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  1. #1
    Google Analytics a bad deal?
    In another thread, a user told a site owner:

    You are not using Google Analytics. Get it and put it on your site. It is free.
    The SEOBook says:

    Google Analytics is free...but if you use it, you are sending your valuable market daty back to your source of traffic. This may work against you if htey use your best converting terms and most frequent referrals to recommend keywords to your competitors.
    Thought on this? Pro and con?

    Alison

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Google knows where my traffic is coming from anyhow, since they sent me 60% of it.

    I use it.
    Kevin Webster
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  3. #3
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    In some past threads, there are a lot of people here that use and like it, it's free.

    But I would never put it on my sites, not for me. It's free because they're just mining data.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BookWise-Winners
    In another thread, a user told a site owner:
    The SEOBook says:
    Thought on this? Pro and con?

    Alison
    Makes no difference as to diluting/poluting keyword choices for any particular product or service. Only the top 20 count for meaningful traffic and every PPCSE engine, every product/service competitor, and the main PPCSE players know the top 20 buying terms used at Google/AOL/MSN/Yahoo.

    I talk to Adwords reps all the time for clients and they never suggest keyword search terms. The automated term tools are already tipped to what drives the most traffic/clicks. Now GA analytics conversion ratio on search terms could be used to drive up bid prices if shared with all the MFA players and PPC super affiliates.

    My years of watching GA for a few niche product clients proves the worse converting traffic comes from PPC clicks with natural SERP clicks getting 5 times more sales prospects to the site.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    As with most things, risk vs. reward. I didn't know that they were using the data to suggest keywords - but still the information I am getting by using it is still very valuable to me. In the future that might change with this new information.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    I'm pretty sure Google knows where my traffic is coming from anyhow, since they sent me 60% of it.

    I use it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't GA provide lots more info than just where the traffic is COMING from? I understood the point being that you can also tell where it goes and the paths taken, etc. Google can't tell which search results convert into actions that make money on YOUR site, right? Once a browser leaves Google, they can only track the movement if they can analyze YOUR site.

    Am I off here?

    ecomcity, that's great info. Thanks for the input.

    Great forum. Thank you all for the quick answers.

    Alison

  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I see your point (and have thought about that for a long time in the past)...

    By that logic, and I'm speaking as a merchant here, I would NEVER consider adding the Google Checkout. I haven't studied the impact of Checkout on conversions, but I'd sure like to see that icon in my paid search ads.

    As above, it's a give and take, IMHO.
    Kevin Webster
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  8. #8
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    "they're just mining data."

  9. #9
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    I have it on some sites but I never look at the data because I prefer Statcounter. Then why the heck is it still on my sites? I never thought about them mining data. Grrr.

  10. #10
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Website Goodies offers a useful advantages/disadvantages type of analysis of Google Analytics; most of the article is "pro" but the ending paragraph leaves room for some doubt and/or second thoughts

    Google Analytics For Better Search Engine Marketing
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  11. #11
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I'd love to see another free, easy to use, visual statistic service that keeps the statistics on their server. I'd say that the value they give me is worth sharing it with them. If I were a merchant I might think otherwise.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    By that logic though, anyone that you allow to collect your stats might be using that information for their benefit. Do we know - really know - that Statcounter or Clicky or any of the other free services aren't selling off at least some of the data they collect?
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  13. #13
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    I'd love to see another free, easy to use, visual statistic service that keeps the statistics on their server.
    You can get a free eXTReMe Tracking Account with excellent visual statistic results on the eXTReMe Tracking server (no cookies are involved, the tracking runs on javascript ) but the drawback is that the results are visible on the Internet and can be seen from your site if the icon is clicked.

    http://extremetracking.com/?reg


    You may pay a fee for excellent private results:
    http://extremetracking.com/?npt
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  14. #14
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HecticDMC
    By that logic though, anyone that you allow to collect your stats might be using that information for their benefit.
    You'd have to ask yourself who (or which entity) would most likely use it?
    Google is in the running for the use

    The article cited from Website Goodies basically expands on the points already mentioned in this thread; either viewpoint ("pro" or "con") could use the points from the article as a basis.
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  15. #15
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Rhia, I looked at their sample info, and it doesn't appear to be as visual as Google Analytics. How do they compare in your experience?

  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    Rhia, I looked at their sample info, and it doesn't appear to be as visual as Google Analytics. How do they compare in your experience?
    My ISP offered free Urchin prior to Google's purchase renaming the program "Google's Analytics" -- I always preferred extreme tracking; I found it very visual [i.e. charts, flags, etc...].

    Let's take a look at the free sample site:
    [I've "hacked" the stats with edits so that the real individual will not be perpetually referred to here]
    Check out the last 20 visitors{the list updates with new visitors as soon as they arrive at the page being tracked, so if you get lots of visits to a page and you really want to know the specific IP, you'll have to check frequently}:
    http://extremetracking.com/open;unique?login=rluna559
    Now look click a specific visitor and you'll find lots of information:
    Visitor xxx-xxx-xxx-ISP.org IP Address bbb.zz.###.vv
    Date 01 Feb, Fri, 18:42:49 Net Speed Cable/DSL
    Organization ISP & country/state of origin Browser MSIE 6
    Continent xyz Operating System Windows 2000
    Country xyz Screen Resolution 1024x768
    State / Region Screen Color 32 Bit (16.7M)
    City Javascript Enabled

    Referrer http://www.google.com
    Search Engine Google
    Keywords mopar, caliber

    In that one click of a specific visitor from the last 20 available {use a Reverse Domain IP Check like http://www.myipneighbors.com/ to really delve into specifics if you are so inclined} lots of information is available to you and then the info becomes aggregated. Sign up and click around, you'll catch on quickly.

    You need to click in the navigation box to see all the possible pages of web statistics such as:
    • Last 20 Referrers
    • Last 20 Searchengine Referrers
    • Last 20 Searchengine Queries
    • Last 20 email Referrers
    • Last 20 Usenet / Newsgroup Referrers
    • Last 20 Hard Drive Referrers Unique Visitors
    • Browser Totals
    • Browser Details
    • System Totals
    • System Details
    • Get the idea???? Must I list every single one? Look around there's lots and lots of info!


    There are many visuals such as cute flags in the geo tracking of countries:
    http://extremetracking.com/open;geo?login=rluna559
    What kind of visuals are you looking for? YouTube Movies about your site traffic?

    The above is from the free tracker.
    I've been using the free tracker since 1998 or 99 (whenever it was new).
    Updates to the free program (there have been many good updates since the program began) at times will require a new tracker/tracker title/login --
    I used Urchin but didn't like it as much -- my bet is that Google Analytics is pretty much the Urchin stats -- if you love Google Analytics, good for you!
    If you are worried about other people checking out your tracker sites, the great thing about extreme is that you can manipulate the data so that you understand it but that other people won't.
    I use the same code for bunches of pages and then I switch [tracker] codes, double up on codes create new extreme trackers, delete codes, insert codes [as I see fit/when I feel like it] etc... I don't think that "my competitors" are learning too much from the stats mainly because: I perform the above tricks and more importantly the stats are updated and aggregated fairly rapidly plus it's not always evident to others what exactly was sold. People who look into my stats will see a "BIG KEYWORD" -- WOW--if the keyword is not manifested on my actual site and a visitor has to look at my tracker stats to find it, I didn't do my job too well as a webmaster

    Free tracker sites live forever -- so if you get your jollies from reading mine (or those of another webmaster who uses the service) jot down the title of the tracker (as the webmaster might drop it to create a new one without notice) and bookmark people's trackers years from now you can see an aggregated one floating around that was created once upon a time

    I haven't used their paid version -- maybe I'll do so when I'm a "Super Affiliate" in the meantime I actually wonder if stats from MYBLOGLOG are too revealing to others? I have a reason for wondering that, but I'm not going to delve into that at the moment.

    You have nothing to lose by trying a free extreme tracker.

    ... Google Analytics package provides a vast number of useful bits of information, it lacks two major features which most search engine marketers need - the ability to track individual user activity or trace activity back to an individual user level and the ability to track activity akin to click fraud [1]
    I just demonstrated above how to track individual user activity (but it only works within a short period of time unless you don't get many visitors) with the free extreme tracker. The other "complaints" cited above might be included with some type of paid program; I am not aware of a free program that can trace activity back to an individual user level or determine click fraud.
    Last edited by Rhia7; February 1st, 2008 at 10:54 PM.
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  17. #17
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    You need to click in the navigation box to see all the possible pages of web statistics such as:
    • Last 20 Referrers
    • Last 20 Searchengine Referrers
    • Last 20 Searchengine Queries
    • Last 20 email Referrers
    • Last 20 Usenet / Newsgroup Referrers
    • Last 20 Hard Drive Referrers Unique Visitors
    • Browser Totals
    • Browser Details
    • System Totals
    • System Details
    • Get the idea???? Must I list every single one? Look around there's lots and lots of info!
    Yes, but...

    "Frankly, my dear,

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    Just show me the money"



    Some Analytics are just as good as any regular:

  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Google Analytics for WordPress
    Google Analytics for WordPress

    plugin easily adds your Google Analytics tracking code to all pages within your blog. That's it's main functionality, [plus] it adds a few "extra's"
    Helpful article plus download to install Google Analytics into a Wordpress blog
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  20. #20
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by HecticDMC
    By that logic though, anyone that you allow to collect your stats might be using that information for their benefit. Do we know - really know - that Statcounter or Clicky or any of the other free services aren't selling off at least some of the data they collect?
    No, we don't. Good point. But Google has a very direct conflict of interest that others don't.

    Alison

  22. #22
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    These questions (quoted below) define the crux of the debate: is there any possible disadvantage in using Google Analytics especially if the webmaster is engaged in Google Adwords?
    Should one company be responsible for both setting prices they charge you and reporting your revenue results? What happens when they know that you're over-achieving your goals? What happens when they discover that your AdWords ads are working better than your ads from a competitor of theirs?
    [source]
    An interesting blog article that cites the above is:
    Google AdWords plus Google Analytics: Market Manipulation and Possibility of Mischief ?
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  23. #23
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    Rhia, I looked at their sample info, and it doesn't appear to be as visual as Google Analytics. How do they compare in your experience?
    My experience is that if I thought the use of extreme tracking was jeopardizing my online sales I would discontinue the tracker immediately.

    1&1 offers many log analysis and site statistical tools but I have more fun with the extreme tracker

    I have hooked a few online friends on the extreme tracker -- and I did so without coercion.

    Some might say that search engines can read the results of the tracker, and while I will not deny the possibility, it's not an automatic read for the engines as Google Analytics is a funnel of information into Google.
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  24. #24
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    Well, Xtreme tracker open stats (or any open stats) are wide open to direct competitors and anyone else interested in scanning the SERPs for open stats, and that's a whole lot more info being given to direct competitors and has more value to them than my measly stats have for Google, when you look at the mega-volume of statistical data Google has, looking at the big picture.

    My little data is a spit in the bucket - no, the oceans - to Google, compared to all they have. And I seriously doubt that anyone there is snooping around on a micro level.

    Personally, I love AWStats. I don't use Webalizer because it gives a scant 10-20 of the top keywords, and with AWStats I get hundreds a month (plus can see the last 300 "hits" real time with Cpanel), and the more keyword phrase data we have on a consistent - and seasonal - basis, the easier it is to go after the long tail - which is not a new concept, folks have been drilling down and going after multiple permutations of longer phrases for years.

    And I have no hesitation using Google Analytics, although I do sometimes think twice about whether to put related & linked sites in the same account. But that's from wearing a tinfoil hat for a long time, though there are (and have been) other ways far more transparent and vulnerable if "Google" were to want to zap me.

  25. #25
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    Well, Xtreme tracker open stats (or any open stats) are wide open to direct competitors and anyone else interested in scanning the SERPs for open stats, and that's a whole lot more info being given to direct competitors and has more value to them than my measly stats have for Google, when you look at the mega-volume of statistical data Google has, looking at the big picture.
    You must think that I'm a total moron if you believe I haven't thought about those possibilities.
    People don't know what exactly has been sold by the Xtreme tracker.

    I tried the statistical analysis tools provided by 1&1 but found them boring.
    Xtreme, on the other hand actually becomes an interactive game for me.
    I can discontinue it at any time, but it's just too much fun.
    It's the one tracker that can become a mind game
    I actually had a boyfriend from the UK and one of the things we had in common was the xtreme tracker
    The webmaster can manipulate what will likely show up as keywords on the tracker by doing the things I detailed in the above post.
    I love it.
    The game "send me a tracker message" done with certain people is a big high.
    If someone doesn't play the game nicely, I can discontinue that one and create a new free one or I can totally discontinue the trackers

    I think many people are bored by the tracker; I don't see it as a threat.
    I once tried to explain/narrate my tracker stats to a friend of my brother's girlfriend and she said "Wow, your boyfriend's sister is a real geek."

    I used to use Urchin and when I found out that Google Analytics was really urchin, I wasn't totally psyched to use it.

    MyBlogLog claims that other people can't see your clicked on stats but I don't think that's true because I've visited the pages of some of my "community fans" (whatever you want to call them) and I've seen direct product links featured [in increments and at a pace that other webmasters would be more inclined to notice -- on a busy day xtreme specifics will fly by quickly and will aggregate]-- so now I'm not sure if I want to continue with MyBlogLog.

    If I really missed Urchin I could easily sign up for Analytics as I have 2 gmail accounts, 3 private blogspot blogs, & 2 discontinued defunct blogs [published on my host] with google -- I just don't feel like signing up with it and I from what I read, it sounds like the Urchin I knew.

    Does xtreme have a Wordpress plugin?

    I've produced urls to both viewpoints; I'm not saying that analytics is wrong.
    This has been a really fun debate for me
    Last edited by Rhia7; February 2nd, 2008 at 04:41 AM.
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