After years of using Google Analytics, I have decided to remove it from my website. I have replaced it with a new privacy-first analytic software.
Users are not comfortable sharing their personal information for advertising & tracking.
According to a Eurostat Poll, on average around 50% of EU citizens refuse to allow the use of their personal data for advertising on the internet - this number is as high as 72% in the Netherlands, 63% in Germany & 62% in Spain.
Many cookie consent popups are worthless or incorrectly configured. You opt-out, but they still track visitors anyway.
Fathom Analytics is not free; Google Analytics is "free" to use but paying for it by giving Google vast amounts of data about your website visitors.
Cookie consent messages - everyone hates them. Brands often talk about first impressions being important. Nowadays, for most people, the first communication with a brand is to consent to the 15 different advertising & tracking tools in use.
Further, Apple block all 3rd party trackers on iOS & Mac's and has added a "Privacy Report" right next to the URL field, the report will tell users which trackers the browser has blocked.
Countries worldwide are implementing similar laws to GDPR, all with their very own quirks & complexities. It has become tough to stay on top of this. For example, California data privacy law requires businesses to display a clear link on their website that says "Do Not Sell My Personal Information".
You are not seeing the "full picture" of your users in Analytics. More and more people are opting out of analytics tracking and using ad blockers to stop it.
Google Analytics (and other Analytics) software is complicated; There is tons of data to sift through, most of which isn't necessary for my needs.
The new "Google Analytics 4", Google seems to be trying to "address" this data overload. With an improved dashboard and "question-based insights". On the other hand, they've made the other pages increasingly more complicated, more challenging to use and added "vague" new metrics like "user engagement".
Fathom is really simple. It gives me a 1-page dashboard of the essential information I need to know about my website's visitors.
I could have removed all analytics software from my website; I still feel analytics can provide great insights into your visitors - you ultimately want a website that works for you and your visitors.
I'm not an absolutist; I continue to use Google Analytics on other projects & client work; It's still a great, valuable tool. I continue to recommend it to many clients, but there is now really great privacy-first alternatives.
If you are interested in ditching Google Analytics for Fathom, you can click below to get $10 off the first invoice of Fathom Analytics.
About Fraser Clark
I've been a professional developer for over 10 years. I've been consulting and developing websites & software for small businesses, multi-nationals & governments.