Comparing Narratiive to Google Analytics

Narratiive's reporting isn't directly comparable with Google Analytics. Our platforms use different collection, processing, and reporting techniques which make direct comparisons unreliable. 

The only metric which can be compared with any reliability is "Page Views" (PVs); other metrics will not correlate because of our differing methodologies.

The metric that is most commonly identified as being different is when Google Analytics' Unique Visitors are compared with Narratiive's Unique Browsers. This is primarily due to Narratiive's specialised handling of browser cookies.

Our methodology often reports lower Unique Browsers than other web metric vendors.

Below are some reasons why Narratiive numbers differ from Google Analytics.

Different measurement methodologies

  • Website analytics can vary between providers because of the different ways they collect, process and report their data. This makes direct comparisons unreliable.
  • Our method ensures that all tagged sites are measured the same way, so that they are fairly reported and compared. Other providers may not prioritise this.
  • Narratiive data is trusted by media agencies as the most accurate.

Unique Browsers vs Unique Visitors

  • Narratiive measures audience size in Unique Browsers. Other providers may use a different metric, such as Unique Visitors.
  • We use a combination of First Party Cookies and Third Party Cookies to measure Unique Browsers. Other providers, such as Google Analytics, use First Party Cookies only, which can lead to double counting and inflated traffic levels. 
  • Narratiive cookies tend to be more persistent than other vendors and our reports are less subject to inflation as a consequence of cookie purging. Because of this, the Narratiive audience size may be lower than other analytics services.

Tag installation and placement

  • <head> based tag placement has been supported since 1 March 2019.
    The tag should be added immediately before the closing  </head> tag. It should be nested within the head tags to ensure that it will work reliably.
  • Our tracking tag is designed to prevent double or triple tagging on web pages. Other providers may allow duplicate tags on pages.
  • We recommend you check that your website has been tagged correctly with the Narratiive tracking code and also tagged correctly for your other providers.

Census vs sampling

  • For tagged sites, we use census data only; we don’t sample traffic. This means we count every impression and user completely, and we do not use sampling to represent data.


Learn more about the Narratiive Methodology here.

Generating a Google Analytics All Pages report:

  1. Login to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Select the site for reporting.
  3. Click "Behaviour" in the menu on the left-hand side of the page.
  4. In the menu that appears below Behaviour select "Site Content" then "All Pages"
  5. Make sure "Page" is selected as the "Primary Dimension"
  6. At the bottom of the page set "Show rows" to 5000.
  7. In the top right-hand side of the page select the date to be reported. Please select a single, recent day.
  8. Once the report has generated, at the top of the report page click "Export" and choose "CSV".

Last reviewed: 19 Mar 2019 (AI)

Last updated: 19 Mar 2019 (AI)