Sarah Gooding · October 2, 2020 · 2 Comments

In pursuit of “democratizing web analytics,” Cloudflare announced it is launching privacy-first analytics as a new standalone product. The company is entering a market that has been dominated by Google Analytics for years but with a major differentiating feature – it will not track individual users by a cookie or IP address to show unique visits.

Cloudflare Web Analytics defines a visit as “a successful page view that has an HTTP referer that doesn’t match the hostname of the request.” It’s not the same as Google’s “unique” metric, and Cloudflare says it may differ from other reporting tools. Weeding out bots from the total traffic numbers is a nascent feature that Cloudflare is improving as part of its Bot Management product.

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Cloudflare Web Analytics is launching with features that are largely similar to Google Analytics but with some unique ways of zooming into different traffic segments and time ranges to see where traffic is originating from.

“The most popular analytics services available were built to help ad-supported sites sell more ads,” Cloudflare product manager Jon Levine said. “But, a lot of websites don’t have ads. So if you use those services, you’re giving up the privacy of your users in order to understand how what you’ve put online is performing.

“Cloudflare’s business has never been built around tracking users or selling advertising. We don’t want to know what you do on the Internet — it’s not our business.”

Paying customers on the Pro, Biz, and Enterprise plans can access their analytics from their dashboards immediately. Cloudflare is also offering the product for free as JavaScript-based analytics for users who are not currently customers. Those who want access to the free plan can sign up for the waitlist.

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