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Old 13th November 2009, 01:34 PM   #1
MarkyMarkNC
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Default Which Is More Accurate - Google Analytics Or My Web Hosting Report?

Every time I check my Google Analytics stats, the numbers are different than they are on my web hosting company report (Yahoo.) Also, sometimes they both show a certain number of hits on a page one day, and the next day that number is different. Which one is more accurate? Why are they different?

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Old 13th November 2009, 07:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MarkyMarkNC View Post
Every time I check my Google Analytics stats, the numbers are different than they are on my web hosting company report (Yahoo.) Also, sometimes they both show a certain number of hits on a page one day, and the next day that number is different. Which one is more accurate? Why are they different?
Google Analytics is certainly accurate.

It could be because both the software update at different times. I know Analytics is every 4 hours.

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Old 25th November 2009, 03:29 AM   #3
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There are a lot of factors why the analytics from Google is different from the built-in web analytics. Factors such as the proper placement of the analytics code. Its really difficult to make them the same but it is up to you if which of them will be used. Personally, I will prefer GA because it shows a more detail of the traffic of the site and I can even customize the reports.

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Old 2nd December 2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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The report provided by your web host is more accurate. The report is generated from the web server log files. I would expect the log files to show more traffic than what is being reported by Google Analytics.

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Old 6th December 2009, 09:43 PM   #5
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The report provided by your web host is more accurate. The report is generated from the web server log files. I would expect the log files to show more traffic than what is being reported by Google Analytics.
I would tend to disagree. The original data is probably accurate but the way it is processed/packaged to turn it into meaningful information will not be as good as Google Analytics. In fact, the latest developments with 'Intelligence' etc on Analytics makes it an unmissable package in my view.
I don't think I have ever seen data straight off the server that seriously contributed to my marketing understanding.

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Old 8th January 2010, 08:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sequencehosting View Post
Google Analytics is certainly accurate.

It could be because both the software update at different times. I know Analytics is every 4 hours.
One is server side and one is a javascript plug-in. Google Analytics can fail for any number of reasons. Sometimes people actually block it.

On the other hand, sometime server stats record information about crawlers that Google Analytics does not.

Neither of them are more accurate than one another, they are just different.

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Old 11th January 2010, 05:25 AM   #7
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If you would like to view how much traffic you get you should look at awstats. It's the best tracking tool and far more accurate, however Google analytics has its own advantages but it does not give me accurate visitor counting but it helps me to find out the search queries, visitor location, timing etc....

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Old 12th January 2010, 12:12 PM   #8
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Both, and neither.

"Hits" is not the best measurement to start with. "Unique visitors" is more meaningful, but it depends on how the package in question defines a "unique visitor." Abandon rates, exit rates, conversion rates, visitor paths through your site... there are many better things to be looking at than "hits."

Analytics packages are almost all different in at least some small respect. Not wrong, just different. Compare six different stats packages and you'll likely get six different sets of numbers. Doesn't mean any of them is necessarily wrong (or right, for that matter). Just that they have different ways of collecting and analyzing the data and different ways of reporting what they've found.

The best thing to do is not to compare one to the other. Pick the one that gives you the kinds of information you can use and displays the data in a way that makes the most sense to you, then use it to discover trends over time.

The idea is not to try to figure out absolute traffic ("We had 850 visitors yesterday!") but to track trends ("Our traffic is up 20% since this time last year!") and to use the reports to discover "sticking points" and poorly performing pages within your site so you can improve site usability and conversions.

Because that's the whole reason to look at web analytics reports. Not to pat yourself on the back because your analytics software says you got a zillion hits, but to use the data to improve your site so you make more sales or generate more leads or get more newsletter sign ups or whatever it is your site is supposed to be doing for you.

You might also want to take a look at the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik. He's a real guru of web analytics, the book is an easy read, and following the exercises therein will DEFINITELY help you better understand what those numbers on your reports mean (regardless of which analytics package you use) and how you can use them to improve your site's performance.

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Old 24th March 2010, 04:52 AM   #9
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Hi, Torka, nice post you've shared, indeed the question is not as simple as may seem at firts sight, I've been using Google analytics for some period of time, and find it quite useful, but I was unaware of such tricks, thanks

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Old 13th September 2010, 06:48 AM   #10
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Google Analytics is by far the only way to track visits.

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