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Old 10th November 2008, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Google Analytics Vs Host Data?

Does anyone have any insight into why the number of unique visitors reported by Google is so much lower that data reported by my host account? Its a pretty dramatic difference -- for example Google visitors for one day 50, host account 330. Thoughts on why this might be happening?


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Old 10th November 2008, 11:12 AM   #2
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What stats package is used by your host? Some of the stats packages supplied by web hosting companies aren't what you might call, uhm... "robust." So that's the first thing to consider.

Second, GoAn is a script-based package, so it will only count visitors who have JavaScript enabled. This means it doesn't count any SE spiders or other bots, for instance.

Third, you need to make sure you're comparing apples-to-apples. Make sure you're not comparing "hits" or "page views" in one package to "visitors" in another -- those are all three very different things.

And finally, different stats packages, even if they're both very good and counting things correctly from their perspective, all use different assumptions. All stats you get are based on assumptions. There's no such thing as a 100% "accurate" stats package. So the numbers you will get from different packages will be different -- as you've seen, sometimes wildly different.

The thing to do is not to try to compare them to determine which is "right." They're both potentially right within the set of assumptions they use.

Rather, pick the one that gives you information in the form you find it easiest to use, and stick with that one. Use it to analyze relative changes -- the trends, spikes and dips in your traffic -- instead of trying to determine some absolute number of visitors on any given day.

Does that help?


Diane Aull - NineYards.com: Helping Businesses Do Business Online
Whether you think you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
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Old 12th November 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Thank you, Torka -- I appreciate your input -- very helpful!


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Old 12th November 2008, 03:19 PM   #4
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Hi Laura,

I use webhost stats to monitor visitor traffic, but only to make sure there is no big drop and that page views are pretty consistent. I also like to dig into the top referrer section to see what keywords are successfully connecting people with our site.

Google analytics is great for digging deeper into visitor trends, i.e., return visits, busiest day of the week, busiest time of day, geographic info and bounce rate.

I use Google webmaster tool to check for errors, back links, etc.

Really good advice from Torka to use everything and look at the big picture.

Kim Taylor
KimiWeb :: Web Design ~ Graphic Art

Last edited by ktaylor310; 12th November 2008 at 03:22 PM.
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