Web Analytics Accuracy Case Study: Google Analytics 4 vs Matomo vs Plausible vs Fathom

While Google Analytics just updated to version 4, there is a growing resistance against them.

Because of privacy concerns and too much clutter new initiatives are turning up.

But are they just as accurate? Or even more accurate?

We tested it. By installing 4 Analytics tools on our website.

Spoiler: Google Analytics tested the worst. Most likely, because tracking software starts to block it more.

Tested Software Tools

We tested the following Analytics software tools in the following order of scripts:

  1. Google Analytics 4
  2. Matomo
  3. Plausible
  4. Fathom Analytics

Mind this order, because the last one of the scripts could possibly underperform in terms of statistics if a visitor clicks away very quick

Google Analytics 4 test

Starting with Google Analytics 4:

This is how Google Analyics 4 tracked our site.

Google does not use the sessions anymore in GA4 as a default. This results in 889 users for 4 days.

Base-line test with Matomo

Matomo is open-source statistics software that you can host locally. We set up Matomo with cookieless tracking. This might affect the data accuracy, but probably not too much for the most basic metrics of today.

The amount of visits are 1246.

Google Analytics 4 shows 40% less visitors than Matomo cookieless.

Fathom

Fathom also uses cookieless tracking which is described concisely in their data guide accessible via their navigation.

They track 11% more visitors than Google Analytics 4.

Plausible

Plausible also uses Cookieless Analytics. It shows a similar amount of unique visitors like Fathom. A bit more, possible, because the script was installed a bit higher in the source code.

They also seem to track about 11% more unique visitors than Google Analytics.

Interesting follow-up tests

  • Trying WP Statistics
  • Trying Matomo with cookies on
  • Using an own local analytics script
  • Testing other alternatives and European alternatives like Simple Analytics.

Conclusion

The average amount of unique visitors was 1029 in the chosen 4 days.

Google Analytics misses by far the most traffic, compared to the alternatives. That could be because of ad blockers and other privacy tools, but also because of other reasons.

Matomo registers the most unique visitors. Most likely given that it could be installed locally. But perhaps it is also too high and includes some bots.

For simplicity and ease go for Fathom or Plausible.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top