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WebTrends pricing/licensing is very costly and I for one shed a small tear to see WPG assimilated.
I hope they maintain the Page Critic - I always found this useful and they better GUARANTEE that the Reporter will not get you banned from Google this time.
RIP WPG. You will be missed by me. :(
I hope you are right. However, these mergers/takeovers often start off lulling everyone into a false sense of security (to use a cliche) but occasionally eventually end up changing the whole setup.
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world think he didnt exist" ;)
Only time will tell...
If they cannot negotiate contracts with the search engines to allow their users to query the database for rankings then they will be in the same boat that WPG was before the merger.
I for one am not real pleased with the merger. I've been an avid supporter of WTL since it first launched. We are now moving into another live reporting program (DeepMetrix) as I just don't feel comfortable with the NetIQ/WPG marriage.
Something tells me that WTL users are going to be in for a rough ride (those who choose to utilize the WPG portion of the package). There will most likely be a footprint somewhere in the WTL code that flags it as a WPG user. It would be very easy for the SEs to determine which sites are querying its database (without explicit permission).
We all know what happens when the SEs find a distinguishable footprint for software that is abusive on their database. ;)
I think they were a little dismayed at our reaction - especially when I stated that perhaps enough due diligence had not been done, and that I wondered if Net IQ had seen Google's guidlelines for webmasters:
"Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our terms of service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google."
WPG is specifically named here. I wonder if the frequency of IP blocking will increase from the new users of WPG (from WebTrends) who are unaware of Google's policy and how Google plans to deal with this.
Through analytics and careful keyword research.
I typically deal with enterprise-level large scale web properties so WPG really isn't much help since its typically only good for a small number of keyphrases (one of my clients has traffic driven by over 85,000 keyphrases). Also, if you have a web analytics program that can handle these type of properties, say Omniture or Coremetrics, you are getting a lot more information that tells you a whole lot more than a WPG report.
By focusing on traffic, conversion and ROI, instead of rankings, I can see the type of traffic that drives commerce. I rely instead on keyword research programs such as WordTracker in combination with Overture and Google Adwords to determine competitiveness and pricing (value of a keyphrase). I may run WPG on a select number of phrases to get an idea of where a client is at before I begin, but I don't do a continuous monitoring of keyphrases to determine success. I also run it on AOL or Netscape to give me an idea of where Google is at and do it at night via a dial up so I don't risk an IP ban. I've got friends in this industry who have been banned from Google from their IP and I don't want to take a chance with it.
WebTrends cust service is also alleged to be very poor. I gave up waiting for replies on possibly buying an upgrade to the old program, my several emails were ignored. Contrarily, WebPosition always offered good cust serv and support.
It's possible WebPosition has thrown in the towel as there are hardly any search engines left to submit to anymore. Their submission list was very long several yrs ago, last time I submitted there were only 3 SE's to submit to and Google's dominated that very small submission list.