Google Analytics Is Pretty Good
I’ve been using the Google Analytics service for a few weeks on this blog … and I give it two thumbs up. We would love to try this out at our more popular sites such as WebProNews, but unfortunately Google hasn’t allowed open signups since that disastrous first week. Garett Rogers over at ZDNet said in his blog that Google is taking on some new sites but on a very limited basis.
In my opinion Google has lost a tremendous amount of marketing momentum by suspending new signups for this length of time. They sent us an advertising RFP which they had to pull until they could take new customers. The success and the free aspect of Google Analytics I believe shocked their competitors. But stopping the service is allowing the competition to regroup. WebProNews writer Jason Miller spoke to ClickTracks CEO John Marshall Friday afternoon about their response to Google as a competitor. Marshall contends that “Google Analytics had once offered click fraud data, but has since removed that access”. So what is ClickTracks doing?
“In version 6.1 of ClickTracks, to be previewed at the upcoming Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, Marshall said his company has developed an algorithm to determine those probabilities of what is human behavior and what is robotic.
Marshall also says the benefits of a private firm rests in the confidentiality of website information, the support they can provide, and that a PPC engine is the last source a Webmaster should rely on for click fraud information.
“Nobody’s going to trust Google to do that,” he said.”
Marshall contends that people using Google’s service wouldn’t do it if they had to pay. “There are people who want free analytics,” he said. “But those people wouldn’t call us anyway.”
I have to disagree there. I certainly would pay and have paid for analytics services and we plan to deploy Google Analytics network wide. I assume there are others like us. However, I’m not a major Adwords buyer. If I was I would be very motivated to use an independant analytics service especially if it had the clickfraud detection features Marshall is describing in ClickTracks 6.1.
The vast majority of sites that will use Google Analytics are not going to be selling anything. For instance, the main thing we will use Google Analytics for is site traffic statistics and analysis. So perhaps ecommerce type sites will be the main focus for services like WebTrends and ClickTracks. We will hear more from these companies at the Search Engine Strategies conference next week. I will be at the conference along with three of my WebProNews editors and writers offering gavel to gavel coverage.
By the way WebTrends and ClickTracks, I think this would be a very effective time to sponsor the WebProNews newsletter again … before Google Analytics resends us their RFP!