess poor performing pages, monitor effectiveness of Adwords advertising campaigns and track visitor behaviour on the site.

GA should not be suggested or recommended as an accurate way to measure web site traffic – that’s NOT what its designed for.

A client asked me this question recently 'Why are you adverse to Google Analytics? Surely if one uses that consistently it is a constant so even if it is not 100% accurate the information it provides is relative.'

My answer was 'Trying to use Google Analytics to assess web site traffic is like using a screwdriver to undo a nut… And yes, you can keep doing it over and over again. However, the result is always going to be suboptimal!'

Google Analytics and Vistor Activities:

GA is designed to monitor what people do when they are on your website; the pages they landed on, where they go internally, and where they exit from. It’s a behavioural tool… Its good at measuring conversion ratios – what percentage of people follow the traffic flow 'funnel' you’ve visualised and end up doing whatever it is you’d like them to do. Regardless of whether thats making a purchase, filling in a contact form or joining a mailing list, you’d like to know if things are getting worse or better…

You can edit a page and monitor the impact on conversions… you can alter your Unique Selling Proposition, or Call to Action, and measure the impact…

However, because GA is running as a tack-on to the bottom of your pages, using JavaScript and passing information to your Google account, its prone to both interference and error… other JavaScript elements, software and coding may interfere with Google Analytics performance…

Google Analytics Limitations (Source: Wikipedia):

Many ad filtering programs and extensions (such as Firefox’s Adblock and NoScript) can block the GATC. This prevents some traffic and users from being tracked, and leads to holes in the collected data. Also, privacy networks like Tor will mask the user’s actual location and present inaccurate geographical data. Some users do not have Javascript-enabled/capable browsers or turn this feature off. However, these limitations are considered small – affecting only a small percentage of visits.

The largest potential impact on data accuracy comes from users deleting or blocking Google Analytics cookies. Without cookies being set, GA cannot collect data. Any individual web user can block or delete cookies resulting in the data loss of those visits for GA users. Website owners can encourage users not to disable cookies, for example by making visitors more comfortable using the site through posting a privacy policy.

Because GA uses a page tagging technique to collect visitor information via a combination of JavaScript and cookies, it has limitations with websites browsed from mobile phones. This is due to the fact that only the latest phones are currently able to run JavaScript or set cookies (Smart phones and PDAs).

These limitations affect all on-site web analytics tools that collect on-site visitor data using page tags. That is, the small piece of code (usually JavaScript) that acts as a beacon to collect visitor data.

Another limitation of GA for large websites is the use of sampling in the generation of many of its reports.

To reduce the load on their servers and to provide users with a relatively quick response for their query, GA limits reports to 200,000 randomly sampled visits at the profile level for its calculations. While margins of error are indicated for the visits metric, margins of error are not provided for any other metrics in the GA reports. For small segments of data, the margin of error can be very large.

Other Ways That Dilute Accuracy of Google Analytics results.

Many people also set their browser to clear cookies on exit
Other JavaScript applications may interfere with Google analytics results
Code may not be correctly implemented

Website Traffic Analysis

If you want to know the answers to the 'how many' type of questions then you should look in the server log files using AwStats (used by TetraMedia ed.) or Webalizer. These are installed on and accessible from, most hosting account…

Real traffic volumes are measured extremely accurately by the web server, and recorded in log files. To really see what’s happening, you need to look at the hosting account’s traffic analyser software. Usually either Webaliser, or AwStats (or both). Of the two, AwStats is best because it excludes visits from all known search engine spiders and indexing agents, giving a much more accurate picture. Webaliser figures are often 30% – 50% higher because of that distortion.

The server log files allow publishers, such as TetraMedia to provide exact monthly banner impressions from websites and newsletters, because its important to understand that often only 30-50% of the subscriber to a newsletter will open a particular edition. So you need to ask publishers exactly how their banner impressions are compiled.

Website Statistics Summary:

You want to know more than either Google Analytics or server log files can tell you on their own:

You can implement Google Analytics on your website, to track where people go. That requires the insertion of a small block of JavaScript code in the footer. Visitor information is then channelled from your website to your Google account.

BUT Do not fall in the trap of thinking Google Analytics are Google Statistics.

You need to use actual webserver log files with the website traffic statistics, to assess total visitors, where they came from, how long they stay etc.

To really understand whats happening, you need to use BOTH mechanisms… and you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.

When looking at webstats provided by publishers, you need to see ad banner impression data, produced directly from the logs.

It is very important.


by The SEO Guy & TetraMedia

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=94320

3:12 PM Fri 3 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,










Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club? by Dan Ibsen & the Sail-World team, Copenhagen


Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta by Bruce Fleming, Santa Barbara
















J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe! by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight












2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins by Dobbs Davis, Detroit


Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi on top - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championships - Breezy frustrations   
2014 Detroit Cup - Down to the final four   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Every finisher's a winner   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
J/24 US National Championship - Will Welles leaps into lead   
J/111 World Championships - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 – Day 2   
Light wind and a freak storm at Youth Olympic Sailing Competition   
31st Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Declared 'best ever'   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Aussies on fire   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Saturday’s racing images by Tim Wilkes   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Day 5 images by Jude Robertson   
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champ - Day 3 images by Joy Dunigan   
Holt’s 25-year dream comes true with 505 Worlds Victor   
Emirates Team NZ: Collision puts an end to bid for a better day at ESS   
Extreme Sailing Series: Ben Ainslie Racing - mixed results on Day 2   
America's Cup: New brand and image partnership announced with SME   
Extreme Sailing: Tough and testing day on Cardiff Bay - Day 2 + Video   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
2014 J/111 World Championship - Bigger breeze arrives on day 2!   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT