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Can you think of any reason NOT to use Google Analytics?

     
1:06 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a 3 year old site with decent rankings on Google. I use analytics for some clients and the information is extremely useful; curious to hear if adding analytics can cause any SEO harm.
10:47 pm on June 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would NEVER use anything related to any search engine if I do SEO, that sounds logic.
12:21 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We use it all the time. It helps us identify pages that we need to work on. We look at bounce rate %'s for urls, if we see a high bounce rate, we attempt some changes to make the page user friendly for our visitors. Its a powerful tool if you care about your visitors more than SEO
1:40 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I do not think anyone believes analytics are not good. They are always required otherwise, you are flying blind.

The question should be do I use Google analytics or my own, like Webtrends, Webilizer, or Awstats etc... I think most would agree keeping your own visitor stats to yourself only and not in the hands of Google is perhaps the best business practice.

2:25 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Use google analytics on your kick around site. Not on your ecommerce beheameth.

The less info google has on you the better.

Webtrends works great, however it can be pricey.

5:09 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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its has poor error reporting
5:48 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would NEVER use anything related to any search engine if I do SEO, that sounds logic

I don't see the logic can you please elaborate.

6:51 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If you are doing anything running below the wind, I would not allow Google any information on the site (ie don't use Analytics)
If you have a clean white hat site then install it whether or not you use it! Give Google as much information to show what a nice friendly site you have as possible. :)
(Oh, I am not too cynical ;))
9:57 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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petra - as we all know google is not a fan of SEO black or white, also you never know when they think something is not ok, then you will quicker get hit then others be cause of all the info you have gave them. The tool is good, but if you do SEo I would not use it, there are so many other tools out there, look at this new -900 filter nobody know what causes it, I will bet there is more in that filter with google tools then without.
10:53 am on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The less info google has on you the better.

ACK. But they can get this information by other means, if we like it or not.
If they compare the Analytics data of enough sites with toolbar statistical traffic data and/or adsense traffic data of these sites, they then derive universal statistical factors 'T' or 'A', which they simply can apply on any toolbaar or adsense statistics of any other site to easily calculate these sites' real traffic data.

So, with this background in mind, it doesn't matter much if you use Analytics on your site or not. They already know your site's traffic data.

Kind regards,
R.

12:32 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If your going to do some slick SEO tricks, you probally would not want to use it. If you really do like the detailed information it can provide on your visitors, its really nice.

We have quite a few top 10 sites that use it and we have never had any issues. Its very helpful once you learn how to use it.

12:39 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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1. data ownership: which covers many aspects...
2. custom reporting, not all sites are equal, so are analysts
3. business continuity: it says nowhere if or when Google will stop/commercialize their free solution.

Google analytics V2 looks wonderful though, usability was the big downside in their previous version. They give you one of the best tools available for free.

There's been other reasons in the past, not usre if they still apply, including: slow reporting, slowness of the tracking code loading, inacurracies (missing visitors) compared to other solutions...

Also no one knows exactly how GA impacts rankings or PPC pricing and placement. As a business decision some may consider it risky to play a game without knowing the rules. Nothing is totally free...

1:52 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Romeo - not every webmaster uses google toolbar, desktop or adsense, just a reminder.
7:58 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"not every webmaster uses google toolbar, desktop or adsense, just a reminder. "

Even fewer surfers I'd wager.

8:28 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We look at bounce rate %'s for urls

And I know mine are very high since most visitors simply use our image pages as pure reference, many copy and leave and a small percentage through AdSense, it has never stopped us ranking #1 for all those thousands of images though.

YMMV:-)

1:16 am on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Webalizer or Awstats are free and more exact than any external analytics solution because server based.

I don't get it why people use external counters and third party hosted junk like this. Maybe some of them or their hosts are unable to set up server stats?

But if they can't set up server stats they could try selling some Burgers :)

11:01 pm on June 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Their is a case where using Analytics could help ranking. If you are sure your bounce rate is low and most visitors stay more than 5 or 10 minutes constantly, you could get an improvement in ranking.
1:33 am on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would NEVER use anything related to any search engine if I do SEO, that sounds logic.
I would ALWAYS consider an SEs tools, as anything that helps me keep my site compliant with their TOS and guidelines can only possibly help me.

But if I were blackhearted, I would never use SE tools - that would be like asking a bank clerk to check your forged notes, wouldn't it? :)

9:58 am on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Webalizer or Awstats are free and more exact than any external analytics solution because server based.
I don't get it why people use external counters and third party hosted junk like this. Maybe some of them or their hosts are unable to set up server stats?

But if they can't set up server stats they could try selling some Burgers :)

Server based stats are not 100% accurate either.

Also, in many cases people are not too concerned about the accuracy of results as long as the discrepency is consistent. Trends are important in web analytics.

Third party solutions are easy to implement and use, especially when IT resources are limited. In my current job we use Web Trends and stats are incomplete because it's a low priority IT application. At my previous job I used IndexTools, which I prefer. If I didn't understand something I would call them up and get an answer there and then. When I have an issue with Web Trends I have to submit a ticket and wait a week for IT to respond - they're obviously busy flippin' 'em burgers

10:22 am on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't use analytics because I've been using Statcounter for 4 years and like it. Plus it has 4 years worth of my data which I would not want to abandon.
2:05 pm on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There's nothing stopping you downloading a CSV of all your data from Analytics
3:29 pm on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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fair enough but why bother? i'm happy enough with statcounter. i don't use adwords.
8:33 pm on June 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would NEVER use anything related to any search engine if I do SEO, that sounds logic

I don't see the logic can you please elaborate.

- I'm adding one word so you see the logic: ...if I do [blackhat] seo...

12:32 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Why don't I use analytics?

You're giving Google access to all your log files, organic and PPC.

In unrelated news, Google offers your competitors who spend a bunch on PPC a custom account review. Google's account rep is thinking 'if only I had access to a wealth of info on long tail keywords in that industry, what keywords convert, etc. That would allow me to make this high paying advertiser really happy.'. If only they had that information.

Oh wait. They do. You just gave it to them in return for 'free' analytics.

People are making the choice to give Google, a data mining company, basically full access to all their web data, and allowing them to do anything they want with that data. When there are plenty of viable alternatives out there for a few hundred dollars. Me? I'm not giving someone access to my log files just for a couple of hundred dollars.

3:53 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> Oh wait. They do. You just gave it to them in return for 'free' analytics.

Man you got that right. Just say no.

4:29 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is it a no-brainer that it happens, or does anybody have any direct evidence that G's AdWords major accounts receive competitive information from the Analytics side?

We'll drop Analytics if there's evidence that our information is directly funding our competitors AdWords activities!

5:39 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can't remember 100% but I think the ts and cs state that they can do whatever they like with the data they gather. There were a couple of really good reviews when it came out that break it all down but I haven't a bookmark

Google paid a lot for the package. It was the most expensive stats package on the internet. Now they're giving it away. They're not a charity so you HAVE to assume that they are using the info to make a profit off their investment. That's just business.

Their is a case where using Analytics could help ranking. If you are sure your bounce rate is low and most visitors stay more than 5 or 10 minutes constantly, you could get an improvement in ranking.

True. There was a study recently where artifically improving the bounce rate using 100 volunteers from around the world on one site increased its rankings. Conversely you coudl perhaps harm your site's rankings if you install Analytics and your bounce rate is worse than the supposed average.
6:30 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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AFAIK Google's silent on the issue.

If they weren't planning on using it, a simple privacy policy note would seem an obvious thing, no?

What would you do if your company had that data, the people that provided that data had agreed to allow you to use that data however they see fit, and someone spending $300K a month asks for some help in their sector?

Or, they're just providing the analytics for free because it's a nice thing to do.

Not a choice I'm going to risk when I can buy decent analysis software for $500 or so.

8:14 pm on June 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I use weblog expert and have not found something that I liked more. I prefer log file analytics over tag based analytics.
8:18 am on June 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It appears that tey originally used their standard privacy policy which said that they could use all data entered - reasonable enough as it is their search engine
[thebogles.com...]

However it looks like that has changed at some point. Paragraph 6 of the official TOS now states that they will NOT share information with 3rd parties
[google.com...]

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