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Author Topic: Google Analytics Vs Server Stats  (Read 6877 times)
webinfoguy25
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« on: September 02, 2010, 03:59:44 AM »

I have been going back in forth with coworkers on which method of tracking website traffic stats is more reliable/beneficial/offering the best ROI/best for SEO whatever you want to phrase it.  We had a client of ours hit a 21 week high in unique visitors according to our server logs, but in Google Analytics it appears to be the exact opposite.  Has anyone seen this weird phenomena?


I have always leaned on the side of thinking that the server doesn't lie. 

I like what so called industry experts have to say about javascript tracking code and what not but we don't know what company is paying them behind the scenes either.

What is everyones thoughts here?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 04:01:49 AM by webinfoguy25 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 09:16:02 AM »

serverside doesnt lie is almost right. many things in the header can be faked of course, but overall, it is going to be FAR more accurate than JS tracking. If someone has JS off, they cant be tracked except with an img. but that too can be blocked to prevent cross-site content.
the MAJOR bonus to serverside is tracking of Bots/spiders/crawlers. they don't execute JS (well most dont, at least they way a user would)

however...
JS tracking can do way more. its less accurate, but it is also MUCH broader in capability. For example, JS can track mouse movements, rollovers, scrolling, etc etc etc.

If your site is JS heavy, like an AJAX site, the user has to have JS on to actually do anything, so JS tracking is fine if all you care about tracking is users.

If analytics is really important... do BOTH.
Most high end analytics packages do both.

deep tracking of user behaviors comes from JS.
knowing that the spiders are not finding that new set of pages you just uploaded. that comes from serverside.
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 09:16:39 AM »

oh and the high spike on serverlogs may just be bots.
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 11:37:53 AM »

Ditto on the 'bot answer. Bot's throw my stats out all the time, and I'm continually fighting to clear it. Some are smart enough now to take and repost cookies, looking like real users - it's only the behavior and click path they use that IDs them.

I think both interpolated with a "throw out the high and the low, take the average of that" sort of mentality would give you the most accurateish answer.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 10:13:06 AM »

I like standard Apache logs because I can get whatever data I need in about half a second with a BASH one-liner.

If you're not using some sort of user engagement tracking with javascript, you're doin' it wrong. But don't use Google Analytics. You're volunteering WAY too much information about your site, your traffic, and your users to Google. I would instead look at some of the open source solutions like Piwik.
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lamontagne
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 10:33:39 AM »

I use the command line and a heatmap
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Gardner
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 05:35:15 AM »

Hello guys...!
In my point of view Google analytics is the best...Google analytics uses a javascript and if for some reason the user/bot cant see or work with javascript then only the server logs will see them....!
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christianssjons
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 02:00:11 AM »

Identify a test server outside your firewall and note its domain name; Create a Google Analytics Account; Register the domain name of your server through the Google Analytics setup pages; Save the script provided by Google Analytics ... When you get into your google analytics account, you can see the list of sites (Website Profiles) you are getting stats on. Remember it'll take up to 24 hours (well, midnight) to start seeing stats.
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gavindegraw1
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 03:29:57 PM »

I have google analytics acct which is pretty decent service created by Google which must be great,  MY online traffic only track with google analytics !
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janicethomas
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 09:13:52 PM »

For me it is not weird, it is just always disappointing that this is how Google filtered each visitors, even if the traffics came from different real IP, it just don't  accept that this is real, it only detects that it is being used by some proxies... This also happened to me, and I find it not so reliable. But sometimes, accept the fact that some servers records every visits even it is coming from the same IP.
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