Today at the eMetrics Summit in D.C., Google unveiled some new features for Google Analytics, as well as a new version of its Urchin hosted wed analytics software.
First up, what’s new for Google Analytics: Head into your Analytics profile and enable “Site Search” (which is not currently available in my account), and the Content section of Analytics will show you the keywords people are using to find your site.
Located in the Content section of your Google Analytics reporting interface, Site Search reports show you the keywords and search refinement keywords people use, the pages from which people begin and end their searches. You can also see how search on your site affects site usage, conversion rates, and e-commerce activity.
Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist, has screenshots and details on the Site Search feature.
FInally, Google announced a limited beta test of Urchin 6, the first new version of Urchin in over two years. Urchin is the hosted version of the analytics software Google Analytics is based on. It runs on your server and analyzes your detailed site logs, and not just the slice of data Google Analytics has access to. Ars has some details on it, and I’ll bet we’ll be hearing more about what it brings to the table in the coming weeks.
You can go here or to similar Google Analytics Consultants to get in on the limited beta.
One developer has created an application that lets you access all your Google Analytics data in a powerful Adobe Integrated Runtime application. If you wanted something a little more snappy than the web interface and enjoy using AIR, this could be for you. Even though Google Analytics doesn’t actually have an API, Google is working with the developer to stabilize it and elminate security concerns.
Okay, the Google Analytics guys are doing scary good work, putting out the second update to version two in just the last few months. This time, they’ve added:
- A “Go To:” box in reports with tables, so you can jump to any row in the table. Easy way to jump down several thousand rows, if you need to.
- The map overlay now shows the map divided up by countries (previously, it divided by sub-continents).
- New Segment menu on Content reports, letting you “cross-segment pages and sets of pages by referral source, keyword, visitor type, and other visitor segments”.
- You can now drill down in the Content by Title report to find URLs sharing page titles, letting you analyze and change/fix them.
Today is also the first day you can no longer go back to the old Analytics interface. Analytic 1.0, we’ll miss you, but we’re too busy enjoying version two to mourn.
You Gotta love the Webware 100 Awards. With ten winners per category, every multi-billion-dollar corporation can win multiple times, often in every category! Gee, it’s just like the Oscars!
Here’s what Google won:
Google Reader won in the Browsing category, Gmail won in the Communications category, Google won in the Data category, YouTube won in the Media category, GOOG-411 won in the Mobile category
*, Gmail Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google Maps Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google AdWords/AdSense won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Calendar won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Docs won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Blogger, won in the Publishing category, Feedburner in the Publishing category, Google Analytics won in the Publishing category, and Google Maps won in the reference category.
My Yahoo - Browsing; Yahoo Mail - Communication, Yahoo Messenger - Communications; Yahoo Search - Data; Flickr - Media; Yahoo Video - Media; Yahoo OneSearch - Mobile; Yahoo Maps - Reference.
Internet Explorer - Browsing; Windows Live Hotmail - Communications; Windows Live Messenger - Communications; Windows Live Search - Data; TellMe - Mobile; Microsoft Office Live - Productivity and Commerce; Silverlight - Publishing; Microsoft Virtual Earch - Reference.
Everyone else makes an appearance, and in most categories, every major player is a winner. I love award shows where everyone wins. It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy and no one learns to be an adult.
(via The Google Analytics Blog)
* - cough, bullshit, cough. It’s a brand new service, and unless it feeds the homeless, it deserves nothing yet. Category filler.
The new MeasureMap-strengthened Google Analytics has left beta, and with it comes a few new abilities. Analytics now shows hourly data (though not up to an hour ago, maybe more like 29 hours ago), it lets you clicked listed URLs and go to the website (like referrers), the listing of drops in the bounce rate with red highlights, and more search engines are tracked. Andy Beal has screenshots of the new features, and there’s more at Search Engine Journal.
The Google Analytics blog announces that they’ve completed rolling out the new version of Google Analytics to everyone, so all users should be able to access it now in their account. Just log into Analytics, and you’ll see on the main page a link to “View Reports - New Beta”, as well as a link below it for “Previous Interface” if you need some time to get acclimated to the new one. The old interface will be available through July 18.
First impressions? It seems like there’s a lot of duplicate screens. I click, and I see the exact same data. Maybe its because I don’t have enough seperate sites, and because I haven’t really set up any goal tracking, but I am seeing the same data, over and over. The interface is bolder and simpler, but it’s gonna take some work to really unlock the power of it. Luckily, unlike the old interface, it looks like it should be much easier to figure out.
Sitemeter, one of the popular free web analytics tools, is finally updating its ugly-as-dirt look to something far more modern and usable. Mashable reports this with a screenshot, but doesn’t have much information as to new features or when it will be rolled out, although the Sitemeter blog said last week it would be within “a matter of days”. The Sitemeter homepage has screenshots of the new “Interests” and “Demographics” reports.
(Found on Findory)
Interestingly, I noticed yesterday a survey Microsoft was running for its in-testing analytics service, codenamed Gatineau. Microsoft was getting participants to its survey by advertising on Google for the term “sitemeter”.
I suspected that either MeasureMap was a wasted acquisition, or they were being tasked with fixing the overcomplicated and user-unfriendly interface that Google Analytics bore. As recently as yesterday, I asked “What happened to MeasureMap”? Well, turns out that yesterday’s redesign of Google Analytics, while something most people haven’t seen yet, is a success, was done by those same MeasureMap guys. Why am I not suprised?
MeasureMap was known for having a great-looking interface, and apparently Google saw a solution in it. Took them over a year, but the wait may have been more than worth it. Read Jeff Veen’s blog post about the redesign, and his new job:
It’s been well over a year since Google bought Measure Map and I left Adaptive Path. And wow, have we been busy.
Well, the waiting is finally over - we can talk about what we’ve been working on all this time. Today, a completely redesigned version of Google Analytics is launching, bringing a lot of the simplicity and data visualization techniques we learned building Measure Map to a whole new scale.
On a personal note, I’ve got a much different job now that the design work on Analytics has wrapped up. I now lead a team of over 30 designers and researchers responsible for the user experience of Google’s web applications. We’re working on Gmail, Calendar, the Office-like tools, Blogger, Orkut, Picasa, Talk and a bunch more.
Holy crap. Jeff Veen is running Google user experience design. That means the Analytics update is our first look at future updates to Gmail and other very important tools. That’s great news, and it also means you should probably check out MeasureMap just for a glimpse at the future. It’s beginning to look like the acquisition of MeasureMap may have been one of Google’s best acquisitions period. Veen’s fingerprints are going to be all over some coming redesigns, and that means we all win.
Google just got a whole lot better.
I didn’t even realize it was him writing the announcement on the official Google blog. Look at the title: “Jeff Veen, UI Design Manager”.
Google today is launching a much-improved interface for Google Analytics, according to Andy Beal. Andy has screenshots of the new interface (which I cannot access as of this writing), which has much bolder graphics to enable clearer to understand graphs, email reports, customizable dashboards so you get the data you want, and plainer language used to describe part of the interface.
The last part is key, because Analytics currently is a mashup of terms that don’t actually help you get right to the information you want. I barely use Analytics anymore, because I have to hunt through menus to find simple things like referrers…
Is it under Content Optimization, where I do all my work? Let me check under Content Perfomance. No? Okay, how about Marketing Optimization, even though I don’t do marketing. Hmm, I bet it’s under Unique Visitor Tracking, since I’m looking for where visitors came from. No? Damn! Okay, what about Visitor Segment Performance. Ah, there! A link for Referring Source. Okay, so this new Tech Dispenser thing is sending me a lot of people. Lets see some detail. Click the Arrow, then Cross Segment Performance, then Source. Nope, nothing there. How about Content? There we go, top referrers from that site! Now, I can click these links to see the referring page, right? What do you mean they aren’t links?!? Kill me!!!
All users should expect the new version in the next 30 days, and new accounts should already have it. Thank god. I wonder if I was onto something with my MeasureMap ruminating? I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the clearer graphics came from there, and maybe some of the other code.
There are even more details at Search Engine Land, where the screenshot came from.
Almost fifteen months ago, Google bought MeasureMap, a company which made a really cool blog stats service. It seemed like they planned on doing something with it, maybe integrating it into Blogger or as a simpler version of Google Analytics, but instead absolutely nothing happened. MeasureMap has been closed all this time to new users, I’m not even sure what happened with their old users, and as far as we know, Google did nothing with it (except hire the people who ran it).
What happened? Did Google just want to hire Jeff Veen? Maybe the development of the new Blogger pushed everything else to the back burner? Maybe someone on the Blogger team, now that the move to the new Blogger is complete, should look into offering it as a service built into the Blogger dashboard. Can’t just waste it, especially since people had some really good things to say about it.
I am so sick of the news on this blog being, on average, a week old. Its my fault. I let these tabs build and build and build, and I don’t have time to write because I’m too busy amassing tabs, and when I finally do write something, it’s a week old. Dammit! I am so not doing this anymore. I hate missing news, but it is beyond stupid to have late and irellevant news because you don’t want to miss anything.
And because of that, here’s everything I’ve got, leading up to just about today:
Google announced the 2007 Summer of Code. Wordpress is part of it, among others.
As part of the 50th anniversary of Gumby, all 200 episodes of Gumby are now on YouTube, absolutely free. Oh boy!
Scott Clark has a Google Doodle for Gumby he thinks Google should have used.
Google acquired video game advertising company AdScape, which everyone knew was coming. They are competing with Microsoft’s acquisition, Massive, which is far more massive and successful. Google will likely use an automated system and have the same success they had with dMarc, which is to say, none at all.
Google also acquired Gapminder, a data visualization firm that makes Trendalyzer. Looks like they are buying new features for Analytics.
Gary has the search engine logos for St. Patrick’s Day, mostly just Google’s. Barry has Yahoo’s and Search Engine Roundtable’s.
Google has added a feature for the Personalized Homepage that lets you customize the top portion of it with some cool themes. The regular Google.com homepage remains the same, but the Personalized one can now have some cool stylings.
Valleywag has a screenshot gallery of the Google homepage over the years.
There’s an easter egg in there. In most of the themes, just visit the page at 3:14 am (get it? Pi time!) and you’ll see something funny happen. Screenshots at Google System.
Blogspot.com has more spam, by far, than any other domain on the internet. I’m shocked!
Google AdSense is doing Pay-Per-Action ads, that pay out when the user clicking the ad actually does something, like buy something or fill out a form. The ads come with a rotating product format, and even embeddable text links, so you can write about a product and link to it as an ad, just like an Amazon affiliate link.
Arrington’s right when he says Google has crossed a line here. We’ll have to see if they’ve crossed the wrong line. Hopefully, unlike the Google referral ads, Google will never make this available to all AdSense publishers, instead holding it for trustworthy publishers.
Some bloggers just plain don’t like it.
The internet is so slow, Google is transferring data by FedExing hard drives!
Philipp has done this page that puts search queries from AOL’s privacy leak of last year with random images from Google Images, resulting in fun and poignant statement. My favorite is when the dog says, “I’m searching for ‘cute glitter myspace’”
The judge has thrown out the Kinderstart lawsuit against Google, saying Google is not liable for PageRank drops. Kinderstart lost so badly, they actually have to pay Google’s legal fees!
Google is classifying some “second class” employees as hourly workers, with compulsory unpaid lunch breaks and other breaks, limits on overtime, and the “threat of a black mark on the review of anyone who fails to punch in properly to the time-tracking window on their desktops.” Yoiks.
Yahoo has released a new version of Yahoo Widgets, the former Konfabulator. New features include a Widget Dock, auto-updating widgets, hidden widgets, 40% improved performance/memory usage, a FLickr widget, and lots of stuff for widget developers.
There’s a new look being tested on AdSense ads. Unlike some of the previous tests, these are pretty cool.
Oh, and holy crap! Lessig responded to an article of mine! I feel honored, and even more so since every point he makes in response to me is dead wrong.
Google revealed today at the Emetrics Summit in DC a new tool called Google Website Optimizer, which will help AdWords publishers optimize their landing pages to get more conversions. After all, the more effective Google’s advertisers ads are, the more money they’ll have to spend at Google. Timothy Seward covered the announcement, and has a lot of specific details:
Specifically, Google’s new multivarient landing page testing and optimization tool, Website Optimizer, enables marketers to test different ideas for variations of headlines, promotional copy, or images and provides easy-to-read graphs showing which variations resonate best with their website visitors. Through the step-by-step interface, you can quickly and easily plug in the different versions of each page section you wish to test.
Google Website Optimizer automatically applies these versions to create every possible different combination of landing pages, and randomly displays each combination to your users as they come in from your Google AdWords campaign. You simply set up the experiment, plug in your variables, and read the comprehensive reports as the experiment progresses with each click.
(via Andy Beal)
Google Analytics has expanded the number of profiles you can have from about 10, all the way up to 50. Pretty good, now that it lets you track a significant number of websites.
(via Cristian Mezei)
Greg Linden reports that AOL has shut down their research department, following the big search privacy scandal that emanated from that department. Now, one commenter says on of the people they fired after the scandal basically was the whole department, but if AOL was serious about trying some research efforts, it is still disheartening to see them give up on it. AOL has so much customer data that could be a wealth of knowledge in the hands of the right researchers. Maybe they could outsource all their customer data to Google, which owns 5% of AOL anyway, as long as Google remains as tight-lipped as we all know them to be.
By the by, if you want to talk about some interesting data, Greg’s been writing about a paper Google released about Bigtable, Google’s massive and robust distributed database system. In his latest post, he notes that the paper cites Google’s web crawl as containing 850 terabytes of data, while Google Analytics has 250 terabytes. Is it just me, or does that seem like a big waste given that (a) Google search earns billions of dollars and (b) Google Analytics loses money. Hmm…
Google has removed the invite waiting period for Google Analytics. Now, finally, you can sign up for the completely free, world-class website stats service right on the google.com/analytics home page. And yet, Gmail remains invite only. If you haven’t already, submit your bet when Gmail leaves beta for a chance to win a DVD.
Irvine Googleplex and AdSense Audio
Zachary Applegate of Plumber Surplus posted at SEOmoz a first-person account of his team’s recent visit to the Google offices in Irvine, California. Besides describing the office, which has the typical Google search ticker and a new Google Earth display, he also recounts their description of the in-development AdSense Audio system. Highlights:
- Most radio ad buys start at $20,000. AdSense Audio will let those with $200 to spend get in on audio advertising.
- Timing is everything. If a heat wave starts, AdSense Audio may switch ads from hot foods to colder foods, for example.
- AdSense Audio will target radio, IPTV and podcast markets.
Check out the interface they are currently using. It doesn’t look anything like a typical Google interface, and it looks great. Looks like a pretty cool visit. Digg it.
Google Analytics Gets Blog
There is now a Google Analytics blog, at analytics.blogspot.com (kinda surprised that wasn’t taken). The blog has a pretty cool look to it. Get the feed.
We do not associate any of the information that Toolbar sends with other personal information about you. However, it is possible that a URL or other page information sent to Google may itself contain personal information. For information about how some web sites embed personal information in web requests, click here.
That could be a pretty big deal. I’d like to know if things I do with the Google Toolbar are specifically associated with my Google Account, especially since Google lets you login to your Google Account with the more recent versions of the toolbar. This is the sort of thing a Scoble-type would probably try to answer for us…
Dell Using Google Earth For Tech Support
The Detroit News reports that Dell is enhancing its tech support service by integrating it with Google Earth. Customers will be able to see in Earth the status of their support requests, visualized as to their location on the globe. I hope Google has good imagery in India.
All kidding aside, Dell’s customer service has been crap for a while. First off, I don’t think Google would want to be associated with the next story of a Dell customer getting angry in a very public way. Second, I’m not sure Dell wants its customers to know the extent of their support outsourcing. Third, if Dell wants to improve its service, there are other areas they need to pay attention to first. This is purely a money deal, part of their deal with Google to promote Google products.
German Lawsuit Against Google Book Search Withdrawn
WBG, a German Publisher, dropped their lawsuit against Google Book Search last week, after being told by the judge that they were probably going to lose. The court said it was going to side with Google’s arguement that showing snippets from in-copyright books is no worse than showing snippets from websites in Google web search (an already accepted practice). Google would probably have been better off if the lawsuit had not been withdrawn, since that sort of ruling would have set a very useful legal precedent, one that they will have to prove all over again in the next lawsuit.
Google SketchUp: Now For Macs
Google just released the first Mac version of Google SketchUp. The Mac version is for the older PowerPC systems (no Universal Binary yet) and requires OS X 10.3 and an OpenGL graphics card. It also only works with the latest version of Google Earth (version 4). SketchUp is an excellent 3D modeling program, and will do a great job extending the capabilities of your Mac. Download it here.
Larry’s Pics Left Out There
Philipp found Larry Page’s Picasa Web Album. Turns out there are no real privacy settings for PicWeb, just “public” and “unlisted”, and unlisted just invites you to guess the URL. That’s not the best way of handling online photos, many of which people don’t want to share with the rest of the world.
Maybe I’ll be heading to a few people’s PicWeb collections and try seeing if there is a “xxx” or “nudity” album? Page’s photos were far more innocent, and have been removed, but hopefully this taught the Google founder that, in the future, don’t release products without some real privacy options.
Google has changed the way Gmail displays PDF files, in order to prevent it from circumventing Adobe’s DRM. Previously, if you had a content-protected PDF and wanted to copy-and-paste portions of it, you could email it to yourself, and click “View as HTML” to get a plain text version with zero restrictions. Now, if Gmail sees that it is protected, all you get is this:
The attachment cannot be viewed as HTML because the author has placed restrictions on its content. Download the attachment to view it in its original format.
Either Adobe complained when the story made the rounds (most prominently Boing Boing), or Google decided it didn’t want to risk it.
Not that a simple Google search won’t reveal plenty of more sinister means of cracking PDFs…
Also, since I’ve got a lot of news to catch up on (damn wedding!), here’s something else that changed in Gmail: Google added pictures. You can give yourself a picture, not unlike the buddy pictures in IM, and you can create ones for your friends as well. When you create one for your friend, you can send a message to your buddy suggesting he use it himself. So find those pictures of your friends embarresing themselves at keggers, and get cracking!
Coverage on that by Garett Rogers.
Also, Gmail chat now has little ping sounds, so that you can hear whne you get a new IM. Very good idea, since a lot of people were missing IMs that arrived in other browser tabs.
Dumping a bunch of items in here to get caught up, most of them fun things to do with Google.
First off, live flight tracking in Google Earth. Looks cool, but… I can’t get it to work.
Or, how about this: How to track AdSense clicks in Google Analytics. Looks really useful, but… I can’t get it to work.
Okay, this works: Get sports scores on your phone for free, thanks to Google SMS. Send your team name or school name as a text message to 46645 (GOOGL) and you’ll get the scores sent back. Only costs whatever two text messages cost.
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