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  1. #1
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    Default Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Hi Folks.

    As title suggests I am puzzled.

    Logging into my site yesterday I noticed to my joy that I had currently 36 'guests online' (new site so 36 was good for me).

    So what went wrong with my daily midnight visit to google analytics to find that total visits for yesterday came to just 12?

    As far as I am aware, Zen is set up to not include Bots or admin.

    Sorry if there is another thread with such a topic, I couldn't find one.

    Thank you in advance for anyone who has an explanation.

    Regards.

    David.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    (a) they can be multiple IP's, (b) this month from around the 26th March Google has been having data problems with Google Analytics so none of it can be taken as gospel at the moment.

    http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk/blog/...ng-april-data/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Quote Originally Posted by dgent View Post
    (a) they can be multiple IP's, (b) this month from around the 26th March Google has been having data problems with Google Analytics so none of it can be taken as gospel at the moment.

    http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk/blog/...ng-april-data/
    Hi dgent.

    Really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Thank you for clearing it up for us, and for leaving the blog link.

    Best regards.

    David.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Quote Originally Posted by dgent View Post
    (a) they can be multiple IP's, (b) this month from around the 26th March Google has been having data problems with Google Analytics so none of it can be taken as gospel at the moment.

    http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk/blog/...ng-april-data/
    The article's date is May 9, 2011
    The best way to learn is to try stuff. But, back it up first.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    HI David,
    I am curious if you think it is any better some 4 years on. My sense is that the page visitors online counter is awful. It completely overstates what is happening. Google Analytics shows much lower use on some days than the guests online shows in just one second. The business we see seems much more in line with what analytics is showing than what guests online is showing. Plus I see analytics captures all of my activity on the site which give me confidence in it.
    That said, as a new site I think it gives visitors some confidence when they see they are not alone so in some sense I am not complaining and yet it is disappointing when I go on the site and see 16 visitors but when Google Reports there are only 10 for the whole day.



    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitInTheHeadlight View Post
    Hi Folks.

    As title suggests I am puzzled.

    Logging into my site yesterday I noticed to my joy that I had currently 36 'guests online' (new site so 36 was good for me).

    So what went wrong with my daily midnight visit to google analytics to find that total visits for yesterday came to just 12?

    As far as I am aware, Zen is set up to not include Bots or admin.

    Sorry if there is another thread with such a topic, I couldn't find one.

    Thank you in advance for anyone who has an explanation.

    Regards.

    David.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Alot of visitors could be bots which Google can filter out.
    Try going on your site and then open analytics and look at real time visitors.
    If it says 1 yet your site says more it could be that.
    www.candlewithcare.co.uk
    Luxury Scented
    Candles at great prices!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    I suppose so, but I am skeptical. Bots are often cited as the cause but if that is the case there are bots constantly on my site since it rarely shows less than 4 visitors but I'm lucky if analytics sees 10 all day each staying an average of about 2 minutes.





    Quote Originally Posted by CandleMan View Post
    Alot of visitors could be bots which Google can filter out.
    Try going on your site and then open analytics and look at real time visitors.
    If it says 1 yet your site says more it could be that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Quote Originally Posted by yogeshvara View Post
    I suppose so, but I am skeptical. Bots are often cited as the cause but if that is the case there are bots constantly on my site since it rarely shows less than 4 visitors but I'm lucky if analytics sees 10 all day each staying an average of about 2 minutes.
    I believe there was some discussion above also about how counting is performed. There are some systems that will identify the user behind some sort of firewall as having a different ip address, although it is the same final computer/user that individual is seen as two or more different visitors to the site. This is perhaps something a larger "database" (search engine related) can filter out, but for ZC, well the cookie may be the only constant by which to compare/evaluate rather than some other data such as ip addresses and there may not have been a desired session action to have occurred yet where the session(s) would get combined into a single instance.

    With the number of legitimate and illegitimate spiders and other associated network traffic, yes it is possible that you could have such network traffic continuously even if in small amounts from all over. If you have concerns about someone being there, wouldn't you appreciate the over notification rather than not being told? Trying to figure out what the issue of concern is...
    ZC Installation/Maintenance Support <- Site
    Contribution for contributions welcome...
    Upgraded to Zen Cart V1.5.3 from V1.5.1 from V1.5.0 from V1.3.9h

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    I was checking with the original poster to see if over time this situation improved and I'm learning that the situation will not improve since the flaws are baked in and it is likely to stay that way.

    Here is the problem as I see it.

    Zen Cart has various features that work consistently but not really well. For instance the search function picks up everything with the search terms and serves them alphabetically rather than by relevance which with a large site with similar products is nearly as bad as no search at all.

    Sessions versus pageviews are susceptible to all sorts of phantom visits and show only that something or someone reached the site. Beyond that the unknowns are so much that the numbers are basically meaningless. Same with Guests online.

    Best Sellers is for the entire life of the site and can't be reset. So If you have a huge bestseller in year one of the site it will stay on the top of the list well after it is no longer popular while newer items that people like today are kept off the list since it never refreshes.

    I could go on, but these are features I was sold with my zen cart only to find the flaws later since people on these boards and in the write ups of the functions are rarely clear about how these things work. It is basically hook it up and find out later it is not what you dreamed it might be.

    It would have been nice to know about these limitations early for instance they could be clearly described in the write up of the feature. Second best is to find a post like this which clearly indicates how these things do and don't work.

    I ended up in the Zen Cart environment because I was oversold on it's flexibility only to find out it is a bit limited. I am now trying to work with a new developer with eyes wide open and address some of these problems. It would help if people could be very clear about what things ZC can and can't do.

    I get that in an environment running on volunteer energy it pays to step lightly so as not to offend the generous creators of things. And I am grateful for what ZC can do. It is just a shame there is not more clarity about the limitations of various features. I hope this post will rectify that a bit.




    Quote Originally Posted by mc12345678 View Post
    I believe there was some discussion above also about how counting is performed. There are some systems that will identify the user behind some sort of firewall as having a different ip address, although it is the same final computer/user that individual is seen as two or more different visitors to the site. This is perhaps something a larger "database" (search engine related) can filter out, but for ZC, well the cookie may be the only constant by which to compare/evaluate rather than some other data such as ip addresses and there may not have been a desired session action to have occurred yet where the session(s) would get combined into a single instance.

    With the number of legitimate and illegitimate spiders and other associated network traffic, yes it is possible that you could have such network traffic continuously even if in small amounts from all over. If you have concerns about someone being there, wouldn't you appreciate the over notification rather than not being told? Trying to figure out what the issue of concern is...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Guests Online Not Matching With Analytics

    Quote Originally Posted by yogeshvara View Post
    I was checking with the original poster to see if over time this situation improved and I'm learning that the situation will not improve since the flaws are baked in and it is likely to stay that way.

    Here is the problem as I see it.

    Zen Cart has various features that work consistently but not really well. For instance the search function picks up everything with the search terms and serves them alphabetically rather than by relevance which with a large site with similar products is nearly as bad as no search at all.

    Sessions versus pageviews are susceptible to all sorts of phantom visits and show only that something or someone reached the site. Beyond that the unknowns are so much that the numbers are basically meaningless. Same with Guests online.

    Best Sellers is for the entire life of the site and can't be reset. So If you have a huge bestseller in year one of the site it will stay on the top of the list well after it is no longer popular while newer items that people like today are kept off the list since it never refreshes.

    I could go on, but these are features I was sold with my zen cart only to find the flaws later since people on these boards and in the write ups of the functions are rarely clear about how these things work. It is basically hook it up and find out later it is not what you dreamed it might be.

    It would have been nice to know about these limitations early for instance they could be clearly described in the write up of the feature. Second best is to find a post like this which clearly indicates how these things do and don't work.

    I ended up in the Zen Cart environment because I was oversold on it's flexibility only to find out it is a bit limited. I am now trying to work with a new developer with eyes wide open and address some of these problems. It would help if people could be very clear about what things ZC can and can't do.

    I get that in an environment running on volunteer energy it pays to step lightly so as not to offend the generous creators of things. And I am grateful for what ZC can do. It is just a shame there is not more clarity about the limitations of various features. I hope this post will rectify that a bit.
    Such "limitations" generally are what was (perhaps at one point) considered a direction that eCommerce software was going or needed to go or provided a minimum amount of features to support the maximum number of people.

    As to being sold on ZC, if nothing else you should have been explained the fact about how every bit of the software is customizable to your liking. All these things that don't work for what you are wanting can either be modified to suit or something else can be used to supplement the operation. Ie. The sessions/visits info? If you didn't have something like Google analytics or similar features from other search engines how would you know/be able to tell that anyone else has been able to get to the site? As to making such a counter more robust? Does that make sense when there are other available tools that can do so much more? And if further developed, who is going to maintain it? Again, something that is already otherwise available and easily incorporated into one's site.

    As to resetting the "best seller's" history, well it is best to understand the source of the information. For example, looking at the sidebox best_sellers, the code uses the data table field products_ordered from the products table. This is incremented by one every time a purchase is made. Yes, unfortunately you can "reset" that number to zero across the board, but there is not a built in: reverse the count to this point in history, or remove all purchases made before a certain date. Such data can be obtained and the value(s) altered, but that really relies on the store owner maintaining the database or creating routine backups, or any number of ways to "reverse/rewind" the value. So in at least ZC 1.5.5d on the tools->store manager window there is a reset of the products ordered button which will reset the counter to 0 for all product. You could then restore the counter(s) by way of sql queries or other information/methods.

    As to search options, well there too are plugins/modifications that can be made to provide various types of search results... even without other plugins, things can be tweaked to provide the types of results you want.

    See the big thing here is, if you don't like how it works you can change it or get someone to change it. You are not stuck with it like you might be with a commercial product that is closed source.

    As to "ticking" people off.. each of the above things could be (and I believe have been) addressed through a post explaining what your system configuration is, what it is that you are seeing, what you have found/tried, what the results of those trials were, what it is you want to get out of your request/change, and why it it is important to your business or other money income.

    The core developers read through these forums and do make improvements/changes to accomodate as they see the large majority needing.

    To be honest, there is no one and only product that 100% fits a business and a business shouldn't adjust all of its activities to fit the tool but instead should use/obtain/modify the tool to support the business (generally speaking as some processes are just not conducive to any business).
    ZC Installation/Maintenance Support <- Site
    Contribution for contributions welcome...
    Upgraded to Zen Cart V1.5.3 from V1.5.1 from V1.5.0 from V1.3.9h

 

 
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