Google Dispels Ten Analytics Myths

By: Doug Caverly - May 29, 2009

Like anything, Google Analytics has its fans and its critics, and both sides may distort the truth a little to support their position.  But Google recently named ten specific myths about Analytics and embarked on a special effort to debunk them. 

Google Logo

Now, posting Google’s arguments here might amount to preaching to the choir.  Also, since the post on the Google Analytics Blog is about 1,500 words long, reading them all would take up a bit of your time.  So here are the ten myths (as identified by Google), plain and simple: 

1: "You get what you pay for." Google Analytics is free, which means the system is down a lot
2: Google Analytics is basic and doesn’t have any "advanced" features or metrics
3: Google Analytics only supports third-party cookies
4: Google Analytics is not really accurate
5: It’s not possible to export your data from Google Analytics
6: With Google Analytics you can’t control your data
7: There is no professional support for Google Analytics
8: Google Analytics does not support A/B or multivariate testing and isn’t well-integrated with other tools
9: You can’t segment data in Google Analytics
10: You have to spend a lot of money to get "real" web analytics

If any of these statements sound accurate to you, click through to the original post to get Google’s take.  Otherwise, supporters of Google Analytics may just find it interesting that these matters were highlighted at all.

Google appears to be going after new customers by addressing some very basic issues.  This could indicate that the company’s trying to expand the service’s reach by introducing it to a whole new group of not-especially-tech-savvy individuals.

Doug Caverly

About the Author

Doug CaverlyDoug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

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  • Jessica

    I run Google Analytics on every website I create, but honestly I am always very skeptical about the data it displays.

    I like Awstats. I use it a lot and I trust the information it displays. It is a free tool – courtesy of

  • drmony

    i am happy with this google tool beause it displays almost all those keyword which is popular for my site.and number of visits also accurate…

  • Eric (SEO Directories)

    You are rite about Analytics. There are better options out there but still people seem to go for Google analytics.

  • OSHAPro

    The new graphs on the campaign management page irritated me at first, but now I find they are very useful for finding trends, such as clicks are higher (for my campaigns) on Mondays, falls off tue – Fri, fall on weekends. I shifterd more money to ads on Monday – Weds, really helped the profits.

  • Bonnie

    I use Google Analytics and find it helpful. I know there are probably better options but it’s free and powerful enough for me. Thanks for the review though. There were some things I hadn’t thought of.

  • NetViper

    I use it for all of my sites and I think it does a good job. Is it the best, probably not, but for the majority of small business people out there, it will tell them what they are looking for. If they want more advanced data, they can pay for it. Most don’t.

  • Gallery sales

    Once you have mastered google analytics and got your key words,anchor links etc it is important to regularly change and alter content within the structure of your chosen key words.
    This in my opinion is what makes your site stand out from the crowd because lets face it there are only so many key words which apply to your chosen business and you can be sure others use them too.


  • Ganesh Puri

    I am not a fan of google analytics. I use it and most of the traffic it shows as direct. My site is little known and I don’t think I can get direct traffic.

  • dog house plans

    I’m actually into Google. In case all findings here are true, well, it only proves that this service is for free. Still very useful to a person who doesn’t want to spend money for this kind of service.

  • Thomas

    The best and most comprehensive statistics were put together by Urchin, which was available in both a server-side and hybrid client-side scripting – which Google acquired and made “Google Analytics”, and in just the client-side script flavor.

    Reminder: There are two variations of analytics reporting: Server-side and client-scripted. Server-side is always more accurate for visitation, page and document data – as the analytics are read directly from server-logs produced by the web server. However, client-side scripting is still needed to give you any desktop/user browser and OS data. On the other hand, client-side scripting can’t tell you about those people who clicked directly to a non-webpage file like JPG or PDF – which *are* recorded in server-logs. Then again, it’s not too difficult to configure your site to force direct requests for non-text files to display on a trackable webpage. There are plenty of htaccess and other options to achieve this *if* you really want to know how many people viewed your images directory (which has nothing to do with leads or sales)… Also, client-side scripting typically only fails if users disable javascript support in their browsers.

    All things considered – the best option for most of my projects and employers is the free client-side scripting providing by Google (unless you really really desperately need to know how many non-text file views you’re getting).

    So, how do you get close(r) to the accuracy of server-side analytics — like the original Urchin, or the AWStats (which is available free or cheap with many web hosting accounts – although it’s not actually free when you start running out of available disk-space from all the log files and reporting generated next to your site files) — but also get all the benefits of client-side (typically third-party hosted) analytics? Easy: Use the free, comprehensive analytics available from Google – and then look at the report showing Javascript support. If you see, for example, that 3% of your users had JS disabled, then you just add 3% to your overall Visits number.

    Did I mention that Google is free, and based on the most comprehensive analytics solution produced by Urchin? And if any of you have a chance to try Google Analytics’s “visualization” option – please do so immediately. It’s probably the most efficient way I’ve ever seen to show you changes among a large number of variables over time… unless of course you just happen to enjoy reviewing hundreds or thousands of individual columns and rows in Excel… then by all means, you go have fun.

  • Themed SEO

    I used this GA for many projects. the results will shows the certain keywords for perfect results and shows the traffic in GA.

    Its really usefull for without paying to see the results. Its very usefull for small company for doing the projects for SEO Clients.