Google Analytics Sucks
July 28, 2016
Yeah, it's a little blunt and harsh, but over the years I've been growing more and more disatisfied with the tool. A long while ago, I created my own little website visitor tracking tool, which I have slowly been dusting off. Eventually I may completely remove Google from my websites and opt for my own custom tool, or something else.
Why do I find Google Analytics a pain?
I Want to see how people move through the site
Many of my websites are fairly small in terms of traffic, and I want to see exactly how someone is interacting with the site. With larger websites, perhaps Google's more generalized data is useful, but even there I would likely want to dive in and see how individual users are moving through the site.
A good amount of the traffic reported through Analytics is spam. These aren't actually even spam visits to the site -- they only get counted because they have the analytics tracking id. This isn't a problem with my own custom reporting tools since there is no tracking id. You can block out spam, but as new spambots and spam referal sources arise, you have to manually enter this blocking data which can be a big job. Even after you add the blocking data, it doesn't apply historically, so those extra (non)-visits are always counted.
It's mostly bloat and this makes it hard to use
It's a robust tool, I'll give it that, but 90% of it I never use. This just gets in the way of me finding what I'm looking for. With my own tools (or other tools), it's easy to just strip it down to see exactly the information that I'm looking for. This section insprired this post: How to Make Bloated Software that Isn't Hard to Use
The Built Environment