The usefulness of Google Analytics

Having removed the tracking code from some new pages and accessed those pages along with those that still had the tracking code from a known location I am left wondering whether GA is really of any use as the tracking was almost totally wrong.

The Analytics report told me that the access was from Rome when I was in Palermo, Sicily, At least it got the country correct! The new pages did not appear in the report so I proved that the Javascript needed to be present on ALL pages that I wanted to track and could not be in an external .js file.

The reporting of Keywords (search terms)

It has long been the case that Google Analytics have been useless in this regard. Sometime around 2011 Google changed the way that "Keywords", the search terms that visitors used to find your webpages, were reported. This is probably the most useful piece of information that a webaster could have as it enabled them to tailor their page content to include information that was of interest to the visitor. It also enabled the webmaster to meter the effectiveness of the current content. Since that time the Google Analytics reports contained either "Not set" or "not provided" in that field in the report.

At the time I wrote many pages speculating on why this was the case and I made many searches to see if others had observed the same phenomina. I think it was generally concluded that this information was too valuable for Google to give away for free and it possibly compromised their ability to sell you Keywords and Adwords. Google are a money making enterprise, this is why I hold some Google stock!, so there is little wonder why this is the case. Adsense, another program offered by Google, is built around an advertising model. As a website that contains no advertising it is contrary to my sites ethos to use such a service.

I am thinking of giving up on using Google Analytics

That way I can truthfully say that this website does not use cookies in any form.


External Sources

The usefulness of Google Analytics