Why Google Analytics Isn’t Useful

After a couple months of being completely without site analytics, I thought I’d try out Google Analytics.

Things it doesn’t measure; RSS feeds, downloads, downloads from RSS feeds.

Considering 95% of what I’m tracking is accessible via an RSS feed (like podcasts). Google isn’t helping me. The previous iteration of their tool – Urchin, was a server log cruncher, not a pixel bug (little big of javascript on every page). As a server log cruncher – I could measure RSS subscriptions and related downloads. As a pixel bug – despite how sexy the map overlay view of traffic is – I’m helping Google more than the other way around.

I’m confident the people that I’m writing this for – i.e. you – are reading this via some type of RSS aggregator (yes, My Yahoo and the gFeed counts). So, ironically, the people I’m most interested in – i.e. you – aren’t counted via Google. Only the people viewing the HTML version of the site. Like those coming by via Google. Hmmmmm. This doesn’t feel right.

Related: Read/WriteWeb: “Page Views per user: RSS blows HTML away”

Update 5 Jan 2006: Google Analytics doesn’t give full referrer URLs. It’d be more useful if it did.

4 Replies to “Why Google Analytics Isn’t Useful”

  1. The best solution I’ve found so far is a mix of Google Analytics for web and Feedburner for RSS. If there is a better (i.e. all-in-one) solution out there, I’d certainly like to know about it.

  2. Too bad you never make it to Drinking Liberally. I’d love to talk webstats with you some time. I’m hoping you could explain why my ISP stats give me LITERALLY five times more visitors than sitemeter records!

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