First Glance Comparing New vs Old Google Analytics Tracking Codes

I installed the new ga.js tracking script on this blog a few weeks ago and decided to take a look today to see if there are any reporting differences. Here’s what I found for the same time period:

Google Traffic
  Old New
Total Visits: 1293 1047
Pages Per Visit: 1.28 1.57
Avg Time on Site: 00:00:23 00:01.01
Unique Referring Phrases: 783 765

Here’s a couple of screenshots of the top referring phrases. You can clearly see the differences.

Old:
Google Analytics Referring Phrases (Old)

New:
Google Analytics Referring Phrases (New)

So as you can see, there’s quite a discrepancy, even for my site which doesn’t get a lot of traffic at all. I think I’m going to have to dig into this further and compare these stats with log files to see which is more accurate. I also want to make sure that the tracking codes really do appear on every page, to make sure that isn’t skewing the stats somewhat.

I’ll post back again when I find more info. If anyone else is doing a similar test, what are you finding?

11 thoughts on “First Glance Comparing New vs Old Google Analytics Tracking Codes

  1. Ugh… I missed that in the original post. I guess this test is invalid. So if you cannot run both codes on the same site, there’s no way to compare them, unless you have a private test site and can drive controlled test traffic to it.

  2. You should be able to use both if you effectively clear out the variables and use two analytics accounts.

    After the first code, try clearing out all of the variables. Use a tool like firebug to identify all of them. utmr, utmp, etc… This should include ALL JavaScript storage variables that are set by GA.

    If they’re all clear and you’re second code points to a separate account, you should be good. (I think)

  3. I find analytics are not that great for tracking visitors who visit then leave immediately. The javascript code needs to load before it can log a visitor. if a visitor leaves before it loads, then it wont count this visitor. So you get discrepancies.

  4. Great post! This is some serious data and tracking. I’ve been looking for a way to learn where my traffic is coming from. Thanks a bunch. Keep us posted.

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