Why you shouldn't use Google Analytics

Our team is working on a more transparent and lean alternative to Google Analytics. DuckDuckWho Analytics does all that without all the privacy stuff. Let's take a look at some Google Analytics issues. A large part of the traffic on the web is accessed directly by Google, the world's largest advertising technology company. 

An individual's behavior can be tracked from multiple angles using their data collection. They have nine products with over a billion users.

It is estimated that there are millions of websites that use Google Analytics to monitor their visitors and learn more about them. As a web designer, Google Analytics was among the first things I integrated on a newly launched site over the years.

It would be a smart idea if website owners, bloggers, and web developers would stop using Google Analytics. I will tell you why you should remove Google Analytics from your website in order to create a more open, independent web, one that is more friendly to visitors.

A lot of ad-tech companies are owned by Google, the biggest company in the world

Website stats are usually collected by tools such as Google Analytics, which is by far the most popular. On the web, Google Analytics is used by more than 53% of the sites that track their visitors in some way. In our knowledge, 85.9% of all websites use Google Analytics for traffic analysis. Google Analytics is the most popular third-party service on the web. As of February 2018, 0.64% of all network requests came from Google Analytics.

In the past, Google products were paid for by advertising. Today, Google's products, like Gmail, YouTube, and Gmail Calendar, remain free to use. This is because Google has built its wealth by collecting and using a huge amount of personal information to sell targeted advertising.

In today's world of surveillance capitalism, there is a massive demand for the collection of personal information, and indeed, the theft of it. 

This is what Google has to say about the things they do with information from websites that use their services:

"Sites and apps like Google send information about their users to Google, which is then used by Google to deliver services, maintain and improve those services, develop enhanced services, measure advertising effectiveness, guard against fraud and abuse, and personalize the content and ads that appear on Google and on those of our partners."

For most website owners, it's overkill

Most website owners consider Google Analytics to be an overkill when it comes to gathering data. The tool can be powerful, but is complex and requires training to fully comprehend. Only a fraction of the metrics that this software measures are truly useful and relevant to most people.

You can find more than 125 different reports on the left-hand side of Google Analytics' menu. Together they track more than 290 metrics. The analysis of these data is a full-time job that takes a lot of time, effort, expertise and experience in order to operate smoothly. 

You should avoid using this script because it is bloated and slows down your site

In the same way that any other website element adds weight to a website, web analytics adds extra load time and extra weight to a website. I still believe that Google's Global Site Tag and the Universal Analytics program are unnecessary bloat. This is because you care only about the most useful site statistics and want to ensure that your site runs as fast and as lean as possible.

You can integrate Google Analytics into your site using the Global Site Tag, which is a centralized script that allows you to integrate remarketing and conversion tracking, too.

Cookies are used so you have to seek consent before storing them

It's impossible to use Google Analytics without cookies. There are many cookies set by Google Analytics,and it "uses cookies to track users across sessions". Basically, this keeps track of what someone has done on previous pages.

Cookies are covered by all privacy regulations as well.

It is for this reason that, among other things, the PECR requires site owners to inform their visitors about the cookies that they use in order to track personal data and to let them know whether they prefer them or not.

The data is not very accurate since it is blocked by many browsers and plugins

People are opting to block banner advertisements, retargeting, and remarketing messages, behavioral profiling, and other distracting advertisements.

There are millions of people out there who use adblockers like uBlock Origin and popular browsers such as Firefox and Brave who block the Google Analytics script. Also, Apple Safari has blocked cross-site tracking from Google Analytics.

The fact that Google Analytics uses data sampling as part of its data collection is another aspect of data accuracy that some people are concerned about. This process is referred to as "analyzing a subset of data in order to uncover information from the larger data set". 

In order to protect the privacy of its users, a comprehensive privacy policy is required

Google has further requirements related to the use of Google Analytics in addition to the cookie notice and the GDPR consent prompt:

A Privacy Policy must state how You use cookies, IDs for mobile devices, and other technologies to collect data. As part of the Service, you will use your commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that a user is promptly provided with clear and comprehensive information about and consents to the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on the user's device, if such activity occurs in connection with the Service and if the collecting, storing, and accessing of such information is required by law.

You can skew the data by using referral spam

Your dashboard might have spam referrer URLs. In other words, spamming Google Analytics is a way for bad actors to "market" their products and services to other website owners.

Your website receives fake traffic from them, which shows their URL near the top of your referral sources list. The purpose of this is to encourage you to visit their website.

You have to trust Google for this, since it's a proprietary product

Google states right at the top of its privacy policy: “By using our services, you give us access to your information”. Basically, you're trusting Google Analytics with all of the information collected on your website, as well as the information collected from all of your website visitors.

Is it to figure out how sticky a site is so they can rank pages more accurately? Or do they use it to sell ads to users?

When you use the Google Analytics script you don't know what's going on behind the scenes. Just put trust in Google ...

Is there an alternative to Google Analytics free?

  • Never use analytics or server logs

It's not unreasonable for us to explore some of the available solutions. It is up to you whether you want your analytics in the first place or if you would like to access your basic stats from your server logs if you really don't care too much about the data.

  • Alternatives that are fully-fledged and more ethical

Matomo, for example, is a direct competitor of Google Analytics. The ethical site analytics market is dominated by companies such as Matomo (formerly known as Piwik).

Compared to Google Analytics, Matomo has some of the same issues with multiple metrics, such as making it difficult to get insight from hundreds of different reports and metrics, and the fact that it collects a lot of personal information. Furthermore, it requires a cookie notice and GDPR consent trigger.

  • Information about search engine visibility is available in the Search Console

Google Search Console is for people who just want to figure out their search visibility and traffic from Google search.You can do this most accurately through it. It runs independently of Google Analytics and requires no tracking script.

  • Alternatives that are both privacy-friendly and easy to understand

In order to solve this problem, we have developed a brand new product. Despite the difficulties in locating a better Google Analytics alternative, we believe that DuckDuckWho Analytics is a good option to consider for many site owners.

Unlike other web analytics tools, DuckDuckWho Analytics gives you the following features:

  1. In one minute you can understand and gain insights from it. 

  2. The script is very lightweight and takes up less than 1KB of space, leaving your site to load quickly

  3. Since the site does not utilize cookies, cookie banners are unnecessary

Take a look at DuckDuckWho Analytics today

Simple, fast, and private are the cornerstones of DuckDuckWho Analytics.
Our team of analysts has been using Google Analytics for years.

With DuckDuckWho, the idea is to create an alternative website that can help various site owners be able to access actionable statistics about their websites, all the while creating a fast-loading website, taking complete control over all the data, and ensuring that visitors' privacy is protected.