Google Analytics is Cool

So after being frustrated yesterday by not having any pretty Google Analytics reports to look at, they finally crunched up some data for me, and this morning I was able to start kicking the tires.

First assessment… WOW! They generate a report for just about anything you could possibly what to know, including things like what major ISP’s your viewers are coming from. My personal favorite is the Geo Map Overlay which uses Google Maps to show what parts of the world your traffic is originating from. I was really surprised to see how many international visitors found their way here. Maybe it’s because I, like the rest of the world, think our President is an uneducated Neanderthal.

Additionally cool is the idea that Google Analytics is a sucker punch to Microsoft. Hey, I love anything that hurts Microsoft. They don’t suck as much as our President, but they’re sure as hell trying.

Some analysts saw the timing of Google’s latest announcement as significant: It came on the heels of a Microsoft (MSFT) manifesto that Web and ad-subsidized services were the future (see BW Online, 11/10/05, “Microsoft: Ozzie’s Online Charge”). “It’s a bit of a slap of the face to Microsoft, reminding them, ‘We’re in this game,'” says Marc Strohlein, vice-president and lead analyst at Outsell, a market research firm.

For my part, my only complaint is that they don’t update update the data often enough, and they seem to have some gaps in the data they’ve collected. For instance, this morning, they thought I had had 400 visits, when in reality I had 1136 just yesterday according to bstat. They have been up and down because of high load over the past few days though, so the discrepancy is understandable. Apparently they have had a whole lot of people signing up since they went public.

Of course, the data will become much more useful over the long term, so it will be interesting to see how people are using the site, and what they like and don’t like.

Yes Al, I already know you hate the political rants.

Google Analytics – No Data

After reading about Google’s new Analytics tool yesterday, I signed up for an account and got and logging to it. I quickly logged in this morning, all excited to see my reports (I’m pathetic, I know) but there were no reports to be seen. DAMN! Anyhow, I figured out that I have to have a “Conversion Goal” in order for it to start tracking statistics. I’ll RTFM next time.

“Conversion Goals” are really meant to track how what people got to what pages, but they can be as simple a my “Someone is at my site” goal which is a simple count of anyone on any page. I also set up a conversion goal to track comments. We’ll see how it all plays out. According to Google, it will take 12 hours before I see anything.