E N Brown
said 3 months, 3 weeks ago:
Hi @rich-brooks —
I believe sometimes the Big G’s numbers are skewed. Compare their numbers to some of the other tools and they don’t always jive. You can certainly drill down a lot of incidentals with Google A – but much of that is not necessary for a good overview unless you are doing PPC, which I don’t do and don’t recommend to my clients. For obvious reasons.
I do use AweStats – a very simple program that I’ve never had trouble with and since it is independent of any search engine I trust the numbers. I also use a lot of free tools online. Open Site Explorer for a quick look at incoming links (backlinks) sometimes. Also use SEOcentro for research along with the Google Adwords Keyword tool. I love StatCounter and still use that at some of the older websites.
Here is the thing – I don’t want to rely on Google; I rely on them as little as possible so having them inside every website, for me, is a no-brainer. Just like FB, Google could change their tactics at any time. If I depend solely on them, I could be cut off, at their discretion just as many people have been in the past.
Here is a comment from an article I have not forgotten:“…The reason I’m reading this post is because I just lost a website profile from my google analytics account. That’s 2 years of data lost with little chance of retrieving it because of a bug with google. This has happened to countless others too over the years. I still intend to use google analytics, but I’ll use another service at the same time in future.”
And the article is here —11 Leading Tools for Free Website Analytics - A couple of years old but still some good links there.
I have numerous websites of my own. IF I allow Google in any more than they already are, they might decide to devalue my efforts of let’s see – over 20 years. Their rules change just as their search engine changes how they decide to use the information we provide. I’ve never done any black hat SEO but I have seen it time and again with no repercussions from the Big G. So, as much as we love a lot about Google, we do have to remember — THEY don’t have our best interest at heart. Only WE have that.