I’ve now had Google Analytics tracking my sites for a month seven months a year over two years now. What do I think of Google Analytics? I love all of the graphs and maps they provide, however, the numbers I’m receiving are different than Awstats and Webalizer. In fact, they’re showing a lower number of visitors.

Today’s Lesson
Upon researching why Google Analytics is reporting lower numbers, it could be that the reader has JavaScript, cookies and/or images disabled. I’ve also noticed that Google Analytics, Awstats and Webalizer are updated at different times of the day, which would make for a slight difference in the daily numbers. Will I get hung up on the actual numbers? No. I’ll watch for the trend, and hopefully continue to see an increase in my visitor counts.

Will I continue to use Google Analytics? Yes. I’ll compare Google Analytics to Awstats and Webalizer, as each statistic reporting service has features that I like, so I’ll leave all of them in place.

My visitor counts are up approximately 50% from last month (my first month of blogging), so if that trend continues, six months from now, I should have a well visited site. Patience is paying off as I continue to post. UPDATE: My blog has continued to grow at a good pace.

From many hours of research, I have found that the authors of many of the successful blogs, are in it for the long haul. A great blog doesn’t happen overnight, therefore, it appears perseverance and dedication to providing valuable content, are one of the keys to success in blogging.

For me, I’m very thankful for all of my readers who are returning and/or subscribing to my blog. Hopefully I’m providing valuable information, as that’s my intention.

UPDATE: I continue to keep all of my statistical programs in place. Even though they do continue to give me different numbers, I like the fact they all give different features that prove to be great for analysis.

Today’s Assignment

Check the statistical programs you have in place.

Are the numbers different?

Which of the numbers do you trust?

What are your statistics telling you?

Please note: This article was written shortly after I started blogging and I was questioning the difference between Google Analytics, Webalizer and AwStats. I now have a new post which describes what I’ve learned from comparing statistics and what questions we can ask ourselves based on what our stats are showing us. The new article is titled, “How To Capitalize On Your Blog Statistics”.

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  1. BenNo Gravatar says:

    I have the same problem, my Google analytics account is showing approximately half as many visitors than awstats does. I don’t know which one is right. My site usually shows 3000 visits a month with awstats. Now I have started using analytics it shows about 1500 a month. I hope awstats is right.

    Ben

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ben,

    Welcome to my blog!

    Unfortunately, you can run many stats programs, and get different results. I continue to watch for growth.

    AWStats is my first choice for stats, however, I have Google Analytics and others in place, as each gives me different bits and pieces of information that I find helpful.

    BTW: I checked out you website. How fascinating, informative and educational. And….such beautiful pictures. Great idea!

  3. MarcelNo Gravatar says:

    I also installed Google Analytics for my site http://www.bionixwallpaper.com/index.html and I have the same problem. Maybe it is because of the content of my web site?

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Marcel,

    Welcome to BWAB.

    I think it helps to use more than one stats program, as they all report the numbers differently.

  5. […] spent too much time checking my visitor stats when I should have been concentrating on other areas of […]

  6. JonNo Gravatar says:

    The difference between AWStats/Webalizer and Google Analytics is that the former analyse the raw web server logs, whereas GA uses client-side JavaScript (via a relatively modern web-browser) to gather it’s data. This means the log analysers will always show higher figures as there are hits GA will never know about.

    That doesn’t mean GA is inaccurate, it’s just showing different information. GA is a beautiful product, the presentation of information is sublime.

    Maybe you’d like to have a look at my JAWStats project (http://www.jawstats.com). It takes AWStats information and presents it in a more modern format. GA it ain’t, but it is – in my opinion – a nicer interface than that generated by AWStats.

  7. lucNo Gravatar says:

    don’t forget that GA doesn’t count web spiders and crawler bots used by the search engines. You will see a lot less traffic with Google Analytics but what you see seems to be the real deal. Crawling bots doesn’t trigger javascript used by Google. If you use a tracking tool that doesn’t require javascript, it will probably reports crawling bots and that would be bad.

  8. Brett ReillyNo Gravatar says:

    I doubt over 2000 unique vistors in awstats would differ from only 2 vistors in google analytic’s to be bots or people without java script enabled, yet my other sites are only 1000 or so vistors different, I just add and divide by 2 between GA and awstats but when you have a huge difference between the 2, you got to ask questions.

    Though all this is a pain just to find out how many vistor’s you have had, Jon above is right, GA is beautiful but beauty is only skin deep.

    Keep advertising and keep pushing your websites, and forget about all the ANAL ethics 🙂

    Brett Reilly´s last blog post..7 Meditations Update

  9. BubbaNo Gravatar says:

    I DONOT like WebAlizer.
    Main reasons:
    1) Not very correct stats
    2) Refspam through webalizer logs

    Refspam is popular in my country, and in case they make it more often the site with WebAlizer may me ddosed.

    Thats what i think

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jon – Thank you for the great description. Much time has passed since I wrote this post and for now, Woopra is my favorite stats analyzer. Your project sounds extremely fascinating.

    Hi Luc – You’re right. Counting the visits by bots and spiders can be very misleading. It would make our counts look a lot higher than they are.

    Hi Brett – Yes. We could over analyze and waste precious time trying to figure out the exact numbers. If it’s semi close, it’s best to call it good and concentrate on blogging and not the numbers.

    Hi Bubba – Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree. Webalizer does have it’s downfalls.

  11. LawrenceNo Gravatar says:

    I found this post because when I put analytics on my WP blog it seems to have disabled awstats.
    Has anyone else had this problem. I am searching for a solution.
    Lawrence

    Lawrence´s last blog post..New Category

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lawrence – For some reason awstats stopped working on my blog about six months ago. I can’t figure out why. I’m currently using Google Analytics, Woopra and WordPress Stats. They each report things a little differently, but between the three, I get the general idea of where my numbers are.

  13. EnjoyMediaNo Gravatar says:

    I used Webalizer for a whie until I got annoyed by the folders and files it creates.
    So, I made a personal script to collect data for the websites of my customers and I use google analytics just to make sure tat everything is ok.

    Best regards,
    EnjoyMedia Webmaster

  14. Roberto SalvatoreNo Gravatar says:

    Awstat is complete, Google Analytics is more “lite”, but if you run a VPS or a small dedicated server and you turn on Awstat on your domains (you can do this also by Plesk), you’ll show a significative increase of CPU working. Google Analytics runs out of your server, so it doesn’t overloads your resources. But if you have tons of server resources, Awstat is better than Google Analytics!

  15. g1shNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, the numbers are different. There are a 100 unique users in webalizer for 30 unique users in analytics. First I was thinking that webalizer was counting it wrong, but it appears that since it’s due to javascript blockers turning analytics off, webalizer should be the stat tool of choice + I do get more readers than I thought 😉
    .-= Check out g1sh´s awesome post: App : Tweak your OSX dock with ONYX =-.

  16. DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I use google analytics just to make sure tat everything is ok.
    I would like to say thank you for sharing this cool article. Keep posting!!

  17. Damon DayNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    I used google analytics by itself for a long time and didn’t know much difference. Then I downloaded the wassup WP plugin. Now I use them both together. I really like the specific details that wassup provides so I can see how various visitors actually are interacting with my blog and navigating through the pages. I use google analytics to check overall hits, Page views, time on site etc.
    As a package they provide exactly what I am looking for.
    .-= Check out Damon Day´s awesome post: Legacy Debt Solutions vs Credit Solutions – Who Can Bankrupt a Client Faster? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Damon,

      That’s what I found works best, too; to use more than one statistical program. I use Woopra in addition to Google Analytics and WP Stats. I haven’t heard of the wassup WP plugin, so I’ll give that a look. Although I still have Awstats and Webalizer running, I find I don’t have time to check them anymore.