"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
May 26, 2006

Google Analytics

Currently test-driving Google Analytics. Been rather underwhelmed by ClustrMaps, which you can currently see under-reporting this blog’s traffic at the bottom of the sidebar.

Currently test-driving Google Analytics. Been rather underwhelmed by ClustrMaps, which you can currently see under-reporting this blog’s traffic at the bottom of the sidebar.

ClustrMaps Team 17 years ago

Hi… glad you’re using ClustrMaps, but it’s crucial that we address any misconceptions or claims that we are ‘under-reporting’. We’ve had similar discussions with other ClustrMaps/Google Analytics users (linked below), and I’ll summarize the outcome: we are pretty certain that the differences are the result of ‚Äòwhole site‚Äô monitoring (by Google Analytics) vs ‚Äòthumbnail output monitoring for 1-page-only‚Äô by us: we can dig in more deeply, but we want to be sure that we don‚Äôt get unfairly ‚Äòflagged‚Äô for somehow dishing out erroneous or incomplete data!

We’d be grateful if you could either email us at our normal contact address or simply blog a response here, commenting on which parts of your overall site are represented by your Google Analytics stats. At the very least, one source of difference would be feed subscriptions, which we do not (yet) track.

The key thing is that our counter is incremented every time our thumbnail map is served up, as we state up front on our site … so anyone browsing pages OTHER than the thumbnail location, or alternatively accessing your page via a different route (such as via a feed aggregator) will NOT be shown the map, and thus will not be counted! We will address this in the future, but are keen to emphasize the ‘different tools for different purposes and different audiences’ approach that we have opted for!

ClustrMaps goes for the ‘guick gestalt and show it off to the world’ approach, which is fundamentally different from Google Analytics. But our logger *DOES* note *EVERY* time your thumbnail map is served up, and to which IP address it is served, so there are no inaccuracies there (the only possible source of inaccuracy is the IP->geolocation database, for which we use a 3rd party commercial database that is extremely accurate, and updated regularly).

I hope that helps clarify the situation. We’d be very interested to hear your response – Google Analytics is awesome, and we use tools like this ourselves, but its purpose is different from the purpose of ClustrMaps.

Oh, and that link I mentioned at the beginning, to someone else looking at both tools, is here:

All the best..

-C.J. on behalf of the ClustrMaps Team

ClustrMaps Team 17 years ago

p.s. have just upgraded you to ClustrMaps+ status at no cost, so you can zoom in a little deeper to the continent maps, in the interests of helping us all to understand exactly which visitors you think are NOT being reported. The zoom maps should ‘kick in’ over the next few days.

-CJ 😉

Fernando Gros 17 years ago

WOW! Thanks for taking the time to respond and note the concerns. I’m impressed!!!

Reading your comments my guess is the discrepancy on this blog is quite possibly down to people coming here from feed/aggregators. Based on the info from my hosting company, that accounts for quite a large chunk of my traffic.

Once I have some meaningful Google Analytics Stats I will make a further post, comparing that with the info from ClustrMaps and my own hosting company.

Thanks again for your comments.

ClustrMaps Team 17 years ago

OK, many thanks Fernando for the positive reaction. We, too are interested in ‘drilling down’ to root out the true differences between the various hit counters and stats packages, which can be very confusing for users.

We’re moving our whole platform to a more fine-grained analysis, but in the short-term it seems to us there will be a gap between our ‘actual visitors’ (namely those who physically go to the page and see the thumbnail map) and ‘the rest’, include feeds.

Obviously this is a gap that we’d love to fill… it may be that at the very least we would need to add a kind of ‘health warning’ or ‘clarification notice’ more prominently (i.e. not buried deep in an FAQ) to make this clearer to users.

The tradeoff is that we tend to cater for users who really enjoy that simple ‘gestalt’, and the small print that we already provide, e.g. in our FAQ and onward links from there describing the details of our ‘map update timeline’, really gets people’s heads spinning: when all they want is simplicity.

So it might be that the market will ‘polarize’ into different camps, and if we can keep the ‘easy gestalt’ users happy, then we’re happy too — but of course we always want to ensure accuracy, accuracy, accuracy, and we take great pride in this.

Finally, I know of a lot of users (including *us*), who use multiple approaches – different counters for different purposes.

OK … let us know what you find out on any further/deeper iterations…

all the best..


dwarbi 16 years ago

I have been using Google Analytics and ClustrMaps for a little while now. I have also noticed a difference in numbers between the two, but it seems my Google Analytics numbers are lower than Clustrmaps… and the Google Geomap Overlay there are locations there that are not on ClustrMaps, and vice-versa. I understand how ClustrMaps works. Now I need to do some more research on Google Analytics. I found this blog while looking into it!

They are both great tools, and I have also been impressed by the customer service provided by ClustrMaps.

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