Why is my GoSquared Analytics data different to Google Analytics?

All analytics services track and summarise data in different ways. GoSquared aims to be as accurate as possible, and includes some advanced methods for understanding the time visitors spend on your website with dramatically more precision than other analytics services.

Time on site

GoSquared calculates the time your visitors spend on your site much more accurately than Google Analytics, through a technology called "pinging".

While a visitor is viewing any page on your website, a small signal is sent to GoSquared at regular intervals to inform GoSquared that the visitor is still online. Unlike other services that simply make assumptions about the time a visitor spends on your site, GoSquared can show you the true time visitors are spending on pages.

Many of our customers, especially those running web apps, or sites that encourage visitors to spend a long period of time on individual pages, have been very surprised by the length of time that GoSquared shows their visitors are online for.

Concurrent visitors

The Now dashboard in GoSquared Analytics shows how many people are online on your website right now.

This number shows how many people currently have a page of your website open at this moment in time. GoSquared is much more accurate than other services in showing this number, as it truly represents the number of people online right now - not the number of browser windows showing your site, or the number of visits in the last 5 seconds.

If you get five people in the same room to go to your homepage, each on their own computer or mobile device, GoSquared will show five people online. We try to make it as simple as possible to see how many people are on your website because our technology was built from the ground up to show key info like this.

Active visitors

The Engagement widget in the Now dashboard shows you the percentage of visitors on your site that are actually active. You often want to know this number in addition to the number of concurrent visitors as it can be a more truthful representation of how many people are currently engaged with the content on your site.

We calculate the "active" visitors number by combining a number of factors including whether or not a visitor has your website open in their front-most tab or window, whether they're moving their mouse, what their scroll position is, and more.

In contrast, Google Analytics defines an active user as active if he or she has triggered an event or pageview within the last 5 minutes.

Other reasons why your numbers may differ

All analytics services will differ in some way because there are many factors that can lead to differences in reporting between tools.

A couple of common reasons for differences that we see crop up:

  • The Google Analytics tracking code is installed on different pages to the GoSquared javascript snippet.
  • Content blockers and ad blockers block different tools depending on how they're categorised – some block Google while not blocking GoSquared, and some block GoSquared while not blocking Google.
  • Concurrent visitors in GoSquared are not comparable to "total visitors" or "total users" in Google Analytics – they're totally different metrics.
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