You heard right. Don't get fooled by Google Analytics when you measure your sites performance. I will explain to you why in this blog post.
I was measuring my sites performance and reach with Google Analytics exclusively since this blog started back in 2017. For the longest time I was pleased with the results Google Analytics gave me. Anyway, since hitting about 4k unique visitors per month about a year or two ago the growth began to stagnate. At first, I thought my new content wasn't that good. My second guess was that without spending a ton on Google Ads I won't grow anymore, but spending even more money besides hosting, certificates and my personal time wasn't an option. In the coming days I started to ignore Google Analytics more and more until the moment I switched from WordPress to Ghost as my publishing platform. Find more about the switch here.
Out of curiosity I started looking at Google Analytics again, but what I say was shocking. Not even that my visits stagnated, they decreased quite a bit. Only about 50% users were left. Read more about my findings in the next section.
With the change from WordPress to Ghost I moved my Domain Name Server (DNS) to Cloudflare as well. Surely, the two main reasons were the pretty good reputation of Cloudflare and the free tier, which fits my needs totally.
And then I discovered Cloudflare Analytics, and I was shocked once more. The numbers were skyrocketing compared to Google Analytics to say the least. The unique users count were pretty much tripled over Google Analytics.
Very interesting was to see that on Google Analytics I basically got zero visitors from the Russian Federation, but Cloudflare ranked users from the Russian Federation behind the United States of America second regarding web traffic.
I am pretty convinced that the cause of the declining Google Analytics accuracy is the widespread using of Tracking Blocker. Many major browser makers like Mozilla and Apple are focusing on preventing the tracking of users and therefore blocking Google Analytics scripts.
Let me know about your experiences with Analytics and Google Analytics in the comments below.