Just a few days ago, Google announced they will soon be releasing a plugin to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics. I don’t know about you but as a webmaster I think any website analytics program with user opt-out is completely insane. It is the webmaster, not the user, who decides what type of analtyics program to place on their website so why would Google want to alienate webmasters by taking away from them the very thing they are wanting. Won’t this discourage webmasters from using GA? Think about it…you put analytics on your website so you can find out as much as you can about where your visitors come from, how long they stay, how many pages they view, if they make a purchase, what keywords they used to find your site, etc, etc. Now Google comes along and creates a way for those very visitors to browse your site like they are invisible? The whole point of website analytics is to provide tracking information on website visitors, so why allow the visitor to decide not to be tracked? I mean it’s not like we’re getting their personal information so we can steal their identity and sell it to some street vendor in Nigeria. What’s up Google? Shouldn’t an analytics program actually, you know, track visitors?
I know the number of surfers who will actually use this feature may be a small but I imagine it will grow in popularity as time goes on. Who knows, maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill but this announcement is certainly going to make me check out some alternative website statistic providers. I may stick with Google Analytics in the end, but I think this is a stupid move for Google.
Here are a couple alternatives I know of although I’ve not used either one:
- StatCounter – looks a little like it’s stuck in the 90’s but seems to track everything you need.
- GetClicky – this one looks really neat although it requires a fee for more than one site.
Anybody tried these or have another stat program you would recommend?
PS: If after visiting this page you start getting emails from Barrister Pablo Ariwa of the Mutual Bank of Nigeria, don’t worry…it’s a complete coincidence. 😉