Death by Google
Google has killed the web analytics software industry with the release of the new version of Google Analytics. The new version was released just under two months ago and is simply a quantum leap above any other analytics product on the planet.
In my opinion, Google Analytics does for the web metrics industry what the Google search engine did for online search: it kills everyone else off.
Google Analytics version 2 is not revolutionary. It does not extend web analytics software by providing new forms of analysis. Neither does it extend our understanding of websites by offering new approaches. What Google has done is simply take every feature in every product on the market and put them all into one system, and then make it available for free.
I am surprised by the range of features Google has added. I would have assumed some had been patented by the companies that created them. I can only conclude this is not the case. The range of features Google has borrowed from other products suggests the web analytics software industry managed to do 10 years of research and development without registering even one patent. This must be unique in the history of computing. If Google has stolen patented ideas, then I can only conclude they simply don't care and will rely on their massive cash reserves to sort it out later.
I say this as someone who, until this month, ran a company that produced web analytics software and directly competed with Google Analytics. No more. There is simply no way my organization can produce the range of features Google offers and make them available for nothing. We will keep the consulting arm going but use Google Analytics as the reporting system. Our techies don't want to see the product die completely, so they plan to convert it into Open Source. While Google Analytics is world class, we can see the need for there to be at least one Open Source page-based tracking product, and currently there are none. If you’d like to help, please email me and I’ll put you in contact with the team.
Under these circumstances, it should be obvious that I am not an automatic fan of Google Analytics. As a professional web analyst, I thought the previous version was strictly amateur. If you've read some of my previous articles, it's pretty clear I'm not a fan of Google either.
I have been converted to Google Analytics version 2 purely by the strength of the product. It is not just the range of features that is impressive, it is the integration and flexibility.
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