StumbleUpon Su.Pr, Google Analytics, Bit.ly and countless other tools which have analytics reporting as primary or secondary functions within the tools widely tout that you are getting the clicks, pageviews that they are reporting, but why don’t all your analytics tools show the same results?
I ran a test on my poetry blog and heavily promoted a poem on Su.Pr and Twitter, I was shocked and thrilled to see by the end of day 1 I had the following stats on a single poem:
Yet, when Google Analytics came around it showed a measly 35 visits to the poem were recorded, 35 visits when StumbleUpon showed 389, the poem had 15 Retweets, and 3 votes from BlogEngage. How can this be, where is the inaccuracy?
Well, in doing research I found many forums suggesting that links submitted via Su.Pr will report bot clicks and views which Google Analytics weeds out. This may be true and in further testing I noticed that upon creating and submitting a Su.Pr link within 30 seconds of sending it out on Twitter, I saw 100+ pageviews show up in the StumbleUpon badge. I know that my poetry blog or Twitter profile is not that popular that it could get 100 pageviews within 10 seconds of sending out a Tweet so only bots can account for this pageview inflation.
From my own experience Google Analytics is the most trustworthy for weeding out useless clicks/visits that don’t amount to anything more than a crawler or bot trying to index your link. Everything else is inaccurate and should be taken with a grain of salt (note the BlogEngage badge shows how many votes not pageviews).
Still, I have a guest article on ComLuv Blog that shows an even bigger example of analytics disparity between Compete.com, Alexa and Google Analytics and I worked with a client who provided me with access to dig deeper into how and why the anomaly exists.
This article talks about accurate ways to measure site analytics and why you can only trust sites where you actually have tracking code installed.