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: http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/10/16/what-is-urchin/

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

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

Avinash Kaushik joins Google Analytics

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Quick post:

Avinash is to join the web analytics team: http://www.brianjclifton.com/blog/2007/03/07/avinash-kaushik-joins-google/

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!

Omniture buys Touch Clarity

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14th Feb: http://www.omniture.com/touchclarity

It appears Omniture is into some serious acquisitions for 2007. Following on from January’s announcement to purchase the Danish web analytics company Instadia, they now acquire Touch Clarity for $51.5m USD plus stock.

Touch Clarity provide perdictive real time web analytics. Essentially the tool looks at what behaviour a visitor is exhibiting on your web site, then changes the content of the site to suit what ‘it’ thinks the visitor would like to see next.

So for example, Touch Clarity may be able to predict if a visitor is male or female based on the real-time pageview behaviour. If so, it could instruct the back-end CMS to change the contents of a navigation menu, update a ‘view related articles’ list or display different advertisements. All clever stuff.

View the latest market snapshot – vendor timeline.

Omniture Acquires Instadia

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18th Jan: http://www.omniture.com/instadia

So the acquisitions for 2007 have started in ernest… As we last wrote at the beginning of the year, it looks like 2007 is going to be just as busy as 2006 for mergers and acquisitions. The Instadia acquisition would certainly appear to be an obvious move by Omniture for the following business reasons:

  1. Instadia is a high end product that was pitched directly against Omniture in Europe.
  2. Instadia has a strong market share for enterprise sized clients in the Nordic region and Germany (Omniture is relative weak in those regions).
  3. Instadia has strong market penetration in the Automotive, Manufacturing and Finance verticals

From what we have seen at trade shows and exhibitions, Insatdia also has a strong product offering. Some of its USPs include:

  • The combining of online surveys with web analytics. For example, you can pop a survey in response to behavioural activity or combine survey data with clickstream data and perform segmentation/profiling.
  • Visitor scoring system to measure partial conversions
  • Ad-hoc data reprocessing
  • Real-time reporting

However, I can’t help thinking that Omniture is only interested in Instadia’s client list and staff expertise (instant recruitment for an industry starved of expertise) and that the product itself will slowly disappear.

Will there be more than a handful of WA vendors by the end of 2007?

2006 Web Analytics in Review

Google Analytics, News, Urchin 5 3 Comments »

2006 was a busy time for the web analytics industry in terms of mergers and acquisitions – see vendor timeline (pdf). Probably the most significant event was the announcement by Microsoft in May that it had acquired Deepmetrix – a Canadian based web analytics tool. The similarities with Google’s purchase of Urchin a year before (April 2005) are striking – both in terms of strategy of the parent company and the features of the product they acquired…

Both companies (Microsoft and Google) are major Search Engine players and both have Pay-Per-Click advertising networks. This is a clear signal that online marketing and measurement/accountability are now going to be mainstream. Only a year or so ago, web analytics was considered an optional extra for online marketing campaigns. Now the two will become synonymous. Much of this has already happened with Google Analytics, but it is significant that Microsoft has come to the same conclusion.

Microsoft in October said publicly that they will start to role out their version of Deepmetrix in late Spring 2007. What will be interesting is whether it will be free – as is the case for Google Analytics. I would say almost certainly so, but may only be to adCentre advertisers in the initial phase, as opposed to all users – as was the case for Google Analytics. That would enable them to scale more efficiently than Google did when they had to introduce their throttled invitation system one week after launch (it lasted 9 months!).

Similarities of Urchin v Deepmetrix*

  • Both companies were of a similar size around 30-40 staff.
  • Both companies had a similar sized and loyal customer base.
  • Both companies have a hosted (ASP) service and software solution.
  • Both companies targeted the market at similar price points (mid and high tier clients).
  • Both companies use essentially the same page tagging technology (javascript) to collect data for their hosted service.
  • Both companies have a very close feature set – site overlay, geo-overlay, campaign breakdown, x-segmentation etc.

*Since the launch of Google Analytics its feature set has moved on significantly. Also ,since the notice of the Microsoft acquisition, Deepmetrix is no longer available to trial. So it will be interesting to see what additional features Microsoft have added in the past 12 months – or maybe that time is required for the integration with MS’s adCenter…

Our web analytics market predictions for 2007…

  • MS releases “DeepSoft” or whatever they rename Deepmetrix to. Likely to be free.
  • 100% advertiser adoption – continued rapid growth in adoption of web analytics tools to the point where whenever you setup an online advertising campaign, analytics will be a part of it by default.
  • The number of mergers and acquisitions will continue to increase. With both “DeepSoft” and Google Analytics, are there opportunities for other tools other than large well established vendors that provide heavy customisation i.e. WebSideStory, Omniture, Webtrends. Other tools, excellent though some are (e.g. Indextools, Moniforce, Nedstat, Xiti, Instadia, Redeye) I feel will have to merge or partner to survive – either with other vendors or with agencies that build their marketing services around such products (similar to Webtraffiq and Clicktracks in 2006).
  • As has already started to happen in 2006, web analytics terminology will simplify and become more business orientated and less technical. Expect to see buzz words such as “accessibility” and “discoverability” in the near future. At some point even web analytics as an industry term may disappear as the technique merges with business intelligence (that’s probably 2 years away, but it will happen!).

Happy new year to our subscribers!

No More Google Analytics Invitation Codes – GA Open To All

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In a recent announcement to Authorised Consultants and on the Official GA Blog, the team behind GA have declared Google Analytics open to everyone. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the engineering team it is now possible to open a Google Analytics account online with no delays. If you have an AdWords account then you can click on the ‘Analytics’ tab within your account to sign up or just visit http://www.google.com/analytics/.

When you are ready to set up your account there are lots of resources to help you, such as the Installation Guide and all the info in the Google Analytics Help Centre. There are also the resources here on our own blog and we run Google Analytics training courses as well. In the USA we can recommend ROI Revolution and Justin Cutroni’s blog and there is also the GA Google Group as a starting point for questions. Finally, don’t forget the network of Google Analytics Authorised Consultants and their wide range of professional services.

With Google Analytics free and instantly accessible, there are no more excuses not to start optimising your website and increasing your ROI right now.

Interview with Brian Clifton: Google Analytics Explained

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e-consultancy has just published an interview with Brian Clifton, the European Head of Web Analytics at Google. In it, Brian talks about the importance of the relationship between Google Analytics and Google AdWords, and how improving the effectiveness of AdWords campaigns is the driving force behind the free availability of Google Analytics. He also addresses the privacy concerns that keep appearing about Google’s access to your web analytics data, how Google as a whole views GA, and talks about the Google support network – drawing attention to the network of Google Analytics Authorised Consultants (of which GA Experts is one) and the other resources Google provides for support. Read the article at e-consultancy.com