Many of us have been there. We have Google Analytics set up along with another analytics program provided to us by our host, a company we work with, or plugin we use.
One day our traffic shoots up like rocket and it’s double what it’s ever been before but Google says that our traffic is significantly lower than the other analytics. What happened?
This is SO frustrating!
It’s Like Ghosts…
It’s actually happened to me a couple of times when I was working with analytics and watched my traffic in the “Real Time” section of analytics go from 75 to 100 to 250 to 600 to 1295 in a matter of minutes.
Believe me I was practically dancing on the table.
At least I was dancing on the table until I noticed that there wasn’t a change in the traffic pattern on my mobile – only on desktop.
AND the page views weren’t changing either.
What the heck?
You, my friend, have witnessed a surge of bot traffic – like little ants going to a picnic.
You see, the “other” analytics don’t filter out bot traffic.
But wait… there’s more.
The Google Analytics code is in the header of your page. Sometimes other analytics codes are in the footer. If a page doesn’t load completely, like when someone clicks off before it finishes loading, then only the code in the header will count traffic.
Some of it is cookies. You see, different browsers have different kinds of cookies. Depending on what a reader’s browser settings are it may or may not accept certain cookies. If it doesn’t accept the cookies then that traffic is not counted.
Who Do I Believe?
Most ad networks go exclusively by Google Analytics to count your traffic. That’s the standard at the moment, and as much as Google frustrates us with its narcissistic demigod approach, we have to do what we can to appease it.