Divergence between Smugmug stats and Statcounter/Analytics/Search Console

ccampbellccampbell Beginner grinnerPosts: 4Registered Users Big grins
For some time I have been puzzled by the divergence between my Smugmug stats and anything that I see on Statcounter/Analytics/Search Console. I know Smugmug stats reports photo views while the others reports page views. According to Smugmug stats, I am getting 100-300 photo views per day across a variety of different galleries. There are typically anywhere between 1 and 10 referrals, mostly from Google search. Yet according to Statcounter and Analytics there are only occasional page views, maybe one or two every few days, and according to Google Analytics, someone clicks through to my site from Google search just once a week or two. A few years ago, Smugmug stats and stats from elsewhere were roughly in line, accounting for the fact of course that Smugmug counted views of photos, not page loads.

I assume there are explanations for the discrepancy between Smugmug stats and Statcounter/Analytics. Three that I can think of are:

1) Many more people have changed settings on their browser so that Statcounter/Analytics no longer capture their page loads.
2) Many of my photos are embedded in other pages so the photo views get counted at Smugmug but page views belong to those other pages.
3) There is some problem with my configuration of Statcounter/Analytics, but then why would I be recording any visits at all?

Any ideas how likely any of these are?

Most puzzling to me is the very wide discrepancy between Search Console and the Smugmug Stats Referral Count. There are clearly several referrals each day from Google, so for example, in the last seven days, Smugmug Stats says 36 referrrals total from 12 different Google regional sites (www.google.com, www.google.com.th, etc.) various Google sites. Yet at Search Console over the same period, there are only 3 clicks recorded for 81 impressions. I don't understand how the referrals in Smugmug stats could be so far from the Search Console count. Or perhaps it has something to do with Google image search, where if someone clicks on an image in the results to see the large version, it gets counted at Smugmug stats but not Search Console?

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has thoughts on this.


  • leftquarkleftquark SmugMug Product Team Posts: 3,484Administrators, Vanilla Admin, SmugMug Product Team SmugMug Employee

    If your viewers are typically EU visitors, GA and Statcounter won't get loaded (and therefore won't count the page view) unless the user accepts the cookie banner.

    SmugMug Director of Product / dGrin Afficionado
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • ccampbellccampbell Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Big grins
    It's been like this for a while, even before GPDR, and it seems to be a steady trend over time. I've been assuming that either more people are not accepting the cookies that GA or Statcounter requires, or that a lot of my images are embedded somewhere.

    To me the biggest puzzle is the divergence between the count of referrers at Smugmug, and the count of clicks at Google Search Console.
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