Google Analytics launched
The Mountain View, CA based search giant Google launched free web analytics a couple of days ago. A few months after acquiring leading analytics software firm Urchin, the search engine will now provide online advertisers with a most professional tracking tool in order to measure how effective their ad campaigns are. This new tool is absolutely free up to 5 millions of page views per month, far enough for the average / low-end advertiser.
Google analytics is by and large based on Urchin technology which used to charge almost $500 per month for this service. The service will be available hosted but not as a downloadable package and will provide such details as which ad is the most effective, how long visitors stay on the site and how they behave browsing between pages.
Moreover the Google website analysis solution is also providing the opportunity to track any advertisement campaign from any provider even though the main focus is its integration with the adwords system, Google’s own ad network.
Paul Muret, former CEO at Urchin and now engineering director for Google briefly explained that the search company would not take advantage of the data gathered through this new feature and use it as a competitive advantage. However Omniture which provides almost identical solution to multiple websites for many years may not understand it that way.
Other software companies fighting in the same industry may also be badly hurt Web Trends and Clicktracks in the first place.
Similar products targeting the small and medium business market share would suffer greatly from this new player, while large companies would rather keep either their own custom solutions or web analytics providers (eventually Urchin) because of the greater need of extensive analysis, research and customization.
Now from the search engine optimization point of view Google engineer Matt Cutts mentioned that the data gathered by the search engine that way would not be integrated for ranking purpose, still spammers and black hat SEOs should avoid using it.
Fair enough for us, but we could remember the new Google patentdisclosed earlier this year and wonder is soon in the future Google would not add even more (the Google toolbar probably already serves a first set of analytics) web analytics in its algorithm towards more relevant SERP.
So far we’ve set up an account for playing around with this new exciting feature unfortunately, as it was confirmed later by Google itself, demand for the new tool was much higher than expected and tests could not be completed efficiently yet. From what we’ve seen, the free Google analytics would satisfy the low/medium end advertiser with a regular website structure.