I have taken the decision to remove Google Analytics from my websites and also from sites I manage for others. I will no longer collect browsing data about you and send it to Google. Google may not charge for its Analytics service but if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.
Google develops brilliant products and services. Without Google where would we be with search? Lycos? Yahoo? Ask Jeeves? But, at its core, Google derives most its revenue from advertising.
Yes, I am deep in the Google ecosystem; I pay for G Suite (business email), Google Cloud Platform (web servers), Google Fi (mobile), Google Domains (domain name registration), and more. I’m happy to pay for these services and, of course, Google gets its own data from me using its services. However, that doesn’t mean I should use their services to send your browsing data to them.
I still want to know the high-level data regarding number of visitors, highest viewed pages, bounce rate, etc. So, I have decided to use Fathom Analytics, a privacy-focused approach to website analytics. And, because I pay for it, they don’t need to collect and sell data to support their business.
There are two other reasons I decided to switch from Google Analytics.
- It is too complicated for my needs. To get the most benefit from it I would need to devote a disproportionate amount of time learning its intricacies.
- It doesn’t track visitors who block trackers.
I’ve been a user and advocate of ad-blockers and tracker-blockers for several years. My favorite client-side tool is Privacy Badger from EFF. Fathom plays nicely with Privacy Badger and in addition it allows you to use your own domains to bypass ad-blocking extensions in a nice way.
Currently, my sites still use Cloudflare and Google Fonts and they may track you to a lesser or greater extent. But, no longer do I collect and send to Google your browsing information regarding visiting my sites.