In 2023, website owners, bloggers, and web developers need to re-evaluate their use of Google Analytics. While it has been a go-to tool for tracking website stats, its privacy concerns and limitations are becoming increasingly apparent. MetricsWave is a leaner and more transparent alternative that avoids the privacy baggage of Google Analytics.
As the world's largest ad-tech company, Google has direct access to user data and browsing information from a significant portion of web traffic. With nine products boasting over a billion users each, Google's data collection can track individuals from multiple angles to create detailed behavioral profiles. Moreover, Google Chrome holds a 64% market share in web browsers, while Android dominates mobile devices with a 72% market share. Millions of website developers also use Google Fonts, the most popular third-party domain accounting for over 3.5% of all network requests.
Despite its widespread use, website owners should reconsider Google Analytics. Its use perpetuates the dominance of Google in the web ecosystem, limiting the openness and independence of the internet. MetricsWave offers a more privacy-conscious and user-friendly solution for website analytics.
Table of contents:
Google Analytics, the most popular website stats tool, is owned by the largest ad-tech company in the world, Google. Over 53% of all websites track their visitors using Google Analytics, with 84% of known analytics scripts using it. In fact, it accounts for 0.64% of all network requests and is the most popular third-party request on the web.
However, Google's business model of surveillance capitalism relies on collecting vast amounts of personal data to sell targeted advertising. All the raw data we produce, such as our browsing history, search queries, purchases, social interactions, and locations, are used to create detailed behavioral profiles. These profiles are then sold to advertisers to deliver personalized content and ads.
Google claims to use this information to deliver and improve its services, measure advertising effectiveness, prevent fraud and abuse, and personalize content and ads. However, this level of data collection raises serious privacy concerns, and website owners should consider alternative solutions like MetricsWave to protect their visitors' privacy.
Web analytics, like any other website element, can add extra page weight and loading time to a site. Google's recommended way of integrating Google Analytics, the Global Site Tag, and the Universal Analytics script, can be considered bloat if you only care about the most useful website stats and want to make your site as lean and fast as possible.
For website owners who prioritize site speed and performance, a more lightweight analytics solution like MetricsWave is needed. Every KB matters when it comes to keeping your site fast to load and reducing page weight.
For the majority of site owners, the amount of data collected by Google Analytics is overkill. With over 125 items for different reports and more than 290 metrics combined, it's a powerful but complex tool that requires training and expertise to use effectively. Analyzing this data is a full-time job that most site owners don't have the time or resources for.
Many Google Analytics users end up creating custom dashboards with a few widgets that provide useful metrics, ignoring the rest of the data. Some site owners even ignore Google Analytics altogether as it's overwhelming to even start with.
There is a need for simpler site analytics that provide the most useful insights without overwhelming site owners with unnecessary data. MetricsWave offers a more streamlined and user-friendly solution that provides the most important metrics without the complexity of Google Analytics.
With the introduction of privacy regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and PECR, the collection of personal data by Google Analytics has become a potential liability for website owners. Many website owners fail to disclose their use of Google Analytics to track visitors, which is a requirement under these regulations.
In addition to standard site analytics, many Google Analytics users enable advertising features like remarketing, demographics reporting, and interest reporting. This means that they are collecting data for advertising purposes, which requires additional disclosures and consent from users.
Recent decisions by the Austrian and French Data Protection Authorities have found that the use of Google Analytics violates GDPR. Similar decisions are expected to follow in other EU member states. For website owners who prioritize compliance with privacy regulations, a privacy-friendly analytics solution like MetricsWave is needed.
Check if Google Analytics is Illegal in your country.
Under PECR, website owners must inform visitors about analytics cookies, explain what the cookies will do, and obtain consent for their use. This means that website owners must disclose the cookies that will be set and give visitors the choice of whether to accept them or not.
The accuracy of Google Analytics data is a concern for website owners due to its blocking by many ad-blockers, browsers, and plugins. Millions of people use ad-blockers like uBlock Origin, and popular browsers like Firefox, Brave, and Safari now block Google Analytics from cross-site tracking, reducing the accuracy of data collection.
The percentage of visitors who block Google Analytics varies depending on the audience of the site, but for a tech-savvy audience, it's not uncommon to see 50% or more of visitors blocking it.
Another issue with the accuracy of Google Analytics data is the use of data sampling, which analyzes a subset of data to uncover meaningful information in the larger data set. This practice can affect the accuracy of data analysis and insights.
Website owners who prioritize accurate data collection and analysis should consider using alternative analytics solutions like MetricsWave that are less likely to be blocked by ad-blockers and browsers, providing more accurate insights into website performance.
Furthermore, website owners must use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that users are provided with clear and comprehensive information about the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on their devices and obtain their consent where required by law.
Website owners have several alternatives to Google Analytics, including not using analytics at all or using server logs to access basic stats. Full-blown alternatives like Matomo exist, but they have similar issues to Google Analytics, such as being difficult to get insights from and collecting personal information.
MetricsWave doesn't require GDPR or CCPA consent prompts, and all data is hosted in Germany and processed on servers owned and operated by European providers.
Take a look at our live demo. It's just an example because our Dashboards are fully customizable.
For website owners who only need data on search engine visibility and traffic from Google search, the Google Search Console is a privacy-friendly alternative that doesn't require any tracking scripts on the site.
MetricsWave is fully compliant with privacy regulations and offers a simple and user-friendly interface for website owners to access actionable website stats. Website owners can sign up for a free trial of MetricsWave and experience the benefits of a privacy-friendly analytics solution.
If you believe in privacy and want to help your favorite site owners, spread the word about MetricsWave. Together, we
Start for free, and upgrade your account at any moment.