January 25, 2019

Removing Google Analytics from My Blog

As of today, no Google Analytics or any sort of stats tracking thing will be on kinopyo.com.


Continue reading…

Google Analytics had served me well. It has been common sense to use Google Analytics for your website so you know how you’re doing — pageviews, traffic sources, bounce rates, etc. From big corporations to small business, collecting and analyzing the stats are crucial to make better decisions.

Except, I’m not running my blog as a business.

I had followed the crowd and learned those tips and tricks, aiming to grow my blog, especially in the very first 2 years. I remember at my peak I wrote 7 posts a week, that was all from my intrinsic motivation. I learned something new at work, and I processed the information and shared it in a neat form. That had helped people and brought traffic, so far so good.

When I sit down and looked at the numbers, I identified what kind of contents tend to be more popular. Sound like a breakthrough, however, it also brought the classic paradox — with this knowledge, I had to make a conscious choice of writing for myself vs writing for traffic. (I also had Google Ads at that time, so more traffic also meant more money.)

That sucks.

Life got busy, and I took a long break. When I got back, I had a fresh look at the blogging model.

I had always been hesitant to call myself a blogger. If you say you’re a blogger nowadays, it seemingly implies you care (maybe to an obsessive level) about your PVs, social media performance, tricks to produce a killer post, or the sneaky SEO tricks.

“Blogger” implies “numbers.” So I would say I have a blog, but I refuse to call myself a blogger.

My blog is a place where I share my thoughts and stories. It’s where I practice and try to get better at writing and different languages. It’s my knowledge repository and life journal.

This rediscovery was a relief. Since then, I deliberately writing things that I’m passionate about. It’s fantastic.

This Friday night, I was checking the site performance and noticed some extra requests from Google Analytics, and that was where this idea came — hum, I’m not using it anymore, why don’t I just remove it once and for all?

So I pulled the trigger 💪

It’s never too late to question how things have been this way and whether it makes sense to you.

An afterthought - will it feel like walking in the dark?

Complete ignorance is arrogance. I’d be stupid if I want to get better at writing but refuse all feedback. It’s that I’ve found a much better metrics to follow.

Once I bumped into an old friend near Ebisu, we had not been met for about 3 years, and the first thing he said to me was “Oh I read your blog!”

Not “long time no see,” not “how are you doing?” That opening almost sound wrong to me but hell yeah, he made my day.

Fortunately, I have got a few readers along the way. They are my real friends. If I happen to write something good, they would naturally share their thoughts when we meet. It’s way more valuable and rewarding than generalized stats.

It could be days or weeks or months (even years) until I get that feedback, but as the saying goes, all good things are worth waiting for. Until then, all I need to do is follow my heart and keep writing.

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.