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6 Reasons Why You Should Stop Using Google Analytics Now

A large number of bloggers, ecommerce and general web site owners default to using Google Analytics to track their web site traffic, growth and evolution. In fact, Google Analytics is currently running on up to 50 million web sites. It is the first thing most of the web site owners do – adding Google Analytics. When you or your web site users surf the web, you very personal information, such as your credit card number, medical record, home address and all much more data that is generated by you on daily basis. Your information is private and it remains private.

Not with Google. Google tracks and mines your searches, along with up to 300 other data points about you, every time you visit a web site. This information gets packaged into a profile, which is shared with ad networks who are integrated among tens of millions of web sites and apps. In fact, even an incognito mode in your browser isn’t going to protect you or your users either. Google collects your IP and utilized “fingerprinting” to collect the necessary data points.

As for the incognito mode in your Chrome browser: it is extremely misleading, all if does is erases the local browsing history after you complete your browsing session. The incognito mode does nothing to keep your IP address private from Google and their advertising partners.

How does Google Analytics work

Watch a short video about how does Google Analytics work and why does it pose privacy concerns to website owners and regilar visitors.

1. Google Analytics is an Overkill for Most Users

The number of data points that Google Analytics collects is an overkill for most users. It is overwhelmingly complex to the point where special training is required to use it. The vast majority need only a fraction of the tools for their web site.

In addition to being complicated, Google Analytics tracking pixel is heavy, which could slow down your web site speed. We've covered how to improve your site speed and 15 ways how to improve your web site ranking in separate articles.

Here are the most common questions site owners want answered:

  1. Is the page growing? Has it plateaued, or is it devolving?
  2. Where are my visitors coming from? What sites bring the traffic?
  3. What pages are people visiting?
  4. How many visitors are on my site right now?

Here are some less common and less critical questions site owners want answered:

  1. Do my visitors use a mobile phone, tablet or a desktop?
  2. What browsers do my they use?
  3. What country to my visitors live in?
  4. Which parts of my landing page do visitors click on the most or the least?
  5. Why doesn’t my most important page convert? I wish I could see what my visitors see!

As it turns out, you do not need a complicated myriad of features, which create a number of privacy-violating issues like Google Analytics. Shameless plug! This is exactly you should use the PrivateAnalytix.

2. Google Analytics is a Privacy Liability from the GDPR, PECR and CCPA Standpoint

Though, this was not the internet standard before, but now every site owner must disclose that they use Google Analytics to their visitors.

The rules are even more stringent in California, where your web site must identify if their visitors are from California and, according to CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) display a special popup where the user can select what data can be used. You must have seen the “Do not sell my information” banners. This is exactly what need to be displayed on every web site.

Operating in accordance to these regulations requires programming time and effort. These privacy popups are not a complicated algorithm on their own. If your web site, blog or business is not adhering to these standards, you can be at significant legal risk. Just hope that none of your users does not report your web site.

Google protects itself from a potential legal harm by passing the liability on you.

According to Google: “you must ensure that certain disclosures are given to, and consents obtained from, end users in the European Economic Area along with the UK. If you fail to comply with this policy, we may limit or suspend your use of the Google product and/or terminate your agreement”.

Google also informs that that you “must obtain end users’ legally valid consent” to the use of cookies or other local storage where legally required and to the collection, sharing, and use of personal data for personalization of ads.

3. You Must Collect a Consent to Use Cookies, because Google Analytics uses Cookies to Collect Data

Google Analytics uses cookies to collect and store information about unique visitors on your web site. This was it can tell what pages to users visit on your web site and what do they do on those pages. Because of this, in addition to abovementioned privacy consent, you must also collect a consent to use cookies, if you use Google Analytics on your web site.

In accordance to PECR, you must tell the user that you are storing cookies and you must also give them an option to opt-out. Here is an excerpt from the PECR policy: you “need to tell people about analytics cookies and gain consent for their use”. If you use cookies you must say what cookies will be set, explain what the cookies will do and obtain consent to store cookies on devices.

4. Google Analytics is Blocked by Many Browsers and Browser Extensions

Internet users of the current time are much more informed than before. More and more get fed up by ADs, fingerprinting, behavioral profiling, targeted advertisement, that they simply use Adblockers (uBlock Origin).

Browsers like Firefox and Brave already have a built-in function to block Ads and tracking.

Approximately 50% of the web sites most likely use Google Analytics. That is approximately 29 Million web sites worldwide. The number is smaller for general population, but approximately 50% of tech savvy audience blocks Google Analytics on web sites.

5. Data Sampling: Lower Visitor Tracking Precision

Google Analytics uses “data sampling”. In data analysis, sampling is the practice of analyzing a subset of all data in order to uncover the meaningful information in the larger data set. Here is a closer look at that. This basically means that the more visitors you get, the more inaccurate your data might become.

In short, a certain percentage of the collected data is analyzed, beyond a certain threshold, patterns are analyzed and assumptions are made.

Here is an example of Google’s (2019) sampling thresholds:

Ad-hoc queries of your data are subject to the following general thresholds for sampling:

  1. [Google] Analytics Standard: 500k sessions at the property level for the date range you are using
  2. [Google] Analytics 360: 100M sessions at the view level for the date range you are using

6. Google Analytics Requires A Complicated Privacy Policy

As mentioned above, the cookie consent and adherence to GDPR, PECR and CCPA policies is required. But it doesn’t just end there. Google has its own privacy policy and it requires you to adhere to it as well.

"You must post a Privacy Policy and that Privacy Policy must provide notice of Your use of cookies, identifiers for mobile devices or similar technology used to collect data. You must disclose the use of Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes data."

"You will use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that a User is provided with clear and comprehensive information about, and consents to, the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on the User’s device where such activity occurs in connection with the Service and where providing such information and obtaining such consent is required by law."

7. Bonus: Try PrivateAnalytix

PrivateAnalytics is built with simplicity, ease of use in mind. You own 100% of the data and you decide what to do with it.

I have used Google Analytics for years and totally understand the challenges that come with its use. PrivateAnalytix is built for those who care about their site speed score (our Google Speed Score is 100), who don't want to worry about legal liabilities associated with cookies and those who love simplicity.

With PrivateAnalytix, I believe we have built a truly better alternative to Google Analytics that is:

  1. 100% control over your analytics data
  2. Very light - our tracking pixel is <1KB in size (~46x lighter than Google Analytics), which would positively impact your website load speed.
  3. See all your visitors (not just half) - we pioneered the method for by-passing ad blockers, so you get the full picture of who's visiting your site without invading anyone's privacy.
  4. Very Simple – understand if your web site is underperforming at one glance.
  5. No Personal Identifiable Data is Collects – eliminates the need for GDPR and CCPA consents
  6. Goals – Track goals, conversions, sales, button events, customer events across the entire site
  7. Email reports - receive weekly email reports with no need to login to your web site to see how it is performing.
  8. API access - Our API offers a way to retrieve your stats programmatically, send your metrics wherever you want and present them in whatever shape you want.

Give PrivateAnalytics a try for 7 days to see it for yourself.