Sunday, October 26, 2008

Google Listens to Customers and Significantly Expands its Analytics Capability

For a few past years many internet marketers and web site managers debated between using free Google Analytics and other somewhat expensive commercial products. Of course, small sites went with the free option. That's how Google Analytics gained its over 50% estimated market share (Marketing Sherpa, Search Marketing Benchmark Survey, June 2008). Enterprise niche opted for products that offered flexible segmentation and campaign management integration (WebTrends, Omniture, ClickTracks, CoreMetrics, etc). Many implemented dual option using Google Analytics for general reports of the site or its parts and other visitor behavior analysis software (mostly log based) for segmentation and historical analysis.

With recent major upgrade Google Analytics gives enterprise-level capabilities to each and every user (eventually). More in the feature please read Avinash Kaushik's blog post Google Analytics Releases Advanced Segmentation: Now Be A Ninja! I am personally excited about Motion Charts (play feature makes it very appealing to visualize trends over time) and Advanced Segmentation. Later one assists in analysis of segments and comparison. Before this upgrade people used filters extensively to get the same results. It was inconvenient and inflexible because one needed to set up filters ahead of time and they would not apply to historical data. Now you have all the freedom to explore and extract another layer of knowledge from your web site data.

On another note I am a little sad. Two months ago I purchased Brian Clifton’s Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics. It is a great book and every serious user of Google Analytics should read it. I was sad that this new upgrade made some parts of the book obsolete. But I am happy that Brian has an opportunity to work on a second addition sooner.

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