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GA is 3rd Party Analytics? Are U For Real?

     
9:16 pm on Sep 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I got this in an email from one of my colleagues today and I was a little taken a back. To what extent is this true, if any?

Ultimately, you have to remember that data in GA has to be taken with a grain of salt. It is a free 3rd party service so we canít expect all data to be perfect. Itís better to rely on GA to monitor trends, rather than to report exact numbers.
10:27 pm on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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we canít expect all data to be perfect

This line is definitely, inarguably true. There have been any number of recent threads about robots that have figured out they don't need to visit your site, they just have to request the GA file to make it look as if they visited. That, of course, is the drawback to any analytics program that's based on anything other than raw logs: it tracks requests for the analytics file, not for your actual site files. It's worse when the analytics program lives on someone else's server-- as does GA-- because it will record visits that would have been unhesitatingly blocked on your own server.
5:59 am on Sept 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Additionally, NoScript, Ghostery, and adblockers routinely deny GA and other third party scripts, which may skew results by as much as 25%.
12:25 pm on Sept 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I understand that. What sparked the comment I posted was my a comment I made about the top 5 cities in the U.S. and their number of transactions and the revenue reported. I find it hard to understand that these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt and that GA is a 3rd party service.
8:23 pm on Sept 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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How is it not a third-party service?
your site: one party
user: other party
google: third party
That's simply what the adjectival phrase "third party" means.
8:35 pm on Sept 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Right but what about the "Grain of Salt" comment?
10:25 pm on Sept 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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No verifiable metrics.

Since GA can be gamed (bots), denied (blockers/script killers), and other errors (some we don't know about) the best you get is a guess. :)
 

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