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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Barnum's Avatar
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    Google Analytics

    Question? Is Google Analytics the best for keeping track of your site? Have had a couple of potential advertisers ask if
    I used it.

  2. #2
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Google Analytics doesn't count visitors who have JavaScript disabled or who have blocked the Google Analytics domain - so it will always undercount visitors.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  3. #3
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    Google analytics is a good tool to track your analytics for free, but as per the new update of Google you want be able to get the keywords data of searcher who were signed in when they clicked and visited your site.

  4. #4
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    Google analytics is a free, widely used, and full featured analytics service. It comes with some great features such as customized reporting, data visualization, AdWords integration, data sharing, and cross channel tracking. Google Analytics is great for small and large websites alike and has a user-friendly and clean interface. The lack of real-time updates is probably the only disadvantage worth mentioning.
    Last edited by Stevie D; Dec 15, 2011 at 06:43. Reason: Fake signature deleted

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteralec View Post
    ... as per the new update of Google you want be able to get the keywords data of searcher who were signed in when they clicked and visited your site.
    Are you referring to the fact that Google will no longer provide referrer data for searchers who were signed in to Google when they performed the search? If so, that's unfortunately a problem for all tracking tools. If the keywords are not present in the referrer data, then it's not going to be visible in the stats.

    What we don't know is how much of a problem that is going to be. In other words, what proportion of searches are done by people who are logged into Google? Anyone got any idea how to find that out?

    Mike

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    The free version has few limitations i guess, so to get complete benefit and see the complete stats the free version is not good idea.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member alexschmidt's Avatar
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    hi,
    Google Analytic is really a great tool to track your visitors but if the visitor has disable java-script in their browser then the codes will not work. to get around this issue i always write a code which check if java-script is disable in the visitors browser & if it's found in disable manner, a message is shown in a new page which asks them to enable it and place a cookie to track it.
    most of the users have java-script switched on on their browsers.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict zeeb44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by priya1 View Post
    Google analytics is a free, widely used, and full featured analytics service. It comes with some great features such as customized reporting, data visualization, AdWords integration, data sharing, and cross channel tracking. Google Analytics is great for small and large websites alike and has a user-friendly and clean interface. The lack of real-time updates is probably the only disadvantage worth mentioning.
    They actually have real time statistics now. It is in beta testing and not every user has it I think. But I have had access to it for a few weeks now. Very cool, but needs tweaking still on their part.
    Personal Portfolio - Zeeb44
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  9. #9
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeeb44 View Post
    They actually have real time statistics now.
    For whatever fraction of your visitors that they can see. Their script is VERY inaccurate because not only does it exclude anyone with JavaScript turned off, it also excludes everyone who knows enough about how the web works to disable it - there's nothing in it for me to be included in your stats so the Google Analytics domain is blocked on my computer so that the script never downloads to count me.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict zeeb44's Avatar
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    Ok so what do you suggest as a better solution? Whether it cost money or not?
    Personal Portfolio - Zeeb44
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    For whatever fraction of your visitors that they can see. Their script is VERY inaccurate because not only does it exclude anyone with JavaScript turned off, it also excludes everyone who knows enough about how the web works to disable it - there's nothing in it for me to be included in your stats so the Google Analytics domain is blocked on my computer so that the script never downloads to count me.
    Very inaccurate meaning what? 3%? 5%? 10%
    - Ted S

  12. #12
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted S View Post
    Very inaccurate meaning what? 3%? 5%? 10%
    There's no way to tell - unless you compare it with the stats from the log on your server (which itself excludes those people who see a cached copy of your page rather than downloading from your site).

    I'd expect as more and more people become aware that they are downloading that Google JavaScript that provides them with absolutely no benefit that more and more people will block it.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    There's no way to tell - unless you compare it with the stats from the log on your server (which itself excludes those people who see a cached copy of your page rather than downloading from your site).
    Without stats I'm not sure how you draw the conclusion this would make GA "VERY inaccurate".... In 2010 Yahoo [who hosts one of the largest CDN's] found that less than 2% of the US and 1% of the world blocked javascript and the more AJAX enabled sites we see, the harder it is for people to make that call. http://developer.yahoo.com/blogs/ydn...ript-disabled/

    2% isn't anything near zero, especially if you're serving Yahoo sized impressions, but if I recall my college stats classes decently, it's also considered with the range of typical statistical variation (5%) as analytics should really be used for averages and trends changing over time as much versus total inclusion which is, as you noted, not even truly possible with server loads. Of course some of Google's enterprise competitors use an alternative noscript option to get close... but that not foolproof either.

    Aside from the no JavaScript population unless an anti-virus program or browser starts directly default blocking GA you're talking about a tiny fraction of a percent of the web population that would ever manually turn it off... and logicly the less techie the site, the even smaller the number will be. And the idea that there's no benefit to being counted? We'll that's a whole other post along the lines of the "turning off ads because they have no point" argument.
    - Ted S

  14. #14
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexschmidt View Post
    hi,
    .... i always write a code which check if java-script is disable in the visitors browser & if it's found in disable manner, a message is shown in a new page which asks them to enable it and place a cookie to track it.
    I must say that, if I saw a message like that, I'd either ignore it or immediately leave the site. If I had disabled JavaScript - for whatever reason - there's no way that I would obey a request (especially from someone I don't know) to re-enable it, unless I was convinced there was a good reason to.

    Mike

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    I must say that, if I saw a message like that, I'd either ignore it or immediately leave the site. If I had disabled JavaScript - for whatever reason - there's no way that I would obey a request (especially from someone I don't know) to re-enable it, unless I was convinced there was a good reason to.
    Most sites that post these messages do not do so to try and convenience people to re-enable the option, rather it's to explain that their choice will render the site less than fully functional. Graceful degradation made sense when javascript was mostly bells and whistles but in the ajax / web 2.0 / whatever you call it era, it's so much a part of the experience that more and more sites find it worth while to draw a line.
    - Ted S

  16. #16
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    I must say that, if I saw a message like that, I'd either ignore it or immediately leave the site. If I had disabled JavaScript - for whatever reason - there's no way that I would obey a request (especially from someone I don't know) to re-enable it, unless I was convinced there was a good reason to.
    Mike
    +1. I do browse with JavaScript disabled. If I can use a site without JavaScript - fair enough. It's my choice, so I don't mind if I don't get all the "added extras". If I can't use the site, I leave. Any message asking me to enable JavaScript would just irritate me and I'd ignore it. The exception to that is the very rare occasion on which somebody has provided alternative content - perhaps for a slide-show or something similar - and added a tactful hint that enabling JavaScript would enhance my user experience. (I still don't do it, but it doesn't annoy me. )

    Asking a user to over-ride their preferences and enable JavaScript purely for the convenience of the site owner has to be poor practice, in my opinion.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member crunchcorn's Avatar
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    google analytics is for the site owner and gogole ad planner is for all external user.and normally these both are same in result and number of views for any site.so my suggestion show a google adplanner to your client. and they can track the record from there.and google analytics is most trusted one.so never face any prolem with that.I am sure.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted S View Post
    Most sites that post these messages do not do so to try and convenience people to re-enable the option, rather it's to explain that their choice will render the site less than fully functional.
    Point taken, Ted. I wouldn't object to a polite message that explains the benefit of enabling JavaScript. But it would have to be a benefit to the visitor, not the site owner. A message that just tells them to enable JavaScripts (and/or cookies) - simply so that the site can use Google Analytics - would not be acceptable, in my opinion.

    Mike

  19. #19
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted S View Post
    And the idea that there's no benefit to being counted? We'll that's a whole other post along the lines of the "turning off ads because they have no point" argument.
    With ads there is a slight possibility that there may be an ad you are actually interested in that gets displayed.

    With the JavaScript for Analytics it uses up part of the bandwidth you are paying for and provides you with no benefit whatever.

    As for the accuracy of Analytics - Every time I have seen someone querying the difference between the visitor counts Analytics provides and those provided by Awstats or Webalizer the Analytics stats are always a LOT lower - at least 20% lower. Since Awstats and Webalizer DO count people who have JavaScript or Analytics turned off and don't count people who obtain a cached copy of the page without actually visiting the site (which Analytics does count provided the JS can run) it is obvious that at least with those sites that Analytics is undercounting by at least the difference. While stats based on the server log will never be 100% accurate, they will be WAY more accurate than something like Analytics.

    Based on your argument about the percentage of people with JS or Analytics disabled there must obviously be at least one other factor that we haven't worked out yet that is causing the Analytics figures to read so low. I have seen instances where Google AdSense reports more visitors to one of my web pages on a given day (by the number of people who were presented with a specific ad block) than Analytics claims was the total number of visitors.
    Stephen J Chapman

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    With ads there is a slight possibility that there may be an ad you are actually interested in that gets displayed.

    With the JavaScript for Analytics it uses up part of the bandwidth you are paying for and provides you with no benefit whatever.
    Well since you visited the site there's probably some reason why you want to be there and whether it's advertising revenue to keep the lights on or optimization to know where to focus your efforts, if the majority of the world blocked either program you'd be paying for the privilage of using those sites. It's no different than people who shop the lowest priced store 50 miles from home then complain when the local market closes... cause and effect. Value isn't just about the short term.

    Based on your argument about the percentage of people with JS or Analytics disabled there must obviously be at least one other factor that we haven't worked out yet that is causing the Analytics figures to read so low. I have seen instances where Google AdSense reports more visitors to one of my web pages on a given day (by the number of people who were presented with a specific ad block) than Analytics claims was the total number of visitors.
    Great point. I usually find there's more to do with measuring who is a user than who many users visited. With javascript tools you're generally talking cookies as the primary methodology while log based tools are purely IPs and Host Names. As a result, people who surf on a laptop or over long periods as is becoming more and more common get counted more times with log tools. And that's really just the tip of the ice burg for analytic woes -- work computer, tablets, people surf from many devices that we're going to see some serious evolution in multi-touch tracking at some point but I'm sure the privacy associated with it will be quite a stir.

    Differences in remote services are common though either by tracking methodologies or how far people get in loading a page. With AdWords one of the first things you learn is how many people really do bail on a site before the page loads... thus why load time [and perhaps less javascript] is so critical.
    - Ted S

  21. #21
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    The very best tracking software that I know about is Omniture (which is an Adobe product). You can do some absolutely amazing things with this software.

    http://www.omniture.com/en/products/...arketing-suite

    But check out the price. I will stick with Google Analytics.

    Ingenyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ingenyes View Post
    The very best tracking software that I know about is Omniture (which is an Adobe product). You can do some absolutely amazing things with this software.

    http://www.omniture.com/en/products/...arketing-suite

    But check out the price. I will stick with Google Analytics.

    Ingenyes.
    I'm a past Omniture customer and while GA offers much of what the typical site will use, the ability to merge multiple data sources together is in its self a massive advantage, especially for multi-channel businesses.

    Similar to Omniture is WebTrends [who is doing some great things in social analytics] and CoreMetrics. All 3 are enterprise tools.
    - Ted S

  23. #23
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    I will have to check out these (I've only heard a little bit about WebTrends). The latest version of Omniture has a lot of features around social media/metrics. The whole social media thing is really taking off and you need to be able to track how well you are doing.

    Ingenyes

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    Quote Originally Posted by ingenyes View Post
    I will have to check out these (I've only heard a little bit about WebTrends). The latest version of Omniture has a lot of features around social media/metrics. The whole social media thing is really taking off and you need to be able to track how well you are doing.

    Ingenyes
    Just be careful not to confuse direct analytics with social results. The best viral campaigns never touch a link because the user, not the brand, is the one making the post and when users post they rarely include tracking codes.
    - Ted S

  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict zeeb44's Avatar
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    Where can you get Omniture from? I looked on there website and it doesn't say anything about where to buy/download or even if it cost anything?
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