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Strategic insights
Google''s Gain in Google Analytics

Written by on November 19, 2005

A few days ago Google announced yet another offering from their seemly endless stream of products. This time it was Google Analytics - a free website statistics package.

You might wonder what this is for, what is the purpose of something like this compared to Google's core business - advertising and search?

But in this case it makes sense. With Google Analytics there are a number of new possibilities that emerges:

AdWords campaign

Google Analytics is free. That is as long you do not exceed 5 million pages views per month. Five million page views are loads of pages that few will ever reach. But, there is one group of websites that might exceed this - big heavily trafficked sites.

Now, you cannot buy you way out of this limit of 5 million page views, but you can make it go away by putting AdWords on your site. And this is where the elaborate scheme of things starts to emerge.

Google AdWords are hugely popular with smaller sites, but almost non-existent on "big heavily trafficked sites".

Google might just have launched a covert advertising campaign for AdWords.

Blogger

Another obvious thing is how this improves Blogger, Google's website publishing platform. Few other blog-software companies offer any useful statistical tool. But, I would bet, that in a few months, Blogger is going to add Google Analytics to every blogging website they host - and, put it on by default on new accounts.

This is going to boost Blogger. Not in any spectacular way. Blooging is not about websites statistics and analytics - it is about publishing.

This is just the little things, not really spectacular is it? But, there are two things there is...

The world largest statistical data foundation

Within a year or two, Google will have the most comprehensive statistic data foundation in existence. No other company in the world would have this much data, about what people do on the web, and how they use websites.

Remember that Google is not a company that makes physical products; it is a company that makes products on the web. And for a web company to have this kind of data, with such precision, is like being handed a truck-load of gold bars every Friday afternoon.

Google can combine web analysis with their search databases, and instantly know what the best thing to do would be - at any given time. It will be able to pick up trends before people would even know that it is a trend.

This is huge.

Relevant search results

Another thing is the battle for relevant search results. This is the battle between Google, Yahoo and MSN. Relevancy is one of the two most important things for the success of any search engine (the other is what you can do with them).

It is no longer enough to just be able find the relevant keywords from a particular page. Google does have something called PageRank - a technology that will rank your pages based on what other website publishers think of your page/site.

But, there is a huge flaw in using PageRank as an indicator for relevancy. Imagine that I publish an article, and 10 high-profile sites links to it. This would give me a high PageRank, because these sites think it is relevant. But, think of it. Only 10 people have judged the particular article to relevant - 10.

How can the personal opinions of 10 people influence the search results for millions? Well, this is basically what PageRank does.

What we must look at instead is the actual popularity of a page - by those who read it. This is where Google Analytics comes in. With Google Analytics, they can combine:

  • How many websites that links to your site (PageRank - website publishers)
  • How many people who actually follow this link (Google Analytics - real people, lots of them)
  • What they do afterwards (Google Analytics - real people, lots of them)

This is step huge step forward towards relevant search results. With PageRank you get perhaps 0.5% of the actual user group, but by adding Google Analytics they can look at real people, and what they think of your page.

There are, of course other important factors to getting relevancy. Google still needs to be better finding out what a page is really about, if it is an original - or derivative works of another.

But, by combining Google Analytics with Google Search they can create a whole new level of search relevancy.

Google Analytics really opens a number of interesting possibilities for Google.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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