It is a rough time for privacy online. Every user who is browsing websites is generating loads of data that ends up in the hands of few and very powerful global players. For example, Facebook convinced webmasters to place a tiny pixel in their websites in order to monitor which advertisement campaigns perform the best. The promise of a nice plot showing how many clicks a post receives was enough to empower Facebook to track its own users' behavior even outside of the social network.
Google has been a long time player in this market with their analytics platform. In practice, this allows the search engine giant to monitor how users browse the web on a massive scale. They can even know how their rivals perform by tracking which keywords are generating visits from other engines. In exchange, webmasters get a nice looking plot that generates a lot of satisfaction. What Google obtains from this tools is an advertising platform that can attain tailor-made, cross-device, campaigns.
Information is the new currency, and as webmasters, we have to be conscious regarding whom we are giving it for free. That is why at Uetke we have decided to stop with all third-party tracking. We don't store any cookies on your computer and we do not share your data with anyone else, except when you decide to subscribe to our newsletter.
To monitor which articles are most read, where visitors come from, etc. we rely on server access logs. The main advantage is that we have full control over the data of our visitors and how much information do we want to store. We are professionals in data analysis, and therefore it felt like a contradiction to outsource the analysis of our own visit statistics.
There will be a follow-up article detailing all the steps that we have taken in order to implement this solution. Analyzing logs is a complex task, but it allows you to achieve such a level of flexibility that you wouldn't want to go back to Google Analytics or any other similar service.
Header photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash