Google analytics vs. server analytics 

In the age of ad-blocking, what is more relevant? I have been tracking visitors on three of my websites for sometime now and I’ve seen a difference between server data and Google analytics. The difference is a big one.

Data from server analytics Graph with data from Google Analytics

There are three reasons why I get this result:

  1. Server analytics tool include my visits when I post things, install plugins etc.
  2. This is a technical blog and a lot of people are familiar with ad-blocking
  3. Some of the visitors might be ghosts who show up in server analytics but won’t download the whole page

What should I trust?

To be completely honest, neither because of the three reasons I wrote above. It may only serve as guideline and reassurance that someone visits your web site.

At first you must ask yourself how is your web site and audience structured.

  • Do I have high bounce rate if I have everything on my main page? It probably means Nothing.
  • Do I have on my main page only excerpts and my bounce rate is high? You probably should check referrals and search console (in Google Webmaster Tools). If this doesn’t solve a mystery than you might have problems with some bots
  • Are my visitors people with technical skills? How can you assume that? In my case I assume that because I share posts which are technical, so I expect people with ad-blockers.
  • If I had a lot more visitors I would check where they are coming from because on my personal blog I see from time to time an influx of spam visitors

So where is truth then? Somewhere in the middle. Just don’t do one thing: write only what other people love to read. Write about what interests you at least half of the time.