Often you want to compare the data from different web analytics tools together, for example comparing Matomo reports with Google Analytics reports and find whether they are similar or whether one is tracking more or less data than the other.
When you compare compare Google Analytics reports and metrics to the equivalent in Matomo, you should expect both Matomo and Google Analytics reports to be very similar and no more than 5% or 10% different for numbers of visits/sessions, pageviews, etc. (Except if your Google Analytics reports are sampled while Matomo is always accurate and does not sample data).
When you compare Matomo reports to another web analytics tool, there are several aspects to consider that could explain why numbers are different between the different analytics solutions. Please find the list below:
- Tracking method: Other softwares which are using server logs) for data analytics (such as AWStats, Webalizer, Analog, or any custom server-side data collection script) would record all traffic, including search bots or spam bots. When your Matomo numbers are much smaller than your other tool, check that you are comparing Matomo with a similar web analytics tool which can also exclude all bots and spam traffic like Matomo does.
- IP addresses exclusions: when you have configured Matomo (or Google Analytics) to ignore users with specific IP addresses, make sure to setup the same IP exclusion rules across both tools.
Conservative counting is definitely best – it makes your statistics more realistic on what you are trying to measure. Most analytics packages are used to measure relative upswings, we recommend using the same tool for all measurements and relative comparisons.