Google’s Website Optimizer Gets Some Upgrades

A well-rounded makeover

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You asked, they listened.  Google’s Website Optimizer team has unveiled a handful of "highly requested" things that should make the tool better in just about every way.

The first new feature is experiment pruning, which, as Trevor Claiborne explains on the Inside AdWords Blog, "allows you to disable one or more combinations from taking part in your Website Optimizer experiments."  This will lead to faster results with fewer irrelevant distractions mixed in.

Then, by way of a nice backup plan, comes A/B Offline Validation.  Claiborne writes, "If your test or goal pages aren’t accessible to Website Optimizer then no worries.  You’ll now be able to just upload a copy of your tagged page and Website Optimizer will make sure that everything is tagged properly."

The third change isn’t so much a new feature as a smart redesign.  Since testing does little good without a correct interpretation of the results and an appropriate follow-through, "We’ve enhanced our reports to more clearly show how your combinations are performing, and to better indicate when we’ve found one or more high-confidence winning combinations."

On the whole, it looks like users of the Website Optimizer will wind up saving time and making smarter decisions.  Several videos are available to anyone wanting an introduction, and don’t forget to keep giving Google your feedback so that it can be incorporated into the next round of revisions.

Google’s Website Optimizer Gets Some Upgrades
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  • http://www.sesecrets.com Dallas SEO

    Personally, I am worried about giving G any more information than they already get. Call me paranoid, but the amount of data they find ways to make us "want" to give them is staggering.

  • http://testingblog.widemile.com Billy Shih

    I hope Google teaches people how to properly prune experiments.  The problem with taking out experiments that are underperforming is that it cuts out the information about the performance of all the individual elements on the page.  Meaning some elements will have more conversion data tied to them than others, creating an unbalance of data.

    Also you can seriously impact the validity of your test if you prune too early.  While it’s a good idea and the impact is smaller since GWO uses full factorial, Google needs to be careful and let people know about the dangers of that shiny new feature.

    In response to Dallas SEO, I haven’t read anywhere that Google is allowed to use the information tracked by Google Website Optimizer.  I have a hard time believing that they would without consent either.  If you have any hard information on this, I’d love to learn about it though, especially since my company provides testing services with our own platform.

  • http://www.moovinonup.com GuesSEo

    this is a great tool but I agree need to teach people how to use it

  • Guest

    From a search engine optimisation company, its great tool for us to use going forward, as it shows we adhere to Google best practice guidelines.

    Of course, this is only the start of sustainable SEO, but still a useful tool all the same.



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