Google Analytics: To use or not to use?
So I have always been a fan of Google Analytics, but these days I am becoming a little more wary of the tool. Just something about giving Google all this data just doesn't make me necessarily feel good.
I am not saying that Analytics is bad, it does offer a tremendous amount of data and is very useful. I am though really curious to whether or not though Google does use some of the data against you.
For example if you have a really high bounce rate this can definitely hurt your rankings, whereas a low bounce rate might not necessarily help your rankings.
Also if you derive all your traffic from search engines, Google may not see your site as "valuable" as say a site that gets traffic from other areas like social media, referring sites etc.
Conspiracy theories? Maybe. However with the host of other tools available on the market as good alternatives (ie Piwik etc), I feel the only real reason to have Google Analytics on your site is if you are trying to sell or "flip it".
It seems in the website marketplace Google Analytics is the "gold standard" regarding traffic sources, so not having your data on Google Analytics may prevent you from fetching as high a price for your site as buyers seem to "trust" Google Analytics over any other tools. Ironically AW stats is way more accurate than Google Analytics, but again most people love the Big G.
Anyway I will be building some affiliate sites over the course of the next few weeks without any Google Products on them and I will update this thread regarding my thoughts on the matter.
Feel free to comment on your experiences as well.
I haven't done site/ranking performance comparisons between using vs. not using Google Analytics.
But I've heard from so many sources (too many, actually. I wish I remembered all the links) that it's a very bad idea to have Google Analytics installed. I personally have stopped using Google Analytics as well. I'm now using an open source analytics script that's hosted on our own server. You can download the script from www.piwik.org . It's awesome. It even has real time tracking as well.
Anyway, there's a post written on our beloved Warrior Forum which explains the dangers of using Google Analytics. Thankfully I have the link saved...here it is:
I bet after reading that thread, you'll say to yourself "wow, that really justifies my feeling wary and not good in using Google Analytics!"
By the way, it's also been advised everywhere, that using the Google Webmaster Tools is also not a good idea.........
Last edited by zpivat; 05-07-2012 at 03:47 PM.
Hey Zpivat thank you for your input.
Originally Posted by zpivat
I am also using piwik and so far I do like it a lot.
It's not that I have had say bad experiences with Google Analytics, this is just more of an experiment for me. For as long as I have been building sites I have been using Analytics, so this is uncharted territory for me!
I think what really spurred me to experiment was the latest update Google made regarding the ability to track social media. A lot of my websites (ie adsense, affiliate) primarily gets their traffic from SEO, as to be honest it would be impossible for me to actively create Facebook and Twitter accounts and constantly update them etc. and drive traffic that way. I was thinking that maybe if Google began actively tracking hits from social media, if maybe they saw all the traffic was from Google, my rankings would be adversely affected. Again these are all conspiracy theories
My views of Google Analytics so far is that other than providing you with data (which there are alternatives that do just fine like Piwik), I don't see any advantages to it. I have a lot of sites with low bounce rates, and you figured that maybe Google would interpret that to be a good thing, but I have not got bumps from it. I am also pretty sure some sites I have with high bounce rate (ie. MFAs) have probably been adversely affected.
So far I have been satisfied with Piwik and I do like the fact you can load more than 25 sites on it (limitation with GA), and I look forward to the results.
Thank you for pointing out that thread on WF, very interesting read indeed.
i hve started a micro niche site and i havent installed analytics or GWT there. but i am using adsense there. wont it hurt my rankings. (site is just started and have 2 articles only)
Again I don't necessarily believe 100% that GWT, GA, or Adsense will hurt your rankings. For me though at the moment I just don't see a reason to give Google any free data.
Originally Posted by markcooper006
Even if there is a .00000001% chance that the data can be used against me, I just don't see the point in giving it away as there are great alternatives to any of these Google products.
Again I am just trying it out so we will see how things pan out.
I'm giving this a shot. I've become leery of giving them data as well.
How about GWT? I don't see this sort of data with Piwik. Since I'm only uploading a blank html file to my server to verify ownership of the site, I'm not actually giving google any data, just mining data that they have already collected. Is that correct?
Last edited by badgolfer; 05-21-2012 at 08:18 PM.
I remove GWT as well because I don't want Google necessarily linking all my websites together in the event something happens to one of my other websites. Removing GWT is more for removing the footprint rather than not giving Google the data.
Originally Posted by badgolfer
That makes sense. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Gyuman82
After using Piwik for a while now I definitely do prefer it over GA. So if you haven't already definitely give it a try.
Originally Posted by ShivJaiswaL