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I Use Google Analytics.

A lot of people, even people whose opinions I respect, tell me not to use Google Analytics (GA) for fear that they will collect the data to penalize me in the results page. I can certainly respect this opinion because let’s be honest, Google is aggregating a terrifying amount of information. So much so that I worry it will start looking for Jon Connor.

However, I find myself in a difficult spot. Urchin, the software that is “Google Analytics” used to cost a ton of money, like $500/month for a starting package. Why was it so expensive? It was so expensive because it fucking rocks. The things you can learn from GA are simply astounding. It does click mapping, funnels, traffic sourcing with geotargeting, and it shows you pretty graphs of all these things. I’ve yet to find anything better.

Here’s my thought: Do you really think NOT running GA is going to keep Google from knowing all about your site? You think they don’t know your bounce rate? Because they do. You think they don’t know your average visitor length? They know. It’s because of this, that I take a pretty sunny view of GA: If your site is half way decent, why not let Google look under the kimono? I have no problem showing them my < 50% bounce rates, or my average visitor length of 2:05. They're going to find other ways to get this information if you buy into that viewpoint, so why not just hand it over and say, "Look how great this site is"? If you think these factors affect ranking (Which I happen to) why not make them readily available to the person ranking you? If you're not doing anything super shady, GA is not a big deal.

3 Responses to “I Use Google Analytics.”

  1. Chris says:

    I use Analytics all the time but I do have the fear that it lets Google in 😐

  2. Tom Tan says:

    I do use GA for tracking traffic, bounce rate etc for all my sites. So long you are not doing heavy black-hat stuff on your sites, it should be fine to use it.

  3. Ellie K says:

    Virtues of using Google Analytics: it’s free, provides support, mostly thru user forums, but that’s okay as forum responses are ok quality. Consider the alternatives. 1) Don’t use add’tl analytics, 2) choose non-Google analytics 3)use Google analytics.

    Is it better to pay, or even get free, site analytics from a provider that doesn’t offer as much analytical functionality as Google, and to whom you’ll need to reveal all your info anyway? And you can probably feel more confident that Google’s metrics and methods are accurate, too!

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