AWstats and Google Analytics, Which One is right?

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[I use google analytics because I like the interface and it has a ton of information. So I have been thinking that I get between 10-15 UV’s a day to my site. Which I consider being bad, but it’s not as bad as last month where I regularly had 0 visit days. Fortunately, my site is growing. I was on my HostGator account checking out different tools, and I glanced over at my traffic and saw that I had 40 visits yesterday. This is weird because before I used google analytics I used wassup, and I was able to peg my bot visits at 10 a day. So I was a little bit confused. I didn’t think that I got 30 bot visits in one day, so I checked the AWStats page. Turns out I had less than 10 bot visits that day on Awstats. What is going on? Which one is right? Did I have 10 UV’s yesterday, or 30 UV?]

They are both accurate. They are both inaccurate. I realize that may seem contradictory, so please allow me to explain.

Each of those uses different methods of measuring the traffic, more importantly, they are measuring different metrics. They are both accurate at measuring what they measure, however, neither metric is completely accurate for determining the real traffic to your website.

AWStats uses the server logs to generate reports, while Google analytics uses client-side scripting to report activity.

Server logs are not completely accurate at measuring traffic due to caching by browsers, proxy servers, and cache servers. Much activity occurs without making requests to servers and you will never have that data in your server logs.

Client-side scripting solves the issues caused by caching, however, the script can be disabled on the web browser so it isn’t completely accurate either.

The bottom line is that it is completely normal for those two different technologies to have different statistics. By using both you get a clearer picture of what is really going on.

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