A lot of WordPress sites are running both Google Analytics and Jetpack Stats and find that the two each show different stats. In this article I’m going to discuss why that is.
First, let’s quickly overview what the two programs are in the first place.
Google Analytics is the leading Analytics program out there, and provides a ton of stats about your site. It also links with Google Search Console products, like Google Webmaster Tools and Google AdSense.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin by automattic, which is a company that is closely tied to WordPress. Jetpack provides all sorts of additional WordPress functionality (share buttons, publicize, likes, gallery styles, etc) and so it is used by a ton of WordPress sites. Every Jetpack installation also shows stats via WordPress.com.
The Jetpack Stats aren’t nearly as in depth as Google Analytics. They really just show a graph of page views that can be sorted, and also shows the best ever page views, all time page views, and comments. Other stats shown (for today and yesterday only) are referrers, search engine terms, top posts, and outbound links that were clicked.
Most people find that Jetpack usually has fewer views than Google Analytics. This could be because you don’t have Google Analytics setup to not count your own views of your site (you do this by excluding your IP address).
Other reasons are that Jetpack Stats don’t count the following:
- Visits to uploaded documents and files
- GoogleBot and other search engine spiders/robots
- Visits by users that are logged in (you can change this in the settings)
I think the big one in that Jetpack doesn’t count viewers that are running ad blockers. That seems to be a growing chunk of the web viewing population, although I don’t have the stats to prove it. I spend a lot of time on sites where users can critique other websites, and a lot of users have problems because they are running ad blockers.
Another major difference is that Jetpack seems to be fairly immune to the referral spam that has hit Google Analytics hard over the past two years.
This hopefully explains to you why Jetpack and Google Anayltics are displaying different stats to you, and why Jetpack’s numbers are likely slightly lower than Google Analytics. Despite the differences between the two, I usually find that Jetpack Stats often avoids issues that Google Analytics suffers from (like referral spam) and is worth running just to have another set of stats to check.