If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I’ve just launched RealState and am building up the functionality. It’s early days, and the domain is sandboxed so I’m not terribly anxious about how much traffic it gets – not yet anyway!
But I was thinking that I should put WebAnalyse onto it so that I have some tracking and I stumbled over another blog talking about Google Analytics. I shuddered at the thought of Google getting into the hitcounter game, it seemed like such a backward step. And I usually like to control my data but Google is trusted, surely they won’t shut up shop and leave me statistics-less?
But the capture tool doesn’t give me a naff little “3498 visitors since 2001” image, infact, it’s invisible unless you view the source. Google Analytics is based on Urchin which, from the feedback elsewhere on the web, is a well respected tracking tool with the ability to track conversions and specific page routes as well as the usual refer stuff.
I had no problems adding their code to RealState but my site wouldn’t validate. I emailed Google and went to bed. In the morning there was an email acknowledging the problem and advising that the script had been collecting data, but wasn’t yet able to display it.
Still no data, but I’m confident that it’ll get sorted. It all looks pretty good.
Google aka Big Brother?
It’s a fair point that Google is starting to reach deep into our sites. Not only do I use a sitemap to tell it when the site is updated, but now I’m letting it know exactly how popular my site is.
Should I be worried? Quite possibly.
I’m sure that Google will talk about walls between GoogleBot and Analytics but it’s actually quite a good way of identifying
- that big site with all the pages full of keywords but which people leave instantly, and without viewing any other pages.
- that small site which is rarely updated but which holds such useful information that the people who find it spend time perusing all the pages.
It’ll be interesting to see how it goes over time.