Why You Should Switch From Google Analytics

Why You Should Switch From Google Analytics

In an era where digital privacy is becoming increasingly valued by both consumers and regulations, many website owners are reevaluating their choice of analytics tools.

Google Analytics, once the undisputed leader in the web analytics space, is under scrutiny for its extensive data collection practices and use of personal information for advertising purposes.

As concerns over digital privacy grow, and as regulations like GDPR and CCPA become stricter, the imperative to find more privacy-conscious alternatives has never been more pressing.

Since a friend of mine over at bluerivermountains.com has been specialising in Google Analytics for years, we went through the issues and alternatives to Google Analytics together and here you have the results.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights into website performance and user behavior. It's by far the most popular web analytics tool used by 53.1% of all websites.

Google Analytics allows website owners to track metrics such as page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates, helping them make data-driven decisions to improve their online presence.

However, the extensive data collection practices of Google Analytics raise concerns about user privacy.

What data does Google Analytics collect?

Google Analytics collects a wide range of information about website visitors, including:

  • The visitor’s HTTP request
  • Browser and system information, including:
    • Accessing device type (smartphone or computer)
    • IP address (sometimes in anonymised form if appropriate browsers settings were made)
    • Language
    • Browser used and add-ons
    • Screen resolution of accessing device
  • User behaviour, including:
    • Clicks
    • Time spent on individual pages
  • (First-party) cookies (if the user has consented to cookie tracking). These cookies allow Google Analytics to trace:
    • Whether a visitor has already been on the website before (i.e. new or returning user)
    • How the visitor came to the website (Google search query, including any keywords used, Facebook link, etc.)

This level of data collection can be invasive and raise ethical concerns, especially when it is used for targeted advertising purposes, considering Google is the largest ad-tech company in the world

What Do You Need to Know about Privacy?

Privacy is a fundamental right that should be respected in all aspects of our lives, including our online activities. With the rise of data breaches and the misuse of personal information, individuals are becoming more cautious about how their data is collected, stored, and used.

As a website owner, it is crucial to prioritize the privacy of your visitors and ensure that their data is handled responsibly.

Privacy Concerns with Google Analytics

In July 2023, Sweden’s data protection authority (DPA) has issued the first major fines — just over $1.1 million — for companies that sent personal data to the US via Google Analytics. It also orders four companies to stop using Google Analytics.

There are several privacy concerns associated with using Google Analytics.

Data Ownership

When you use Google Analytics, you are essentially giving Google access to your website's data. This raises questions about who owns the data and how it can be used.

Google – through its Google Analytics service, among other means – collects the personal data of website visitors and transmits it to servers in the U.S., where American authorities can access it.

Due to this, the data protection authorities have ruled that the use of Google Analytics on the websites of companies in the EU is incompatible with and thus violates the GDPR.

GDPR Compliance

Because Google Analytics uses cookies to track user behavior, you must obtain user consent to store those cookies. However, obtaining proper user consent for cookie usage can be challenging. This raises concerns about compliance with privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

To ensure your website is GDPR compliant, you'll need to add a cookie banner on your website to give users option to accept OR decline cookies before Google Analytics could collect data on their devices.

CCPA Compliance

While Google Analytics 4, the fresh successor to Universal Analytics, is CCPA compliant, it doesn't make your website CCPA compliant by default. There are certain requirements you need to meet once you start collecting consumer data.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires businesses to be transparent about the data they collect and give users the option to opt-out of data collection.

Why Companies are Still Using Google Analytics?

Like any other Google Analytics' alternatives below, using web analytics on your website enables you to understand how your digital marketing efforts such as search engine optimization, content marketing, etc perform.

This could help you strategize on what kind of content to invest in and how you could allocate your efforts accordingly.

Despite the privacy concerns around Google Analytics, it's still one of the most popular web analytics tools.

Here are some of the things that set them apart:

Google Analytics is Free

Despite being one of the most powerful web analytics tools, Google Analytics is completely free for businesses to use.

Google Analytics 4 also comes with BigQuery integration which is also free. You are provided with 10 GB of storage space and an upper limit of 1 TB of query data processing on a monthly basis.

This is great news because before, only Analytics 360 customers could access BigQuery.

BigQuery allows people who own Google Properties to use the raw data they gather from their websites and apps.

Plus, BigQuery makes it easy to combine GA4 data with other services like third-party APIs and tools for visualizing data. You can even create your own custom channel groups.

Deep Integration with Google Ecosystem

Another advantage of using Google Analytics is you could easily connect your Google AdWords account with Analytics to provide you with actionable insights that leads to better AdWords campaigns through targeted marketing and ads personalization.

Why You Should Stop Using Google Analytics?

Switching from Google Analytics to privacy-focused analytics alternative offers several benefits:


Yes, Google Analytics is a complex tool to use for most website owners. The amount of data it collects is massive and understanding those data or metrics is no easy feat.

Most of the time you need training and expertise to be able to analyze and understand these metrics.

For all that matters, knowing where your users coming from and what devices they use to access your site are enough to help you understand and optimize your website.

Better User Experience (UX)

How many times have you visited a website and being prompted to accept cookies?

Unlike Google Analytics that relies on cookies to track and collect data, most privacy-focused analytics use cookieless tracking methods, reducing the reliance on cookies and minimizing the impact on user privacy.

With this, you could say goodbye to cookie consent banner.

Data Privacy Compliant

Google Analytics collects a lot of personal data that raises privacy concern. When you use Google Analytics on your website, you must have a privacy policy page and disclose how you collect and process data.

Privacy-focused analytics tools prioritize user privacy by collecting only the necessary data and anonymizing it whenever possible so you don't need to a privacy policy page on your website.

This helps build trust with your website visitors and ensure your website complies with all privacy policies such as GDPR, CCPA, and PECR.

Better Performance and SEO

Google Analytics is slowing down your website.

How many times have you heard that before?

While Google Analytics offers a comprehensive suite of tracking capabilities, its large script size can have a tangible impact on a website's page speed and Core Web Vitals — crucial metrics that influence user experience and search engine rankings.

The additional data processing and network requests required by larger scripts can lead to increased page load times, which may affect the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and negatively impact the First Input Delay (FID).

The Google Analytics script (45kb) is significantly larger in size compared to other privacy-focused analytics platforms.

These privacy-friendly lightweight web analytics tool increase your website speed and reduce load time that improves your search ranking performance.

What are the Best Alternatives to Google Analytics?

There are several privacy-focused analytics solutions available as alternatives to Google Analytics. These tools prioritize user privacy while still providing valuable insights into website performance. Some popular alternatives include:

Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links.

Simple Analytics

Simple Analytics stands out as a privacy-first analytics tool that promises an ethical approach to website tracking. Unlike conventional analytics platforms, it operates without cookies, ensuring compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and PECR without the need for intrusive consent banners. Its dashboard is refreshingly straightforward, focusing on essential metrics to avoid data overload.


Plausible captures the essence of modern web analytics through its sleek, open-source framework, prioritizing user privacy and minimalism. It's incredibly lightweight, with a script size of under 1KB, which significantly reduces its impact on page load time.


Fathom Analytics distinguishes itself as a robust yet simple analytics solution that places a strong emphasis on privacy and compliance. It eliminates the need for cookie consent banners by not using cookies, thereby simplifying compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws.

Fathom's focus on simplicity and privacy makes it an attractive option for those wishing to balance insightful analytics with user trust.


In conclusion, prioritizing privacy in website analytics is not only a legal requirement but also a way to build trust with your visitors. Google Analytics, while a powerful tool, raises concerns about data collection, ownership, and compliance with privacy regulations.

By switching to privacy-focused analytics solutions, you can protect your visitors' data, comply with regulations, and demonstrate your commitment to ethical web analytics practices.

Take the necessary steps to ensure your website analytics align with your privacy values and provide a more secure and trustworthy online experience for your visitors.

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