SimilarWeb vs Google Analytics: What’s Different?

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By Ewen Finser

Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by Ewen Finser

Web analytics tools are the backbone of any digital marketing strategy.

These tools allow marketers to track website traffic, engagement metrics, and conversions while providing valuable insights into how these numbers change over time. About 71% of small businesses have a website and about 30% use website analytics tools.

While the above data is encouraging, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The lack of industry knowledge to correctly interpret and use web analytics data is a real problem.

Still, web analytics tools are becoming more and more user-friendly, making it easier for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of their features. Similarweb vs Google Analytics are two of the most popular web analytics tools on the market.

Both offer an extensive feature set and allow users to track a wide range of data points. However, each tool has its unique advantages and disadvantages. In this Similarweb vs Google Analytics comparison, we’ll take a close look at the features and capabilities of each tool to help you decide which one is right for your business.

Bottom Line Up Front SummarySimilarweb and Google Analytics are both excellent web analytics tools. Google Analytics is more comprehensive and offers more features than Similarweb. However, it’s more difficult to use, particularly for beginners and definitely as we transition to the GA4 reality. Similarweb is easier to use and offers unique features, such as ranking distribution.

Main Differences Between Similarweb vs Google Analytics

The main differences between Similarweb vs Google Analytics are:

  • Similarweb draws its data from a global panel of internet users, whereas Google Analytics relies on tracking code placed on your website.
  • Google Analytics features advanced analysis tools, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, whereas Similarweb offers less advanced reporting features.
  • Google Analytics free features are more advanced and comprehensive, whereas you have to pay for Similarweb’s best features.
  • Similarweb has an intuitive user interface with fewer datasets, making it easier to use, whereas Google Analytics has a complex user interface with large datasets.

Similarweb Overview

similar web

Similarweb is a leading provider of digital intelligence tools. It brands itself as the official measure of the digital world, providing insights into the online activity of millions of websites worldwide. The derived discernment from this data enables Similarweb to provide marketing intelligence for businesses of all sizes. 

The platform best suits SEO specialists, digital marketers, website owners, and market researchers. However, it has other features that can be useful for different roles within a company, such as business development and sales. The company derives its data from various sources, including public databases, web browsers, mobile apps, and search engines.

It’s worth noting that no web analysis tool gives 100% data accuracy. There’s a margin of error for all data reported by Similarweb, as with any other web analytics tool. However, the company is pretty upfront about this and provides a detailed explanation of its data methodology on its website. Similarweb’s margin of error is about 20%, but other tools have errors exceeding 80%.

Similarweb Solutions


Here’s a quick overview of Similarweb’s Solutions

  • Research intelligence: The platform’s research intelligence features enable you to quickly and easily understand your competitive landscape, industry trends, visitor behavior, and consumer journey. It provides real-time data on your competitors and breaks down data allowing you to zoom in on domain, subdomain, and even specific pages. 
  • Digital market intelligence: Similarweb’s digital market intelligence tools allow you to perform competitive analysis, keyword research, market analysis, and more. The platform provides detailed insights into your industry, including size, growth rate, and key players.
  • Shopper intelligence: Similarweb’s shopper intelligence tools help you understand the online behavior of your target consumers. The platform provides insights into what shoppers search for, their devices, and their location.
  • Sales intelligence: The platform’s sales intelligence features provide insights on e-commerce, advertiser, and publisher prospects. It uses website traffic analytics, engagement, and conversion rate to score prospects. 
  • Investor intelligence: Investors and financial analysts can use Similarweb’s investor intelligence tools to track companies and industries. The platform provides insights into growth rates, market share, traffic data sources, and KPIs.
  • Advisory services: Similarweb’s team of experts can guide how to use the platform’s data to achieve your business goals. The company offers various services, including comprehensive analysis, data-driven insights, and consulting.

Similarweb Pros

  • Impressive data visualization
  • Ease of use
  • Competitive Insights
  • Integrations with other platforms

Similarweb Cons

  • Questionable data accuracy
  • Lack of transparency in data collection
  • Limited customer support
  • Paid plans are expensive

Google Analytics Overview

reatime report google analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool provided by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. The platform offers valuable insights to help website owners and operators improve their online visibility and performance. It also provides insight into many other aspects of website organic traffic and behavior, such as where users are coming from, what devices they use, what pages they visit, and how long they stay on the site. 

Google Analytics, unlike Similarweb, draws its data directly from users’ browsers rather than third-party sources. While most consider Google Analytics the gold standard in web analytics, it has some limitations. For example, it only tracks users with JavaScript enabled, so it doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the entire internet population. That also means it can’t track users with ad blockers or other software that blocks JavaScript. 

The platform has undergone several updates and is currently on its fourth version, GA4. GA4 is a big departure from the previous versions of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics). The updated version boasts notable features such as integration with BigQuerry, a data warehouse for analytics, and a focus on machine learning. 

GA4 introduces a new Google Analytics data model that combines privacy, predictions, customizability, conversion, and attribution data. Though Google will eventually phase out Universal Analytics, it continues to collect data and offers support for those who haven’t made the switch to GA4. 

Google Analytics Pros

  • Collects data directly from users’ browsers
  • Steep learning curve
  • Very customizable
  • Integrates with other Google products
  • Manages multiple properties 
  • Regular updates with new features
  • It tells the traffic source
  • The free version has an extensive feature set

Google Analytics Cons

  • It loses data when users clear cookies
  • It can’t track users with ad blockers or other software that blocks JavaScript.
  • Google uses data sampling, which may impact the accuracy of some reports
  • It can be challenging to find specific information (too much data) 
  • Only the paid version offers customer support
  • Lacks organic keyword data

Similarweb vs. Google Analytics: Feature Comparison

This section will provide a high-level overview of Similarweb and Google Analytics features. Given the breadth of features offered by both platforms, we’ll focus on the key areas of website traffic analysis: data collection, data reporting and visualization, and insights. 

1. Data Collection

Similarweb collects data from multiple sources, including web traffic, mobile app traffic, social media, and referral sites. The platform relies on third-party data sources, such as internet service providers, browser extensions, and mobile apps.

This approach has both benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is that Similarweb can collect data from a broader range of sources than Google Analytics. The disadvantage is that the data may not be as accurate as data collected directly from users’ browsers. 

Google Analytics, on the other hand, collects data directly from users’ browsers. This approach is considered more accurate because it eliminates the potential for errors introduced by third-party data sources. However, it does have some limitations. For example, it only tracks users with JavaScript enabled, so it can’t track users with ad blockers or other software that blocks JavaScript.

Verdict: Google Analytics is the clear winner. It has relatively lower margins of error.

google analytics data

2. Data Reporting and Visualization

Data reporting in Similarweb is pretty straightforward. The platform offers a variety of standard reports, such as traffic estimate overview, top pages, top referring sites, and audience demographics. Similarweb offers unique reports, such as social media insights and app ranking data. The platform’s reporting capabilities are relatively limited, however. For example, there is no way to create custom or schedule reports. 

On the other hand, Google Analytics offers a wide range of standard reports and the ability to create custom reports. The platform also offers a variety of ways to visualize data, including charts, tables, and maps. Google Analytics also offers the ability to schedule reports. 

Verdict: Google Analytics is the clear winner. It offers more comprehensive reporting and visualization capabilities.

3. Insights

Similarweb offers a variety of insights, including website traffic numbers, top pages, top referring sites, and audience demographics. The platform offers unique insights, such as social media insights and app ranking data. When it comes to the depth and quality of insights, Similarweb falls short. The platform’s insights are based on third-party data, which can be less accurate than data collected directly from users’ browsers. 

On the other hand, Google Analytics offers a wide range of insights, including website traffic stats, top pages, top referring sites, and audience demographics. The platform also offers a variety of ways to segment data, which allows for more granular and actionable insights. GA4, the latest version of Google Analytics, also offers machine learning-powered insights. 

Verdict: Google Analytics is the clear winner. It offers more comprehensive and actionable insights. 

google analytics data report

4. Real-Time Analytics

The ability to see data “as it happens” is essential for any organization wanting to understand and improve its online performance. Both Similarweb and Google Analytics offer this capability. 

However, Google Analytics offers a more comprehensive view of real-time activity, with the ability to see things like conversions, transaction values, and ecommerce data. The only drawback is that you’ll likely have to pay for the Google Analytics 360 Suite to get these features. 

Verdict: Google Analytics is the clear winner, although you’ll have to pay for the privilege. 

5. Ranking Distribution

When looking at SERPs, it’s often helpful to know where you rank and how your ranking distribution compares to the competition. Similarweb offers this capability, allowing you to know which keywords rank in the top 3, top 10, top 50, and so on. It also allows you to compare this data to your competitors. 

Google Analytics can help you understand how your website ranks for certain keywords. Still, it doesn’t provide the ability to compare this data to your competition or understand your ranking distribution. 

Verdict: Similarweb is the winner here, as it provides valuable insights that can help you improve your SEO strategy. 

ranking distribution similar web

6. Integrations

Integrations with other software platforms are essential for any organization wanting to optimize its digital marketing efforts. Similarweb doesn’t have the same level of integrations as Google Analytics. While Similarweb does offer integrations with some popular platforms, such as WordPress and Shopify, it’s missing critical integrations with other platforms, such as CRMs and social media management tools. 

Google Analytics, on the other hand, offers a wide range of integrations with Google’s other products and popular third-party platforms. Users can seamlessly connect their Google Analytics account to other software platforms, such as AdWords, BigQuery, and DoubleClick. The Google Search Console integration is also beneficial for SEO purposes. 

Verdict: Google Analytics is the clear winner. 

What to Consider When Choosing Between Similarweb and Google Analytics

Apart from the features discussed above, it would help to consider a few other factors when choosing between Similarweb and Google Analytics, such as Ease of use, Support, and Pricing. 

1. Ease of Use

Similarweb has a user-friendly interface, with all the features and insights organized in an easily digestible way. The platform also offers helpful tutorials to guide users through the different features. 

Google Analytics can be a bit overwhelming for first-time users. The platform has many features and options, which can be confusing. However, Google Analytics does offer several helpful tutorials and resources to guide users through the different features. 

Verdict: Similarweb is the winner here, as it’s slightly easier to use. 

2. Support

Similarweb has readily available customer support, with a team of experts on hand to answer your questions. The agents are friendly and knowledgeable and provide helpful and actionable advice. Unfortunately, they only answer pre-sale questions and don’t provide support for technical issues. 

Google Analytics only offers support to its paying customers. Free users must rely on the platform’s extensive documentation and helpful community forums. While these resources are handy, it would be nice if Google Analytics offered direct support to all its users. 

Verdict: Similarweb is the winner, as it offers support to all its users, not just paying customers. 

3. SimilarWeb Pricing

Similarweb has a free version of its platform that offers limited features and insights. It also has a paid version (Similarweb Pro), which prices its packages based on the solutions it provides. 

Most Google Analytics features are available for free. However, the platform has a paid version (Google Analytics 360), which starts at $150,000 per year. 

Verdict: If cost is a significant consideration, the paid version of Similarweb is the better option because it’s relatively cheaper.


Top Similarweb vs. Google Analytics Alternatives

If you’re still unsure which platform is right, here are a few Similarweb and Google Analytics alternatives. 

  1. Semrush
  2. Ahrefs
  3. Moz Pro
  4. SE Ranking 
  5. Serpstat
  6. KWFinder
  7. AuthorityLabs
  8. SpyFu
  9. CognitiveSEO
  10. Piwik Pro


Question: Is Similarweb data accurate?

Answer: Similarweb relies on data from multiple sources, including web crawlers, browser plug-ins, and user submissions. While the data is generally accurate, it’s not always 100% accurate. We can’t guarantee that all the data is accurate all the time, but we can say that it’s pretty darn close most of the time.

Question: What competes with Google Analytics?

Answer: Google Analytics competitors are other web analytics platforms that offer similar features and insights. Some popular Google Analytics alternatives include Adobe Analytics, Mixpanel, Heap, and Woopra. The most important thing to consider when choosing a Google Analytics alternative is which platform offers the features and insights that are most important to you. 

Question: How do I connect Similarweb to Google Analytics?

Answer: You can connect Similarweb to Google Analytics by following these steps:
• Log in to your Similarweb account.
• Enter your website’s domain
• Click on the “Claim Your Website” button.
• Click on the “Collect Google Analytics” tab
• Log in to your Google Analytics account
• Select the website you want to connect to Similarweb

Bottom Line Summary

The search for the perfect web analytics platform can be overwhelming. We hope that from the above Similarweb vs. Google Analytics article, you can better understand which platform offers the features and insights that are most important to you. Both Similarweb and Google Analytics are great platforms with a lot to offer. 

However, Similarweb is the better option, as it’s slightly easier to use and offers support to all its users. Google Analytics is excellent if you can afford the paid option because it gives access to more sophisticated features. 

What About the Alternatives?

Our editorial team contrasted a range of other options here which may be interesting if you are still on the fence.

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