Other analytics would have different values compared to what’s reported on Google Analytics. There are many different web analytics available these days, which use different methods to track your website’s visits.
It is normal to see some discrepancies between the reports that are generated using other analytics. The best way to think of these metrics would be in terms of trends versus numbers. In some other examples of other analytics solutions, despite the difference in numbers, values would usually depict similar trends.
Google Analytics vs Other Analytics
There’s not really any side-by-side comparison between Google Analytics and other tracking solutions online, though there are main reasons why numbers from different analytics might differ. In terms of terminology, one program might have a different measure or interpretation compared to another. For most vendors, Pageviews are quite similar, though it is more difficult defining a visitor or visit in some.
When it comes to analytics, if a user visits your site two times within 30 minutes without necessarily closing their browser, they will have a single visit too. Other solutions for tracking and analytics would regard this as two visits, relative to their definitions.
Other analytics would also have difference in terms of tracking methods. Tracking activity can be done in two methods: IP + User Agent tracking or Cookie-based tracking. IP + User Agent tracking uses log file analysis. This method reports higher numbers compared to the other method due to the spider / robot visits and dynamic IP addresses. Cookie-based tracking would be dependent on the settings of the browser.
User Controls Affect Other Analytics
When cookies are disabled, the analytics programs will not count the visit (just like what happens in Google Analytics). This excludes those hits from a spider or robot.
It also pays to understand the differences between 1st party and 3rd party cookies among cookie-based tracking solutions. Third party cookies are set by a source aside from the website being visited. Oftentimes, they are blocked by security software and browsers. 1st party cookies are used in Google Analytics.
In some browsers, 3rd party images (those requested from other domains) can be disabled. Disabling these images prevents transfer of data to Google Analytics. There are also data filters and settings in many web analytics solutions. The way these filters are applied and having different ways of applying these filters can affect the data generated on your reports.
Every time a page is visited, Google Analytics would call Google’s servers directed, even if a pages has already been cached. There are other analytics solutions which might not record an additional visit if a page is pulled from a server’s or user’s cache.