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How I Do Analytics – Ole Begemann



Happy GDPR day! Vi kommer til å vente og se hvilken effekt den nye forskriften har i praksis, men jeg er overbevist om at vi som samfunn må gjøre noe for å kontrollere grenseløs datainnsamling ved de rikeste og mest kraftfulde organisationer i verden actors and the big Internet companies.)

I applaud the EU for taking a position, even if the end result may be flawed and may even end up strengthening the companies that already know most about us.

I used Google Analytics on This site from March 2011 until January 2018. I would like to apologize for this. Vi bør alle prøve å gjøre det så hardt som mulig for Google, Facebook, Amazon & Co.. to track people across multiple sites / apps. Not using a centralized analytics service is an important part of this. I should have removed Google Analytics a long time ago, but I was too lazy.

When I finally took the time, switching to a self-hosted Matomo (née Piwik) installation turned out to be quite easy.

I do not use cookies

So I still collect analytics data, but:

  • I host the data myself, so it can not be used to track people across the web, and
  • Matomo allows me to limit the data collection to a fairly non-invasive amount.

I am mainly interested in these data points:

  • How many page views / visitors I get over time.
  • Which posts are the most popular.
  • Where visitors come from, ie referring sites.
  • In which countries my site is most popular.

None of this requires visitor flow tracking. It's basically just what a typical web server log collects. I configured Matomo to anonymize your IP address and to use Cookies, so I can not track if you've been here before. My Matomo installation is also set up to respect your browser's Do not Track header, so the easiest way to opt out of being being tracked is to enable this setting in your browser's preferences.

Lastly, Matomo is a popular library, so I ' m sure almost every ad / tracker blocker blocks it by default. Og þú ættir að ekki vera að nota netið án þess að hafa blokkara! (Seriously, if you do not have a content / ad blocker, get one.)

Discrepancies between Matomo and Google Analytics

I ran Matomo and Google Analytics for one month in parallel to get an idea of ​​differences in the reporting. Pageviews reported by Matomo were about 1

1% lower than Google Analytics in that period. Jeg er ikke sikker på hvor denne diskrepancy kommer fra. If anything, I would have expected Matomo's numbers to be higher because people are presumably more likely to block Google Analytics.

Update May 31, 2018: Emilio Pavia suggested that the lower Matomo figures may be a Resultaten van respect voor de Do not Track header. Good guess, I did not think of that!

I thought it would be nice to share some of the data that Google Analytics collected over the years.

Pageviews per year


 Chart of monthly pageviews as reported by Google Analytics between April 2011 and December 2017
Monthly pageviews as reported by Google Analytics between April 2011 and December 2017.
    
Year PAGEVIEWS
2012 564000
2013 575000
2014 1,058,000
2015 758000
2016 609000 [19659029] 2017 484,000

2014 was clearly my most "successful" year and traffic has declined since then. I'm not sure how much (if any) of the decline can be attributed to more visitors using content blockers. Similarly, I have no idea how many pageviews are not being counted because people have blocked analytics scripts.

Top Articles

My Top Posts by pageviews between Apr 1, 2011 and Dec 31, 2017.

Article [19659026] Pageviews
Replacing Launch Images With Storyboards (2014) 214,000
10 Things You Need To Know About Cocoa Auto Layout (2013) 115,000
How Dropbox Uses C ++ for Cross-Platform iOS and Android Development (2014) 106,000
Strings in Swift 1 (2014) 103,000
The Apple Symbols Font: A Great Repository for iPhone Button Icons (2009) 100,000
Passing Data Between View Controllers (2012) 86,000
iPhone 6 Plus Pixel Peeping (2014) 81,000
Tutorial: How to Sort and Group UITableView by Date (2011) 79,000
Animating The Drawing of a CGPath With CAShapeLayer (2010) 78,000
Starting With Bluetooth Low Energy De velopment on iOS (2013) 77,000

With few exceptions, these are not my personal favorites.

Traffic sources

About all time (April 2011-December 2017).

Google search 58
4%
4%
4%
Hacker News 1%
Daring Fireball
1%

Languages ​​

The primary language reported by visitors' browsers in 2017.

English 75%
Chinese 4%
German 3%
Russian 3%
French 2%

Countries

The top countries where my visits came from in 2017.

USA 28%
India 9 %
UK 5%
Germany 5%
Russia 4%
Russia 4%
China 4%
Canada 3% [19659029] Ukraine 3%
France 3%
Japan 2%

Operating Systems

In 2017.

Mac 73%
iOS 15%
Windows 10%
Android 2%
Linux 1%

Browsers

In 2017.

Chrome 48 %
Safari 45%
Firefox 5%
Internet Explorer / Edge 1%

Desktop vs. Mobile 13% Tablet 4%

Desktop 84% Mobile 13% 4%

I'm a little surprised by the low percentage of mobile traffic , but I guess it matches how most visitors presumably find my site: from Google search results while trying to solve a particular problem at work.

Trivia

Best single day: Novemember 20, 2014. 47,000 page views, mainly because iPhone 6 Plus Pixel Peeping was on the front page of Hacker News.

Number of times fireballed: 4
Whether for a genuine article on programming: 0

Number of times my site went down due to a traffic spike: 0 (yay for static sites!)

If you want to make your own site tracker-free, do not forget about other potential tracking sources:

  •     

    Do not embed tweets, Facebook posts etc. with the official snippets provided by social media companies. Instead, copy and paste the text of the tweet and add a plain link.

    I follow this policy strictly for tweets, but admittedly I have used YouTube officials occasionally in the past. I'll reconsider this for the future. Most of the time, a plain link, with a preview image if necessary, is just as good.

      

  •     

    Do not use the official snippets provided by social media companies for embedding sharing buttons.

      

  •     

    Host web fonts, stylesheets, and JavaScript helpers such as jQuery yourself.

      

  •     

    Consider turning off referrer information so as not to leak the URL of the requesting page to third party servers when loading embedded content. This can be done either with a HTTP header or a tag your HTML.

      

I think we should all do our part in minimizing the amount of data we give the big companies for free.
I know this is often difficult, but this also applies to analytics packages etc. in apps.


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