Google Launches Free Website Analytics Service

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Google Launches Free Website Analytics ServiceGoogle acquired the San Diego-based website analytics company Urchin and in the months to follow, renamed the service to "Google Analytics". The service price was then reduced from $495 to $199. Google took yet another step forward in the website statistics / analytics direction and launched a free version of their Web analytics service.

Google Launches Free Website Analytics Service

Many of you may recall that back March of this year, Google acquired the San Diego-based website analytics company Urchin. In the months to follow, Google renamed the service to "Google Analytics" and reduced the services original monthly service from $495 to $199. Well, this past week Google took yet another step forward in the website statistics / analytics direction and launched a free version of their Web analytics service - one that will let companies see exactly how visitors interact with their website and how their advertising campaigns are faring.

The Free Version

Google Analytics will allow website owners the ability to see exactly where visitors are coming from, what links on the site are getting the most traffic, what pages visitors are viewing, how long people stay on the site, which products on merchant sites are being sold and where people give up in multi-step checkout processes.

Google AdWords Integration

In addition, Google Analytics will be integrated with Google AdWords and will offer a new interface within existing AdWords accounts. Google Analytics will include a feature that automatically imports the cost data for return on investment (ROI) reports into the Google Analytics program so advertisers can see how much they're paying for keywords compared with how much money they're making off them. In addition, Online Marketers will be able to use the service to track banner, e-mail, non-paid, and paid search advertising campaigns from other ad service providers.

My Thoughts

While I have yet to test Google Analytics, I do plan to and would imagine that it is going to be a truly remarkable product. In my opinion, Google made all the right moves at all the right times. They purchased a great product at the beginning of the year and are now using it to their advantage. Not only are they offering the service for free, but they are literally putting the squeeze on companies like Web Trends, Web Side Story, KeywordMax, and Click Tracks whom all seem to focus on the small to medium-size business market. It will be interesting to see how those companies respond to Google Analytics.

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Yahoo! Partners With TiVo

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Friday, November 11, 2005
Yahoo! Partners With TiVo

Have you ever planned on watching something on television that you saw advertised a few days before? Better yet, have you ever done so and forgot about it and remembered after you've already left the house. Well, Yahoo! and TiVo have your solution. In a move that further blurs the lines of television and the Internet, Yahoo! and TiVo have partnered to schedule downloads to TiVo boxes from any Internet connection.

TiVo is a digital video recorder which uses built in hard drives to store large amounts of content, specifically television programs. TiVo users can pause live shows and program their systems to record TV broadcasts and even skip commercials. Now, consumers (those with valid Yahoo! and TiVo accounts) will have the ability to schedule recordings of TV shows from a special Yahoo! portal feature. A Yahoo!/TiVo user can simply log into the special Yahoo! section, view an updated episodes page, and click a "Record to my TiVo box" button to transmit the request to their home TiVo box. TiVo then follows through and records your request.

My Thoughts

While I don't use TiVo, I for one think that this is a great idea and one that both parties and their customers / users can benefit from. In addition, I am betting that both companies have future plans of some how integrating and sharing web related content, such as weather, user photos, or even search listings. Imagine being able to search Yahoo! through your TiVo recorders and TV... very nice! Apparently talks are already taking place to create a service which would enable consumers the ability to search for videos across the web and then watch them through their television / TiVo connection.

I believe this partnership agreement carries some very positive elements. Both Yahoo! and TiVo are household names, and coming together like they have provides a truly incredible experience for their users.

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Microsoft: A True Google & Yahoo! Competitor

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Friday, November 04, 2005
Microsoft: A True Google & Yahoo! Competitor

While Microsoft's new "live" software push is mainly seen as an effort to compete with rivals Google and Yahoo!, there are a number of smaller companies that suddenly find themselves in Redmond's competitive cross-hairs. As part of its broad announcement on Tuesday, Microsoft revealed plans to offer for free a number of things that its rivals charge for, including services such as virus scanning and Internet-to-telephone calling and Web hosting.

Internet-to-Telephone

Microsoft has recent displayed their ability to call any traditional phone number from within the new Windows Live messenger client. While instant messaging programs have had voice chat for some time, Microsoft's move would be broader by allowing free calling to traditional phone numbers as well.

Enhanced Security

On the security front, Microsoft went beyond its already announced plans for the subscription OneCare service. In addition to that paid program, Microsoft plans a new Windows Live Safety Center - a free Web-based program that allows on-demand scanning and removal of viruses. This addition is a great idea and one that will no doubt prove to be beneficial for many.

Fierce Competition

Furthermore, is it just me or does it seem as if Microsoft is trying to take over the world? They are competing on so many fronts that taking over the world seems like a logical explanation. Obviously, I'm joking but for fun let's review:

1. Microsoft's Windows runs on like 98% of the worlds PCs.
2. Microsoft's Office is no doubt used in every office in the world.
3. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the #1 Internet browser.
4. Microsoft's IM is one of the most popular messaging programs.
5. Microsoft's MSN is one of the top search engines on the net.
6. Microsoft's Xbox is one of the top videogame consoles.

I'm sure there is plenty of other worthy acknowledgement that I'm forgetting, but one has to be a very powerful company to go toe-to-toe with such heavy competition as Apple, Netscape, Mozilla (Firefox), Norton, MacAfee, American Online, Yahoo!, Google, Ask Jeeves, Sony, and finally Nintendo. These companies are all leaders in their own respective markets, and yet Microsoft continues to make headway in each. That's a lot of battles on a lot of different fronts. Kudos to you Microsoft.

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