Growing concerns by us, our clients, and the technology community in general have led us re-consider where our internet data is stored. Earlier this year we moved to completely privately managed web sites, so your web site data is not hosted on a server which we do not control at the base level. Our next step has been to review where we might have other client data stored on "other people's servers". The obvious, and even more concerning chunk of externally stored data is Google Analytics - which tracks every interaction with our web sites - and not only provides that data to us, but to lots of other people as well.
We're now working to change that.
We are in the process of removing all of our analytics functionality off Google Analytics and onto our own, privately-hosted, open-source analytics system using the Motomo (https://matomo.org/).
This will mean that the user tracking data that is collected goes nowhere but our own private server, and we have no intention (or time) to share that data with anyone else (other than you).
This will allow you to be able to see how the traffic on your site is doing while knowing that that same data is not being used by Google (or others) for their own purposes.
Additionally, this makes privacy policies and following privacy guidelines (GDPR, California rules, etc.) much easier to manage because you don't have to include a huge long disclaimer to your site visitors trying to explain how Google might use their data.
Effects on SEO / Search results
If you're concerned about the effects of this change on your search rankings in Google (or other search engines) - don't be. Search rankings are very different from usage tracking. Search functionality is handled by a sitemap file (allowing search engines to 'find' things) as well as the actual content on the pages. The content on the web pages is still there and we're still going to be submitting sitemap files to Google (and to others) to allow them to easily search the site.
There are other ways we can improve the search results for your web site but analytics functionality doesn't directly effect that.
We already have our Motomo server up-and-running and have begun moving some site tracking over to the new system. We should have all sites migrated over before the end of August. As we do that we will be removing the tracking codes for Google from your web site. Old data will still be available; however, the site won't be generating (or sharing) any new data.
We will let you know when we have your site migrated and will provide you with access to the new Motomo analytics page for your site.
If you have questions about the new analytics system or want help in improving your SEO/Search results please let us know.