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Website Analytics October 29th, 2007
Google this month announced the roll-out of new analytics features, and also a further tweaked, more complete and leaner Google Analytics Tracking Code.
And in my opinion, the timing could not have been better!
The Google Analytics tool, though quite advanced (and free to boot!), is suited to measure the performance of websites with page paradigm in mind.
This makes it easy for analytics code to identify each page by the unique URL that was assigned to it, and parce the information to the Google servers and make it available to you in the form of reports.
The web democracy also known as Web 2.0, is increasingly becoming a popular realm, where you are no longer a passive consumer of information. A blend of technologies like AJAX now makes it possible for the information flow to be two-way.
Google Maps is a great example. You mark the map and alter it with your information but the page never blinks or refreshes after the changes you have made. It’s one seamless browsing experience.
The use of Ajax does not necessitate a unique URL for a page, and without the change in the URL it was a long process of tracking events unfolding on your website with Google Analytics.
Google's new Analytics code has shelved the old urchin tracker function like urchinTracker() and __utmSetVar() no longer exist . The new code is object oriented or in simple terms a very modular way of creating code or programming.
You can see that apart from the very obvious replacement of “urchin.js” with “ga.js” the code carries more lines and also ability to track more events.
Now you not only get to see the number of page views, but detailed reports on in-page events like PDF downloads, Flash, Ajax and other multimedia elements like videos.
Google also has announced Site Searched Report, provided you have on your website an internal search engine. The report will be included in 'Content Site Search Menu'. Though Google is yet to come out with the specifics on how, and what kind of site search engine's will be supported.
Site searched reports will give you additional information on what terms people searched for on your website and to what pages they were taken to, also the percentage that modified the initial search query and what the modified search query was.
There is another very useful report that is going to become available to us. The 'Outbound Link Reports'. It will give us details about which external websites are being clicked from our website or the outflow of traffic from our website to the others.
A word of caution, if you are anxious to implement the new code in beta version on to your website, (which Google supports now) you risk losing the data before the new codes starts tracking again.
My thoughts? Its progress in website analytics. And progress is good!