Google Analytics Jason 16 Nov 2005

37 comments Latest by Marcos Peebles

Google’s purchase of urchin finally makes it into something real. Free web stats. This has to scare the hell out of folks like WebSideStory (although Google Analytics says it can take up to 6 hours for traffic to be reflected in the stats while WebSideStory’s Hitbox reports traffic immediately).

Their blank slate could use some help though. UPDATE: GA doesn’t work with Safari which is why I was seeing the blank blank slate.

37 comments (comments are closed)

Spike 16 Nov 05

And yet my employers still want to use the software version… gah.

Leo 16 Nov 05

It doesn’t work in Safari (yet?).

Bradley 16 Nov 05

“Urchin reports are not viewable on Safari browsers on Mac OS X. Try accessing your account with Firefox, Netscape, or Mozilla”

Its buried in the “I’m not seeing any data in my reports” help. It would be nice if it said it on the blank slate.

JF 16 Nov 05

Yup, my bad on the blank slate then.

Jeff Hartman 16 Nov 05

I’ve never used Urchin, but it seems pretty convoluted (the interface at least).

On a different note, I’ve also seen the status bar in Firefox “hang” many times at “Transferring data to MeasureMap” with Adaptive Path’s new product (on this site and others).

Been using Mint and think it’s decent, though it has some rough edges. Also looking forward to Anemone.

John 16 Nov 05

Their blank slate could use some help though:

Well mine has filled in the blanks and all I can say is that at first glance it’s most impressive.

Jemaleddin 16 Nov 05

JF: I’d put an update up there about the Safari issues unless you want to get the same comment 100 times. =-)

Tom 16 Nov 05

MediaTemple uses Urchin, the software version. I can’t say I’ve been all that impressed by it. In the past I have used HitBox and been very impressed by their service. I wonder if Google will extend their web version a bit or leave it as is… they tend to leave things alone.

Maybe WebSideStory will be forced to adjust, but I’m thinking as it stands if you are a business that depends on your stats, that WSS is a better value even when you are paying for it.

Rik 16 Nov 05

Nice, easy to use, although, as said before, it is worrying that Google now knows my personal site and who goes on it, my emails and what I search…

Martin 16 Nov 05

It’s what you’d affectionately refer to as a “category killer” (affectionately only if it’s your product/service).

Rahul 16 Nov 05

Typically, this post shows the Mint ad in the deck space at the top right. I wonder what Shaun thought when he saw Analytics.

Steven Woods 16 Nov 05

Can’t say I was too impressed with being asked my phone number when I signed up … ;)

Also, mine’s been sitting at the “your data will show up after 12 hours” stage for over 48 hours now …

The real question is, should we be putting all of our eggs into one basket?

Joe 16 Nov 05

It took two days for my stats to start showing up… just fyi

Sharaf 16 Nov 05

When you sign up, you don’t have to put your phone number, it is not required. Leave it blank.

Darrel 16 Nov 05

I’ve used the software version of Urchin too. Didn’t find it very good. But, if anyone can improve it, Google can.

So, I assume this web-based system is javascript-based? (ie, you need to put a javascript bug on your site to get it working?) I’d still think server-side stats is the better option.

Beth 16 Nov 05

I wonder if this will affect Mint at all. I know if Google takes 6 up to 6 hours to reflect my stats, I’ll keep using Mint.

Brandon 16 Nov 05

I love it… I guess I’m just Google’s bit… umm, anyway. I use Google Customized, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Image Search, Adwords, AdSense and more. Most of their products are great and make life easier.

I do see the argument that Google just takes all the information about you and puts it into one big database. So what?!?! I’m not a secret agent or anything - I buy electronics and music online. I read about web development and business. Anyone who’s known me for a day would be able to gather just as much info as Google. yeah, they’ve got my personal info, buying habits, browsing habits, website stats, etc.

That just means they know how to tailor their services to me more. I’ll give up some information for a truly custom experience.

Back to Google Analytics - I like the web interface much more than the software version. Plus I can add as many sites as I want to the one account and track ALL my stats (or by individual account). I’m sure they’ll improve the service too. Hopefully they’ll keep it free.

CM Harrington 16 Nov 05

And what about Mint? Yeah, Mint is really beautiful, but the back-end isn’t really meant to be used in a very high traffic situation. Google is now presenting a non-realtime, *free* stats package. That’s got to hurt a bit.

Now wouldn’t it be cool if we could have the Mint front-end coupled with the Urchin/Google back-end?

Brandon 16 Nov 05

By the way, most software based stats programs don’t process logs immediately (or within 6 hours). My local Urchin software processes logs once a day via a cron job.

6 hours is fine by me… I only look at my stats once or twice a week anyway.

Stefan Seiz 16 Nov 05

As good as Google Analytics are, i have a major problem with all these hosted services. They depend on JavaScript.
That way they miss quite some traffic to sites. RSS readers, lynx, paranoids turning java script off in their browsers, screen-readers and alike.

I’d rather purchase this (formerly Urchin) as a none hosted solution so i can host it on my own servers and feed it with real logs (like Urchin 5 works).

Also, currently we all tend to agree that Google is “not evil” but who tells us that will stay like this forever and then google has all our data already.

I would also be interrested in knowing if google uses any data gained via Analytics towards a site’s ranking. Haven’t found any useful info concerning this in their privacy terms though.

Jason Gilstrap 16 Nov 05

As good as Google Analytics are, i have a major problem with all these hosted services. They depend on JavaScript.

Using Javascript for statistics logging is likely to give a more accurate picture than a web server log. Sure, a very small number of users either have Javascript turned off or are using a web browser such as Lynx and these hits are not counted. However, by using Javascript, hits from web crawlers and spammers are not counted.

Geof Harries 16 Nov 05

Interesting that our licensed Urchin 5 app works just fine in Safari 2.0 but this new Google hosted version doesn’t. The interface looks awfully similar.

Mike Atlas 16 Nov 05

I installed this recently on my high traffic site. It took 36 hours for it to recognize that I had installed it, and now it has been another 24 hours that it has said “Indexing may take up to 12 hours to complete”. Bah. Get your massive computer grid together, google, and start churing out some damn data for me.

J.Y. 16 Nov 05

I second that Urchin does historically work with Safari. So this seems like an intentional ‘breaking’ of the product. So it feels like Google’s really advocating Firefox which can only serve to fuel rumors of a Google browser in the que.

Regarding the service, I like it a lot, it’s a great way to offer smaller web businesses similar data mining capabilities that larger companies were paying big bucks for not long ago. Buh-bye WebTrends… (?)

Alexandre Simard 16 Nov 05

I know if Google takes 6 up to 6 hours to reflect my stats, I’ll keep using Mint.

I’m amazed at this new “live stats” expectation. I surmise that a killer app would connect your blog straight to your IM account: post from it, read new comments, know of each new visit, etc. Actually, wasn’t this the idea behind Game Neverending?

Wesley Walser 16 Nov 05

The safari not working thing I am sure will work out in time. Google has a history of making their apps work on safari a little after they debut them (gmail).

Also someone asked if they plan to use the information gathered via this package for pagerank. I have read somewhere (can’t find link) that they have publicly stated that they do not intend to use them for this.

Kim Siever 16 Nov 05

I get a blank slate on Firefox for several seconds before anything starts to show up.

scott Jungling 16 Nov 05

I was wondering why nothing ever showed up when i looked at my reports in Safari… All of a sudden Google’s push for people to download Firefox makes a whole lot of sense. I’m guessing we’ll see Safari support shortly. I seem to recall Google Maps (Beta) launched initially without Safari support.

Ben 16 Nov 05

Another couple advantages of the software version of Urchin:

1) Since it runs from web server logs, it can tell you about 404 errors.

2) You can import CPC data from other sources besides AdWords (e.g. Overture).

As for the similar look but different compatibilty from Urchin 5, Google Analytics is Urchin 6, not Urchin 5. A bunch of things have changed, mostly for the better. As an Urchin 5 customer, our rep was constantly promising that the software version of Urchin 6 was coming soon, coming soon, but I suspect that now it’ll never see the light of day. It’s too bad.

(What do you think the chances are that Google will allow analyzing Overture CPC data? Hah!)

Managing a diverse advertising strategy will require sticking with Urchin 5 or switching to some other darn hosted solution. Ugh.

Ketan 16 Nov 05

We are planning on getting SiteCatalyst in house for our agency clients to have available. The interface of that product - so far - look unmatched for all the metrics it can keep track of.

Thomas Baekdal 16 Nov 05

From Google Analytics Help:

Update: 11:28 AM PST. Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Currently, report updating for Google Analytics is experiencing delays. As a result, you may not be seeing any data in your reports even after implementing the Analytics tracking code.

We are currently in the process of updating all reports. You should be able to see these updates in several hours. While this is going on, you may notice different reports updating at different rates. Once this process has completed, all data should be restored to your profiles. Please be assured that this update process has no effect on data collection.

We apologize for any inconvenience. This reporting delay is associated with unexpected demand for Google Analytics. Under normal circumstances, the data in your reports will be at most six hours old.

KennyEarl 16 Nov 05

[i]What do you think the chances are that Google will allow analyzing Overture CPC data? Hah![/i]

Of course they are going to allow you to analyze data from their competitors.

It’s a brilliant move on their part, really. They offer a service for free that a lot of companies pay thousands of dollars a month for. As a result, they not only get to see aggregate conversion data from your site, but also for their competitors and other marketing channels like email, affiliates, etc..

From the Google Analytics website:

Google Analytics tracks all online campaigns, from emails to keywords, regardless of search engine or referral source.

Sigh 16 Nov 05

Um, what *does* work on Safari? Besides 37signals apps, of course.

When you make web apps, you choose your priorities. Some people just don’t give a shit about Safari. Can’t say I blame them.

Inge Jørgensen 17 Nov 05

It’s not like it’s that hard to make something work in Safari..

Jan Korbel 17 Nov 05

My statistics showed up after more then 12 hours and the interface is really quite clumsy. But it looks non the less promising. We will see…

Marcos Peebles 17 Nov 05

Looks nice (but/because) it’s google…
I like to have my screen at 1024 (because it’s big and functionnal) … and a lot of their pages make me scroll right, hate that. 24 hours, nada.
I’m amazed by the numerous comments about their basic GUI mistakes and forgetting safari…

No wonder they go out only with beta things. Take it easy guys… or is the rush so big, just because they bought a company and while claiming not to bother or feel pressure about stock markets, they actually do?

I always liked google because of its simplicity, are they getting lost somehow?