Virtuous cycle

Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

Return to 'Virtuous cycle' home page

Tracksy under-reporting traffic?

TracksyI started using Tracksy on 4th December. It is a free traffic monitoring tool. It provides everything I was looking for, including lots of useful reports and a fast interface. On top of that, Tracksy doesn’t put any ads on my website. Yet I have a small problem with it: the number of reported visits doesn’t seem correct.

My original idea with Tracksy was to make it a replacement of the crappy web statistics package of my ISP, which I had been using. But to keep my options open, I decided to run both counters in parallel before making the final decision.

I started noticing differences between “recent visitors” lists early on, but I thought it was a minor issue resulting from, say, different report format or time zones issues. Nevertheless, it gave me some pause when I saw that an extensive visit of my friend from France didn’t leave any trace in Tracksy’s log:

Tracksy visits

I did a small investigation today and exported from both programs the records of visits since 13th December till now. I put it in Excel and standardized, for example converting Tracksy’s PST time to European time zone.

What I got were two tables showing visitors registered by Tracksy and my ISP solution, which is also based on cookies, not on a log file. I compared the rows one by one and marked in red the ones when there was no match:

Tracksy visits

There was a total of 68 visitors, at least according to Interia.pl stats. Tracksy reported 45. Unless Interia is so unconventional to report fake visits, it seems that some 33% are missing in Tracksy reports.

At the very start I contacted Tracksy using their feedback form and offered screenshots to help in explaining the issue, but received no response. They have a blog but it looks abandoned.

I was thinking what could be a problem but everything seems to be ok:

  • The script is included on every page. Visitors who are not reported are viewing the pages which for other visitors Tracksy reports just fine. This includes also the very front page of the website.
  • Missing visitors come from different places.
  • They use different browsers, IE as well as FF.

I found some people posting about using Tracksy but none with similar problem. It was funny to discover that Mindvalley guys (creators of Blinklist) are using it as well.

Anyway, eventually I decided to post it here. Maybe you would have some feedback. Let me know. Especially if I’m overlooking something.

I think I will just wait till they reopen Google Analytics.


Comments


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

If you would like to leave a general comment about this site, you might want to use a guestbook.


  1. Bri
    August 15th, 2006 | 3:37 am

    Hi, Bartlomiej.

    Tracksy normally reports less visitors than other sites. This is not becuase it is less acurate, but becuase it is MORE accurate. The reasons for this are:

    1) Most services sort visitors by IP alone, thus visitors with dynamic IPs register as a new visitor every time they view a page. Tracksy, on the other hand, uses a cookie/ip combination that more acurately tracks users with dynamic IPs.

    2) Some services will count anything that comes to your site, including automated “bots.” Tracksy ignores bots and only reports real people as visitors.

    Hope this helped.

  2. January 9th, 2007 | 9:59 pm

    It’s one year old story but for some reason, lots of people are looking for tracksy lately. One comment to the above: as mentioned in the article, a visit of a friend which for sure took place, but was not reported by tracksy, was a reason for the article. It was not a bot then.