Blog moved to book site

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As you may have noticed, there has been little activity on this blog for almost a year – essentially, I am now blogging in one place:, to follow the content of the book.

I will maintain this blog content for reference, but plese be aware any coding is probably out of date. However I wrote this stuff, so most of it has been updated – either in the book or on my personal site.

The following pages may be of help:

Regards, Brian Clifton

Urchin 6 software released, Brian Clifton returns to his roots and Yahoo purchases IndexTools

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Its been a while since Google Analytics-Experts’ last blog post and with all the exciting news these past two weeks its given us the perfect opportunity to get back in the swing of things. Here’s a summary of events:

Urchin 6 software released

It’s been a long time coming but now after 5 years of waiting, Google have released the new version of Urchin. Urchin 6 has really excited GA Experts, back in 2003 we saw the huge potential for Urchin and was blown away with Urchin 5 which was what led to us becoming the first UK partner for Urchin Inc – the company that was acquired by Google and went on to develop Google Analytics.

A lot has happened in the world of analytics since Urchin 5 (back in 2003) and we are pleased to say the new version hasn’t failed to disappoint, offering much richer reporting, introducing the use of flash graphics in the reports and coming up with a very appealing pricing structure. No more add-on modules, just one flat-rate price of £1495 (2995 USD) for up to 1,000 websites, unlimited load balancing and campaign tracking included,

In fact it’s such a great value proposition that we actually encourage Google Analytics users to run Urchin along side Google Analytics. Why? Because it gives you the flexibility of reprocessing your data when you wish (Google Analytics cannot) and the assurance of a local backup of your web visitor data (Google Analytics cannot). The following post explains more:

Over the coming weeks we will start posting on Urchin 6, so watch this space!

Brian Clifton returns to his roots

GA Experts would like to welcome back Brian. After 2 and a half years at Google heading up Analytics for EMEA, Brian has returned to Omega Digital Media (the company he founded in 1997) to take up the role as Senior Strategist. This is a massive step for Omega as Brian brings with him a vast knowledge of Google, having built the internal team for Google Analytics in Europe and worked with an impressive client list of some of the world’s most prominent brands. Together with his strategic thinking I am sure this will take GA Experts to the next level.

We would also like to congratulate Brian on the recent launch of his book “Advanced web metrics with Google Analytics “, a must-read for all users of Google Analytics! I was lucky enough to review sections of the book and was excited to finally get my hands on a copy when it was released. After reading other books on analytics it was refreshing to read a book that not only gives you a great introduction to analytics but takes you on a journey to the advanced use of Google Analytics.

For those of you based in UK, Brian is having a launch party for the book on the evening of Thursday 24th April. If you would like to attend, please email :

Yahoo purchases IndexTools

It has been over two years since the Microsoft acquisition of DeepMetrix and still there has been no product launched. Not sure anything has gone wrong, all acquisitions have their difficulties when it comes to integration and Google-Urchin was no exception. It does appear Microsoft have lost interest in this product which is evident from the lack of new features becoming available.

Now Yahoo has followed suit with the purchase of IndexTools – a respected feature rich product. This really is big news for the search marketing/web analytics industries as Yahoo (YahooTools?) has already stated its commitment to release the product for free .

However, it will be interesting to see whether Yahoo take the acquisition as seriously as Google did with Urchin, or let it languish as Microsoft appear to be doing with their analytics offering.

Omniture acquires Visual Sciences

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Visual Sciences (Formerly known as WebSideStory), a leading provider of real-time analytics applications is to be acquired by Omniture.

The acquisition is believed to be a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $394 million.

With Omniture acquiring Visual Sciences it will create a company capable of delivering leading products and services in the online optimisation market.

Visit the latest market snapshot – vendor timeline

Analytics KPI gadget for iGoogle

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Analytics Index have come up with a great widget for iGoogle that allows you to see important KPI information from Google Analytics directly in iGoogle.

KPI’s included:

  • New vs Returning Visitor ratio
  • Average Visits per Visitor ratio
  • Length of Visit
  • Goal Conversion rates

Analytics KPI gadget features:

  • Color-coded results to highlight trends
  • View week on week and month on month data
  • Access multiple Google Analytics profiles
  • Calculated KPI that may not directly be available in Google Analytics
  • The gadget does not require login information, and no usernames or passwords are sent to an outside server. When you are logged in to iGoogle, the browser can access those Google Analytics accounts that you have access to.

Visit Analytics Index to add the Analytics KPI gadget to your iGoogle page.

Do you use any other useful analytics add ons or gadgets?? Please let us know.

27 Features That Make Google Analytics Best of Breed

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Looking for further information on what features the new version of Google Analytics has to offer? Adam Ostrow has posted a comprehensive list of features and tips.

New Training Material for New Version of GA

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Google Analytics yesterday unveiled the new version of its free web analytics service, introducing a fantastic new user interface with some impressive new features.

  • Customisable Dashboard
  • Site Overlay enhancements
  • Geo Targeting enhancements
  • Email Reporting
  • Pdf Extracts
  • Improved Advanced Visitor Segmentation
  • New Help Resource

Being a Google Partner, we had the privilege of being a beta tester, running the new version against our websites for several months and providing direct feedback.

After the initial discovery period, exploring the new interface and playing with the new features, you soon realise how effective the enhancements will be to both users and businesses.

The new User Interface has simplified navigation which means accessing your data couldn’t be easier, with data only a few mouse clicks away, it stops users having to dig deep. The ability to customise your dashboard means the user interface gives you added personalisation with the addition of great usability.

The feature list is great, we have picked out some of the key features we found when testing the beta version:

Site Overlay – This feature has been updated and vastly improved for dynamic web site.

Geo Targeting – This feature has been updated from the previous version and now offers a clear presentation of geographic data using new heat maps.

Email Reporting – Great new feature providing the ability to email reports ad-hoc or scheduled.

Pdf Extracts – A new addition to the extract formats, the pdf extracts are a great way of presenting data within any organisation and reduce time spent using other reporting tools.

Visitor Segmentation – For the larger sites that have huge volumes of data, the improved performance times will make reporting more time efficient.

Help Resource – Contextual help and the conversion university, offering tips and helpful information against every report.

Our comprehensive 2 day training package has been completely overhauled and we are now taking UK bookings for the course.

The new training content includes all of the above plus much more with the main emphasis focusing on using the new interface and features.

For further information, please visit the training page.

BlueFreeway acquires SageMetrics

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US analytics company SageMetrics has been acquired by BlueFreeway, a leading global provider of digital and interactive marketing services.

BlueFreeway will make an initial payment of $1.25m USD with additional performance based payments being earned over a three year period, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

SageMetrics, founded in 1997 and based in Los Angeles, California has a high profile client list including BBC, Virgin, Nintendo, Phillips Electronics, United Media and L’Oreal.

Visit the latest market snapshot – vendor timeline

Experian Buys Hitwise!

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Hitwise, the company which helps clients monitor the performance of their websites, providing daily insight on how 25 million people interact with over 900,000 websites has been acquired by Experian for $240 million.

Experian provide analytical and information services to businesses and consumers to help manage the risk and rewards of commercial and financial decisions.

The four principal activities of Experian are:

Credit Services
Decision Analytics
Marketing Solutions

Looks like an Intersting acquisition!

Visit the latest market snapshot – vendor timeline

UK privacy authority uses Google Analytics

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We came across the following web site yesterday –

This ICO is the Information Commissioner’s Office – the UK’s independent authority set up to “promote access to official information and to protect personal information by promoting good practice, ruling on eligible complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations, and taking appropriate action when the law is broken.”

Essentially in the UK they enforce the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and the Environmental Information Regulations.

It is great to see such an endoresement for the GA product. We have often had discussions with potential clients that have been wary of wanting to share their web site data with Google. Hopefully this will re-assure them.

Avinash Kaushik joins Google Analytics

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Quick post:

Avinash is to join the web analytics team:

Most people in the industry know of Avinash – he is one of the industry’s major proponents of web analytics with his excellent vendor agnostic blog Occam’s Razor, and his humerous and inciteful presentations at places such as eMetrics – he is also writing a book!