Google Analytics vs. Awstats

Preface: In an effort to increase traffic to my site i’m actively monitoring my daily traffic for trends, fluctuation, etc. Now until recently I had relied only on Google Analytics to be my tool of choice. As of this past weekend I’ve begun using Awstats. What I’ve found in my short time using Awstats is that the numbers for my site were drastically different than what I was used to seeing using Google Analytics. That observation propted a few questions:

  • Might some users be missed by Google Analytics and seen by Awstats?
  • Perhaps Awstats is inflating my numbers?
  • Does Awstats count me as a unique user when I log in to tweak or post on my blog?
  • Which of the two is more accurate, and if neither are, what is a good alternative to get my desired data from?

Here are my numbers for 2/06/07:

Google Analytics Stats



Ok let’s compare these numbers now:

Visits – GA 9 AW 208.
Pages – GA 17 AW 650.

How am I getting a number of visits that is 23 times greater with Awstats than the number I got with Google? Why are my pageviews 38 times greater with Awstats than google? This perplexes me because it’s not like its a difference of 30 pageviews or even 30 uniques, the difference is one value being about 30 times larger than the other!

A bit of investigation via Google got me some answers but not all. In regards to sites being missed by Google Analytics, I’ve found out that the use of the CustomizeGoogle plugin for Firefox allows users to block the cookie given by sites using Google Analytics. Why anyone would do this is beyond me. However, knowing that it is possible to block data from being sent to Google Analytics it can be assumed that stats from Google Analytics are potentially inaccurate.

Can someone please help me?

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1 Response to Google Analytics vs. Awstats

  1. Josh says:

    I’ve started to use Site Meter as a third alternative. It seems like they have a good interface and can view connection details pretty well. Between it and Awstats, I’ve found that Google Analytics seems to be somewhat unreliable. Time will tell.

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