Removing Google Analytics
Google Analytics has been on this domain since it first launched. What have I actually done with years worth of analytics?
Over the past few months, this website has gone through a lot of changes. Updating the look and slowly removing any extra scripts/tracking on the site. This is partly to increase the speed of the site and partly to respect users privacy. I don’t like sites tracking me, why should I track people on my site.
This started with the move from WordPress to Jekyll a few months ago. Since the transition, I have been making minor tweaks to the Jekyll theme to reduce any scripts or calls to other servers. This week I removed the last bit of tracking remaining on the site, Google Analytics.
Removing Google Analytics was the hardest one. Not for any technical reason (only a few lines of code), but for the web developer in me. This website, and just about every site I’ve ever built, has Google Analytics. It’s just part of what you do when you build a website, you add some kind of analytics. The information seems so valuable. How are people interacting with the website? What is the most popular content? Where are the users visiting from?
You should be able to use this data, make informed decision, and make your website better.
But that wasn’t the case.
What was I doing with this data? Was anything I do on the site changed by the data?
Nothing and No…
Without analytics, I can tell what’s popular on my site, by what people are reacting to. Social media is great for this. How many people are sharing the articles I write? How many people are contacting me about articles on the site?
The decisions for what I write don’t change based on any analytics. I write about what I find interesting at the time (there’s no content strategy or schedule). For example, because a post about fixing an issue on Linux became very popular, I am not going to change my blog into “all about Linux.”
The data really held no value for me to make decision. So why have it all? The data being collected through the tracker was just helping Google and Google Ads. I don’t think Google needs any help from my site to track people.
So it’s now removed. I still have Google Analytics on other sites I run, but we’ll see how long that lasts.