This weekend David and I removed Google Analytics from all of our websites in use and in development (A Quiet Simple Life with Sallie Borrink, David & Sallie, Grand Solar Minimum Living, and Pansy World). Why am I writing a post about this? Because Google Analytics is an important part of operating an online business.
Or at least that’s what we’ve all been browbeaten to believe about this wonderful “free” tool every website owner needs.
As Jesse Squires wrote in Removing Google Analytics, too:
They’ve convinced anyone from large publishers to indie bloggers to participate in tracking users and collecting users’ data across the entire web. For the benefit of whom? Who owns this data? Why should we allow a private corporation to seize a vast portion of websites that they do not own to execute their arbitrary, proprietary tracking code? What else is this data used for outside of “analytics”?
We all know that Google Analytics tracks everything we do online. We have no idea what it does with our information. I dislike agreeing to privacy policies that pop up on websites I visit and almost never click on them. If I dislike them, why am I asking my own website visitors to do the very same thing?
The challenging aspect of removing Google Analytics is that it’s required for so many things. For example, if you wish to have advertising on your website via the big providers such as MediaVine or AdThrive, you must use Google Analytics. It’s all integrated. I am not opposed to using ads on my site or visiting sites with ads. I know what it takes to run a website and the hours people invest for often very little financial return. I’ve used ads off and on, always uneasy with the entire thing. In deleting Google Analytics, I’ve removed that option from my life.
Gab has already rolled out Gab Ads on the Gab website itself. Eventually website and blog owners will be able to put Gab Ads on their individual sites. At that point, I will likely opt-in to that. I am very interested in helping and promoting American businesses that align with my values. So I am not anti-advertising. I simply want to promote companies I can be comfortable with and help other people find them. I’ve already been exposed to SO MANY American companies (big and small) I would have never heard of except they advertised on Gab. There are literally thousands of companies in the pipeline to advertise on Gab. They are ramping them up as quickly as possible and encouraging people to shop for Christmas with Gab advertisers rather than shopping at huge companies that increasingly control everything we do and, frankly, often work against our best interests.
I’m trying another analytics option called Plausible. It allows me to keep track of my traffic and popular posts without using cookies and tracking people. It is also open source so there are no hidden scripts or other things collecting data without anyone knowing what is going on. It is simple and lightweight so I think it will serve my purposes just fine. I don’t have to feel funny about using it. I don’t have to put a cookie notice on my website because it doesn’t create cookies. It just keeps track of simple traffic data for me (which is valuable).
So I’ve taken another joyful warrior step this weekend to break free from the tyranny of Big Tech. How are you breaking free? I hope you’ll leave a comment and share which joyful warrior choices you are making no matter how big or small they might be. ♥