Our company puts a GA tracking code on each of our websites (we build websites for companies and then provide GA tracking for the company). One of our clients also has a GA code they want on their site. So we have a site that has two GA codes on it, and when comparing the Google Analytics data for sessions, users, etc. the numbers on each account do not match.

For example, for Jan 1 - Feb 10 '16 their tracking code shows 14,905 sessions, while our tracking code shows 13,605 sessions for the same exact range.

Any idea why the data wouldn't match for the same site? Is sessions tracked the same way for every GA code?

  • Note: It's now fine to have multiple trackers as long as they are all using the new analytics.js. That said, I have two trackers set up correctly, with each doing it's own ga(send) command correctly, but they STILL don't have matching traffic, and it looks like yours: second tracker has about 90% of the first tracker's traffic, randomly, and slightly different values for other stats. So confusing.
    – jerclarke
    Aug 24 '18 at 19:15

When you have multiple GA trackers on the page, you need to make sure that you assign a unique name to each tracker, so that whatever hits you send will be sent to the correct GA property.

For example, if you send in an event hit and you haven't named your trackers, that event hit could potentially be sent to both properties because they have the same name (default name is usually t0). This then leads to skewed results.

You can refer to this documentation as a starting point for how to work with multiple trackers: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1032400?hl=en

Edit: If your trackers are of different technology (ie. classic GA and UA), then you may not necessarily get exactly the same data simply because of how different the two trackers collect and process data. Slight differences in data should be expected.

  • After looking at both codes, I see that one is a ga.js, and the other is analytics.js, which looks like what Google wants when having multiple codes on a page. But beyond that, I've looked at the Creating Trackers document, and I'm lost. Only one code looks like what is referenced in their document, which is the older code we put on the site, and the newer code (provided by the client) doesn't look anything like what's in the document. I'm short on people I can ask at work - we don't have a GA 'guru,' so it's difficult troubleshooting this stuff when there's no one to ask for more info.
    – B Valli
    Feb 12 '16 at 18:40
  • In that case, you won't need to use the named trackers method. The method I mentioned was if you use the same technology (ie. both GA , or both UA). You may not necessarily get the exact same numbers depending on how things are being tracked, as the definition of sessions and how they are handled may differ between the two technologies.
    – nyuen
    Feb 12 '16 at 18:44

There are quite a few reasons why two trackers would differ, the least of which being tracking via JavaScript is never a perfect science.

Some other instances are:

  1. some users closed the browser before the second GA tracker was loaded
  2. some users have blocked analytics.js from all sites (there are browser plugins that do this)

At the end of the day, getting something like this to tally is a fool's errand.

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