Google Analytics - Good or Evil?

29 comments

A new poll discusses the recent launch of Google Analytics and whether it will be used for good or evil. At the moment the opinions seem to be mixed, but there is definitely a growing concern that something shady is going on.

Comments

Evil with a capital E

Evil +1 from me.

Google says...

I asked Google about this today (their booth in Vegas) and the fellow's response was that they'll probably use the information in aggretate to look at trends, top keywords/searches, etc.

So yes, they're going to use the info. He tried to imply that they wouldn't use the individual data, but I doubt that's guaranteed.

It will be used

Therefore must vote Evil

The Google Grinch

This has the makings of all sorts of evil... WOMMA should get behind an insight of what could happen if an industry shift to another engine occurred.

Some of these points I detail in this rant.

They already know this...

Quote:
I asked Google about this today (their booth in Vegas) and the fellow's response was that they'll probably use the information in aggretate to look at trends, top keywords/searches, etc.

They get hundreds of millions of searches per day. They already know this. What a BS answer.

Evil

This looks to be very evil. It's like walking into a car dealership and the salesman knows exactly how much you are willing to pay beforehand.

On the other hand, it's free! When we get any type of free software whether it be a toolbar, weather bug, or nifty purple guy who jumps around the screen, we are giving them information in return. If I had a site that was doing very well with Adwords and organic rankings, I would never implement this software.

Well, since it isnt working

Good or evil? It may be a moot point since the darn thing is still not working. From what I can tell, no one has yet received any data in their reports, so no data means no good or evil. :) Ok, I'm sure they'll eventually get it going, but it is a bit ridiculous that the thing isn't working after this long.

Does this sum it up? Free =

Does this sum it up?

Free = Evil unless Privacy Policy = "We will never use your information for any reason what so ever"

Equation if a little off

Close

Free is not really free when it comes with a price

I'm wondering when google

I'm wondering when google will make this analytics code something you have to use for all your ppc pages.

interesting

Now that would be a huge deal... shades of Microsft's anti-trust stuff.....

Question for past Urchin users

I'm wondering how many people here had Urchin prior to Google launching the free version.

I havent had any update in my data for 2 days now. I'm starting to think that I may need to update the code on my sites with the new tracking code. Has anyone done this yet and seen data come in?

I have heard of people signing up in the last day or so that have started getting data, so this is really making me think that the old tracking code doesnt work anymore.

Any insights to this (Not Guesses), would be greatly appreciated.

> I'm wondering when google

> I'm wondering when google will make this analytics code something you have to use for all your ppc pages.

That won't happen. Most corporate websites I deal with won't let any such JavaScript codes on their site so Google would loose too much corporate money this way - and they know that. No, it's not gonna happen.

They have lava lamps and

They have lava lamps and bean bag chairs and give people things like free email how could they be evil? Let's see by giving it away they destroy the profit margins of other analytics companies, consolidating the marketplace. More people choose Goggle analytics giving them even more data. More data strengthen's the stranglehold the already have over the internet economy.

Let's see by giving it away

Let's see by giving it away they destroy the profit margins of other analytics companies, consolidating the marketplace.

Another way of looking at it is that this consolidation makes it easier for small companies to get started on the web -- they can now get more of their needs in one spot, and best of all can get those needs for free.

i'm not saying google shouldnt be watched with more scrutiny, but what they're doing with this IMHO potentially advances and expands the e-business market for the world. it reminds me of MSFT's strategy of bundling all their software together and commoditizing software makers all over the place, demolishing them and putting them out of business rather quickly. a lot of people thought this was not cool and said MSFT was one big evil monopoly -- although i like to think that those advancements made by MSFT are a good part of the reason why consumers today can get good computers with lots of useful, functional software for a price that in pre-MSFT times would not have bought you very much of anything. and just as MSFT did big and important things to help make personal computers affordable and useful, i think google could be doing the same thing in giving small companies affordable and useful tools for their business. this ultimately expands markets and furthers innovation, which IMHO is a truly awesome thing.

i think google could be

i think google could be doing the same thing in giving small companies affordable and useful tools for their business. this ultimately expands markets and furthers innovation, which IMHO is a truly awesome thing.

Let's hope google never decides to offer a free product or service that competes directly with you and offers it for free, if they did I think you might feel it might not be so awesome.

crack marketing 101

Like I pointed out in the other thread, it is not free above 5 million pages per month, unless you also have a adwords account tied to it.

In the same section of the terms, they specifically reserve the right to start charging for a variety of reasons.

So, if other analytics players are driven out of the market by predatory pricing(free is certainly predatory), they would be able to start charging those they have seduced with impunity. And by virtue of the terms, the charges will just be appended to your adwords account.

Don't forget they would already have your historical data. This would be painful to lose for many organisations. And do they even offer the right to download your historical data to take to another vendor? Presuming another vendor is available. And how much will the receiving vendor charge for data conversion? Withdrawal symptoms anyone?

BTW, contrary to previously expressed conclusions, blackhats are going to embrace and extend this rather than avoiding it. How could they resist a direct pipeline to the algo for gaming purposes? (It's in the .js)

Of course, with all that dark fiber, they could just cut out the middle man and start giving away free hosting. Then they could just harvest the logs.

Live

Hearing that it's live now, but not for me...

I'm seeing stats now so I

I'm seeing stats now so I guess the old tracking code still works. Im am only showing data from noon today though so it is still at least 12 hours behind.

After contemplating all of the losses of privacy, in addition to very slow report times, I am seriously considering other options, which seriously sucks considering how much I love their interface and reports. I hope they get their stuff together in the next couple of days. I would hate to have to switch and loose all of my old data.

performance?

and how is the speed right now?

Speed is fine from here

Comes with not so evil gimmicks, for example I can see what Google employees read.

Markets want to be efficient

A primary gaiting factor for the growth of the internet is advertisers deploying, making use of, and benefitting from analytics deployments. Industry average conversion rates are a fraction of what they could be, and the economy will benefit by analytics getting more widely deployed. Google is no more evil for doing this than the supermarket is for doing everything they *already* do with our shopping behavior data.

CPC models are a temporary model that will ultimately be replaced by revshare-based search engines. In the same way Google's CTR factoring has forced advertisers to improve CTR, them moving to a revshare-based model will force advertisers to improve conversion rates. Widely deployed analytics is needed to make that happen, and Google can't just wait around for that - they have to push it. No one is forced to use theirs, but we all know many will, and that's called free will.

damn, i wish i had said that

damn, i wish i had said that first. but that's it, that last paragraph is pure jackpot.

It's getting better

The product has wonderful features! The statistics work, and work greatly. There was a delay - it took time - they couldn't anticipate the large demand. I had a previous experience with Urchin and it's the best there is. And this software is a major leap forwards. Below is the response I got from google. It's a great product!

Amnon

Quoting Google's response:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you have some concerns about data not appearing in your account. We appreciate your interest in Google Analytics and hope to have your reports populated as soon as possible. Since we have received an unexpected demand for Google Analytics, there have been some delays reporting data since launch. I'd like to give you an overview of what to expect going forward:

- The "Check Status" feature is currently not accurate. If you added the code to your pages correctly, then we are collecting data. You can make sure by seeing if your site has set "_utm" cookies in your browser.

- If your reports aren't currently populated, they will be as soon as the next processing run is complete. We process every 24 hours.

- You may see some reports within a profile before others. We're populating reports like this to get you as much information as soon as we can. If you see this, rest assured that all applicable reports will show data soon.

- Once we catch up with the data for your account, you'll see new reports every 24 hours.

Sincerely,

...

they said

at their booth in Vegas that they would also be offering a server side version. That would resolve the evil issues.

but they did not say ...

whether the server side version would be standalone without communications to homebase.

ET Phone home

I am sure there will be some report to the home planet thrown in there somewhere.

planet ??

... they think they are the universe.

actually, 302's work differently when the earth is flat!

Actually

Actually they did say that it would be private. The original Urchin software didnt phone home and there is no reason to change that. After what happened with Sony, doing otherwise would release a maelstrom of bad PR.

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