Google Makes Over Its Web Analytics Service

Search firm adds data reporting capabilities to Web site usage monitor

Google Inc. last week introduced a revamped release of its Google Analytics service with several updates, including an expansion of the Web site usage monitoring tools data reporting capabilities.

Products like Google Analytics continue to attract the attention of large companies looking to understand how users arrive at their Web sites and what they do once they get there.

Data compiled by such products can help webmasters make their sites more effective tools for displaying online ads, providing sales leads and generating e-commerce transactions, Google said.

American Cancer Society Inc., a Google Analytics user for about 18 months, has been testing the new version of the service for the past month and found significant improvements, said Adam Pellegrini, the Atlanta-based nonprofits online strategy director.

In particular, he said, the ability to schedule the auto­matic creation and e-mail delivery of reports as PDFs has been a big help for the groups two Google Analytics users. The product previously required that those users manually reformat reports into PDF files and send them out via e-mail, he said.

Pellegrini would like Google to add the ability to deliver analytics reports and notifications via RSS content syndication, as well as to create rich desktop applications that would allow the service to be used offline.

Urchin Acquired

Google entered the Web analysis market a little over two years ago with its acquisition of San Diego-based Urchin Software Corp., whose technology forms the basis of the service.

Google Analytics

Updates to the service includes the following:

•  The ability to schedule or send ad hoc personalized report e-mails and reports as PDF files.•  The ability to create a customized dashboard; no more digging through reports. Put all the information you need on a custom dashboard that you can e-mail it to others. •  A trend and over-time graph that can help users compare time periods and select date ranges without losing sight of long-term trends. •  Context-sensitive help.

Source: Google Inc.

Brett Crosby, a Google Analytics senior manager, said that the upgrade is designed to make the products interface more intuitive and its data clearer and easier to digest. Thus, the service can be more effective in providing data needed to make business decisions, Crosby said.

The user interface has been redesigned, and the product has gained new ways of presenting Web usage information and displaying and delivering reports, he added.

Google has also added what it calls plain language descriptions of the data to make it more understandable, Crosby said.

Google will begin rolling out the Analytics upgrade today, and it expects to finish it in a few weeks, Crosby said.

Perez writes for the IDG News Service.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon