Google gets Analytical

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.

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5 Comments

  1. bschneider5
    November 16, 2005

    Tis has been quite the bizz in the blog world since it launched. I was onthe first wave of sign-ups, and as of right now, I AM getting tracking date. I haven’t looked at it so far, but there are little orange dots scattered all over the world and some activity on the graph. Hopefulle they have worked out some of their bugs!

  2. November 17, 2005

    My data is starting to flow through and MSN is even sending me traffic. Woohoo!

    The maps are pretty detailed aren’t they!

  3. November 18, 2005

    I agree. Among all the services Google is providing now, it is quickly becoming the Web Big Brother. I also coined the word “Web Intelligence Agency” and “Webnopoly” somewhere. Quite scary, really. 🙂

  4. November 29, 2005

    Shame, I’m sufficiently impressed that I thought I’d transfer some other sites over but they’ve shut it down. The “Google Effect” – they are a stamp of quality so when they get involved everyone wants a slice too!

  5. December 5, 2005

    I’ve just found a website showing a “hack” for adding new site profiles to your analytics account. I’ll certainly be taking a look at it!

    Analytics – Add New Profile Hack

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