Know What You’re Measuring

I came across a thread on DigitalPoint this morning about the accuracy of Google Analytics and found it interesting that one of the posters assumed that Analytics must be far less accurate than AWStats since AWStats reported many more visitors. Surely Analytics was undercounting, right?

I know that feeling. I’m always anxious to believe the good stats. However, AWStats’ counting of every request to your site — even bots — means that their stats are way overestimated. In fact, they’re so over-the-top that I almost paid $72,000 for Blog Herald a couple of years ago.

Google Analytics may count too low, but it’s much closer to the truth than most server-side stats packages. A client-side application is just more accurate by nature.

The point, though, is that if you don’t understand the stats that you’re basing your business decisions on, one day they’ll cause you to make a decision (or many) that you’ll come to regret. Make sure you know how things are counted.