I turned off analytics

Added: January 30, 2024


  • Alvaro

    January 29, 2024 at 8:16 PM

    Nice step. I turned off analytics a few years back. It felt like I was pushing unnecessary libraries that harvested unnecessary information on the visitors (and made things slower). Google still sends me a monthly search clicks stat, and that's all the numbers that I get (from their side)... Is it good? Is it bad? I don't know... And to be honest, I don't care that much. It's nice to know people read the articles, but I would still post updates even if no one read them.

  • Addie

    January 29, 2024 at 11:58 PM

    New reader here! Found you through your interview on Manuel Moreale's People and Blogs. Really love your down-to-earth writing style on all manner of interesting subjects. Thanks for doing what you do!

  • Kang

    January 30, 2024 at 4:33 AM

    It's been a month since I started using analytics for my website. I didn't track any data for about three years intentionally. Then I thought I would be more motivated to write if I knew people were actually reading my writings. I'm not sure if I made the right decision though. I check my analytics at least five times a day, and it's certainly a distraction.

  • Rosano

    January 30, 2024 at 11:44 AM

    I've been feeling similar lately, but erring on the side of continuing until there's a specific reason to stop; there's some underlying fear of losing something in the future that I can't describe. The data is kind of boring—maybe the whole notion of this analytics exploits a 'wanting to know where people come from' and the deep-seated desire for connection. I'm curious in your case, why not 'just' make a filter to see the non-search data?

    I definitely believe in meaningful connections as the fundamental focus for myself; measuring this might be valuable but not necessary for me, I'd prefer to hear people's stories of change over seeing numbers. Wishing that your 'search query' returns results 🙏🏽☀️.

  • Tyler Sticka

    January 30, 2024 at 8:50 PM

    I removed analytics a few years ago for a lot of the same reasons, but I recently refactored my site and got curious whether or not I was missing any common 404 errors.

    First I tried some server log analysis tools (they all baffled me), but I eventually found tinylytics. It sort of feels like the missing link between a classic website counter and a full-fledged analytics platform? Really digging its simplicity. (Oh, and it did help me find some broken redirects.)

  • Candost

    January 31, 2024 at 6:03 AM

    New reader here and I found you via P&B by Manu. Subscribed via RSS. So you know where I come from ;)

    I also went through the same journey on my blog and stopped using GA first for privacy and Plausible for my sanity. I don't need to know if my blog is ranked on Google or became a hit on HackerNews (rare). I value people who read regularly and it's okay for them to be silent readers. If they reach out to me for some reason, I connect. I even met a few readers for a coffee and it turned out to be a great conversation. So, that's what I'm looking for and analytics are straight harmful for this.

  • Emily

    January 31, 2024 at 3:01 PM

    Really loved this take. I've been running my own online educational nonprofit for 10 years (having started without ANY experience with websites, social media, etc). The more I learned about "best practices" for each platform, the more I felt that catering to said "best practices" cannot help but warp the nature of my work itself.

    Website-wise, SEO is the most disempowering and problematic. When I follow the recommendations, it means writing more of the same regurgitated garbage that evermore is littering search results.

    Yet if one's mission is to reach people with free, accessible (and actually researched/cited) educational information, how does one "get" to people if not by (at least partially) playing that game.

    For me, digging into analytics has only ever induced angst and a further distancing from my sense of humanity. Yet I struggle with the fact that I am trying to provide educational content to people...and if they can't find it...(etc...)

    I realize I'm going far afield of your post's focus here! I've been long trying to find another way to exist in digital spaces. I still have yet to. But every time I have the pleasure of finding a post like yours, I feel a little more human.

    (And just FYI - I found you initially through People and Blogs, then again today through Kev Quirk's newsletter...and now I've followed you on Mastodon, so perhaps next time that will be the source).

  • James Cridland

    February 1, 2024 at 11:59 AM

    I don't have analytics on the main website that pays my wages. But I do use webmentions, which automatically send me messages whenever (many) other websites link to mine. With that and a few Google alerts, there's really little point to run anything more than a page hit counter (which I do, hidden in the background).

  • Dan Q

    February 18, 2024 at 8:06 AM

    Nice one! I killed my analytics a few years ago, swiftly followed by sabotaging the bits of my CMS and webserver logs that might permit some future retroactive analysis.

    For me, it was a combination of wanting to protect the anonymity of my visitors - even from me! - and, more-importantly, a refocusing on what my blog is about. My thinking was this: my primary target audience is... me! My secondary target audience, trailing by a long way, is "people like me". I don't need to track who they are, and odds are they're hard to track anyway if, like me, they actively try to block analytics tools!

    Who knows who reads what I write online? Nobody, except where people comment and let me know. And that's fine.

  • David Hayes

    March 7, 2024 at 3:20 PM

    Hi there! I can't remember how I stumbled into your site but I stayed primarily because of the rainbow links. I stumbled back and found this post and think that's a great idea you have there to not use analytics.

    I'm trying as hard as I can to avoid anything that smells of "engagement" in my life and analytics on my site felt a bit like that for me; I'd get too excited to see the numbers go up rather than writing about things I loved and reaching people. Adding in the unsettling notion of any privacy violations and it felt like a net negative, so I turned it all off.

  • Dobody

    March 30, 2024 at 9:38 AM

    Completely agree with that action! Every step away from a data- and towards a human-centered web is good news :)

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