Why Google Analytics no longer delivers the best results

Google Analytics will soon no longer deliver the best results. You can find out why this is and what alternatives there are in this article!

Google Analytics is the world's most widely used tracking solution for websites. This is not only due to the large scope of services, but also because Google makes the tool available free of charge for small and medium-sized websites. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), however, the use of Google Analytics is no longer permitted without restrictions throughout Europe - and already today it no longer delivers the best results. In this article you will find out exactly what speaks against the use of Google Analytics and which alternatives you can use on your website in compliance with data protection regulations.

Ad blocker, track blocker, private mode: The technical enemies of Google Analytics

2019 was not a good year for all website operators who rely on tracking user data. Because in September of that year, Apple started a new "trend" with the introduction of version 13 of the Safari browser. The version included the ability to block tracking cookies and tracking pixels for the first time. Just a few weeks later, Mozilla followed with version 70 of Firefox. And since January 2020, the Chromium version of Microsoft's Edge has also included a tracking blocker provided by the manufacturer. Mozilla provides specific figures on the number of blocked tracking cookies. Firefox blocked an incredible 3.4 trillion tracking cookies between October 2019 and July 2020.

The ECJ, the European Court of Justice, also targeted tracking in 2019. A judgment stipulated that website visitors must explicitly agree to the storage of cookies. The so-called cookie opt-in has been an integral part of websites ever since. Users may consent to the use of tracking cookies, but all too often do not. There are two reasons for this:

  • Choosing which cookies to allow interferes with visiting a website
  • Users have a greater awareness of the protection of their personal data and, accordingly, a significantly reduced willingness to leave their data to the providers

What does this technical upgrade in recent years mean for Google Analytics? The tracking tool still collects data - but significantly less than before. This produces gaps in the evaluation of user behavior on a website and leads to less precise analysis options for website operators. To make matters worse, browsers are getting better and better at anonymizing users online and covering up their tracks. A real plus for data protection – a real drama for tracking.

Users are becoming more and more sensitive when it comes to data protection

Data protection is also increasingly becoming an issue for users. Not only that, on almost every European website, information about the collection and use of user data jumps into view - more and more users understand exactly to what extent corporations monetize their data. Before the GDPR, Google Analytics was legally allowed to collect and forward data without the consent of the user if requirements such as IP anonymization or AV contracts were met. However, since the introduction of the GDPR in 2018, this has come to an end. A judgment by the European Court of Justice has made it clear that tracking cookies may only be set with the express consent of the user. Opt-in instead of opt-out, this is the court-appointed procedure for tracking cookies and tracking tools. However, website visitors are becoming more and more sensitive when it comes to data protection and regularly refuse to use cookies. In addition, more and more users are moving around the web largely anonymously. What pleases data protection officers is a bit of a nightmare for website operators. Because if no more usable information can be recorded about user behavior, content can no longer be optimized in a targeted manner. This in turn can lead to lost sales. Is the worst case scenario now looming for all European website operators?

Matomo instead of Google: What does the analysis alternative do?

Google Analytics may be the most popular tracking tool in the world. But it's not the only one! If you want to continue to carry out your marketing strategies without data loss despite tightened data protection laws and changing user behavior, we recommend you take a look at Matomo. Matomo emerged from the open source web analytics platform Piwik, is based on PHP and uses a MySQL database. This can be downloaded and installed on your own web server. The big advantage of Matomo: The tracking tool can be used without the consent of users within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation - and still ensures the privacy of visitors!

Matomo and Google Analytics in direct comparison

  • Matomo stores data on your or a secure EU server. Google Analytics sends the data to a third country.
  • Matomo is open source. The source code is open, can be viewed and edited. Google Analytics is proprietary.
  • Matomo does not pass on any personal data to third parties and thus guarantees comprehensive data protection. Google Analytics passes on data without providing any information about what is really happening with the data.
  • Matomo may be used without the consent of the visitor. Google Analytics, on the other hand, requires explicit consent.
  • If Google Analytics is used on a large scale on large websites, a fee must be paid to Google. This fee is quite high. As a rule, the use of Matomo is significantly cheaper here.


Google Analytics has been the top dog among website tracking tools for years. The software is beginner-friendly and generates tons of valuable user data. This data undoubtedly helps website operators to optimize the content of their pages and adapt them to the needs of visitors. However, Google Analytics sends all collected data to the USA. Here the data protection regulations are far more relaxed and news services can use the collected personal data without much effort. With the introduction of the GDPR and the technical upgrades by the web browser manufacturers, Google Analytics is continuously losing power. Not only are more and more browsers preventing tracking from the start - users are also becoming more and more sensitive when it comes to protecting their personal data. In fact, it is only a matter of time before Google Analytics – at least in Europe – has to give up its pioneering position. Alternative tracking tools such as Matomo enable website visits to be tracked in compliance with data protection regulations without acting as a "data octopus". When using Matomo, the data of the website visitors remain in the company, provided the solution is operated on the company's own servers. For large websites, Matomo is also a cheap and therefore economical alternative to Google Analytics.

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