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Here I write articles about advanced Google Analytics  setup and usage with a focus on data quality, including online privacy and consent best practice i.e. GDPR compliance. In other words, the things your organisation needs to have in place in order to have trust in its data, and for your customers to trust you with their data…

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Brian Clifton - Blog

Understanding Web Analytics Accuracy – Whitepaper

Categories: GDPR & Privacy, Metrics Understanding, Setup Accuracy / Comments: 8

I first wrote about web analytics accuracy in 2007 while working at Google. At that time numerous clients (big spending Google advertisers my team helped) were contacting their Adwords account managers asking why Google Analytics numbers did not match their AdWords click-through reports, or for that matter, match the other web measurement tools they were using.

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Google Analytics IQ promotional code

Categories: GA & GTM / Comments: 13

If you have a copy of the Google Analytics Book, you will know the second edition contains a 50% discount coupon/promotional code for completing the GAIQ certification – part of the Conversion University online learning centre. In turns out using this can be a little confusing and you may see a message saying “invalid code”.  […]

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Google Analytics Book – 2nd edition launched

Categories: GA & GTM / Comments: 22

The second edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics started shipping from Amazon last week – almost exactly two years since the first book. Like becoming a father (well not quite), it’s a proud moment and milestone for me. If you want to dive straight in, try one of these: Download sample book content: […]

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12 Useful Tools for Google Analytics Administration

Categories: GA & GTM / Comments: 18

Tools and helper applications I have come across as a practitioner come in two flavours: those that help you with your administration of Google Analytics – install, setup and configuration, and those that help you use or interpret reports – visualisation aides, third-party integration, segmentation help, and so forth. Often these two scenarios overlap, and […]

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What is Urchin 6?

Categories: Urchin software - Deprecated! / Comments: 14

I often receive questions about Urchin – what it is (typically: Is it the commercial version of GA?) how it compares with Google Analytics, and how to choose between the two. This post, an abstract from the latest version of the book, explains what Urchin is, its relationship to Google Analytics and why, if at […]

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How to choose between Advanced Segments versus View Filters in Google Analytics

Categories: GA & GTM, Metrics Understanding / Comments: 15

[Updated May-2015] As anyone who has looked at the plethora of web metrics data available knows, even for a moderately active website, segmentation is the key to gaining insight. It allows you to group similar visitors e.g. customers, subscribers, contributors, engagers etc. together for comparison. Therefore instead of viewing metrics that are average of averages, […]

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Benchmarking site performance can be misleading

Categories: GDPR & Privacy, Metrics Understanding, Setup Accuracy / Comments: 6

As you may know, I occasionally write articles elsewhere (, eConsultancy, In case you miss these, and because I like to keep my thoughts in one place I also reproduce here a little later. The following is from my September post at eConsultancy. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important to drive improvement for your […]

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What Google Analytics Can’t Tell You – what rubbish

Categories: GDPR & Privacy / Comments: 19

I wanted to put this out there to illustrate the type of crap competitors will go to to discredit Google Analytics. The link takes you to an article by clicktale which is a rehash of a previous discredited post by Brandt Dainow last year. Take a minute to read it and the two so called flaws of Google Analytics…

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