11 Limitations of Google Analytics Tracking

Google analytics (GA) is best free web analytics tool and we all love it.  It is the most used tool around the world to measure website and app performance, it also has largest market share (83.4%) as well.

But it is just an online tool and like every other tool, GA also has some limitations. Some of these limitations are not because google analytics can’t track those data but because it is absolutely free and used at millions of websites.  It can handle a limited amount of data at a time, so to ensure receiving more data than it can handle, there are certain limits has been put in place.

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Let’s take an example, there are two website A and B, website A is getting millions of page views per day and website B is getting page views less than a thousand. For google analytics both websites are equal and it gave equal importance to both one.  GA doesn’t want to delay in data processing of website B due to heavy traffic of website A so it’s fixed certain limit so that it can handle both websites.

What is Hits in google analytics?

Before talking about anything else you must be aware of the meaning of hit in google analytics because this term will use several times in this article. So what is a Hit?

According to google “An interaction that results in data being sent to Analytics. Common hit types include page tracking hits, event tracking hits, and e-commerce hits.” That means any behavior of the user that triggers google analytics tracking code it called a Hit. A simple example of a hit is page load activity. There is basically four type of Hits page tracking hits, social interaction hits, e-commerce tracking hits and event tracking hits.

Google Analytics Limit and Quota

10 million (1 Crore) hits per month per property: Only 10 millions of hits (interactions) per month per property is allowed with the free version of google analytics. When you reached this limit, you will get a notification something like this “Your data volume (xM hits) exceeds the limit of 10M hits per month as outlined in our Terms of Service. If you continue to exceed the limit, you may lose access to future data.

When your website will get more than 10 million of hits, google analytics representative will contact you and ask you to upgrade your account to the premium version of google analytics.  Or implement client sampling to reduce the amount of data being sent to Google Analytics.

 

You can check how many hits your web property get, go to Admin à Property setting à here find “Property Hit Volume”.  Here you will see how many hits your property get last day, last 7 days and last 30 days.  You need to upgrade to premium google analytics if hits exceed 10 million, this is the only available solution for it.
Per user per session limit: 500 hits per session are allowed and 200,000 hits per user per day allowed. Any hits after given limits will be simply ignored. Even in premium google analytics, these limits are applied. Note: universal analytics tracking (analytics.js) does not include e-commerce transactions in 500 hits per session limit.

E-commerce transactions per day: Free version of google analytics has e-commerce transactions limits as well. 50,000 e-commerce transactions per day will be recorded, all transactions above this limit will be ignored.

Account, Property and Views: With a single login, you can create 100 google analytics accounts, each account could have 50 properties and each property can have 25 views. That means with single login you can create

Accounts = 100

Property= 5000 (100*50)

Views   = 125000 (5000*25)

Custom variable: A google analytics could have 5 custom variable and 20 custom dimensions and 20 custom metrics.

Data Storage: Google analytics maintain history for 25 months, if you want data of beyond this limit then you need to contact google analytics team but it can be chargeable. Premium google analytics stores data for 36 months.

Google analytics Tracking Limitations

Most of the above-given limitation are due to high volume of traffic, google analytics tracks those data but didn’t show in google analytics reports. But in some cases google analytics not able to track data.

Blocked Cookies: Google analytics tracking will not work if user blocked cookies in the browser. In this case, no data will be recorded.

Can’t calculate time spend on the last page of a session: This issue had been discussed in detail, refer to my previous article Zero (00:00:00) Avg Session Duration Problem in Google Analytics.

Tracks Visits by Bots: Along with real visitors google analytics tracks visits by automatic programs and search engine bots as well.

(Not Provided) Issue: Google analytics does not provide organic keywords for users which are singed in.

(not set) issue: You may have seen (not set) for some dimensions, if analytics didn’t get information, it shows (not set) for those values.

Conclusion

Google analytics is a great tool but if you are managing a big e-commerce website or any other website which have tons of traffic then it is advisable to use the premium version of google analytics as it comes with extended limit and more advance tracking options.  The free version of google analytics may have some limitations but it is still best available free web analytics tool for small and medium business website because limits set by GA is very high average website will take a long time to reach that limit.

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