Time to Ogle at Google Analytics Latest Updates
Well, the Google Analytics guys have been hard at work again and flooded us with a slew of updates recently. There are so many of them that it’s sure going to be difficult to keep track of them. But then, change is the name of the game isn’t it? Firstly, Universal Analytics is out of Beta and it sure has been a long wait.
Any geeky soul who has been juggling various Google Analytics features will tell you that Google Analytics Certified Partner Badgedual tagging was a bane. No doubt, Google Manager made the task easy, but it never was the ideal way of doing things. Duplication of properties within one account was an evil that we had to deal with while using this Classic & Universal Analytics combination and it did lead to a lot of confusion.
Of course Migration trotted along. So everyone rolled up their sleeves and got working again- They migrated the Classic property and the deleted property that was in Universal Analytics, turned off the Classic Tags via Google Tag Manager and then breathed a sigh of relief.
The Meta of Google Analytics Beta
However, all these antics are now avoidable- Going forward; your implementations can be focused only on Universal Analytics. Now that UA has metamorphosed and moved out of beta, Remarketing & Audience reporting has been eliminated. This was especially important as if you wanted to use only UA, it really wasn’t possible because demographic reports were still shying away from it.
Plus, the remarketing features which Classic touted had not been completely rolled out in Universal Analytics yet. Now that UA has shrugged off its shackles and been released publicly, all the features that were available in Classic are now in action in UA. These of course have been sprinkled on the features that already exist in Universal, which adds a great deal of Zing to its flavor.
But that’s not all. Justin Cutroni and the Google Analytics team has been burning the night oil it seems. You might have noticed that the most basic metrics have now been renamed. “Visits and Visitors” is now “Sessions and Users”. Anyone who has been in Analytics for some time will know that these terms are used interchangeably – so it’s not a major shake-up, but a subtle change all the same. So, anyone who is reporting to their clients will have to update these names right across their monthly reports.
Google Analytics Diagnostics
Another considerably new announcement is the latest diagnostic notifications feature. Google Analytics will be carrying out periodic scans of account configuration, tagging implementation as well as any probable data-quality issues. You will be informed about these, can assess and make the necessary changes. This is still in the test phase but the roll-out will take place soon for all users.
Making Crawling Difficult
Another small but significant update that Google Analytics has just made, now makes it simple to exclude spiders and bots from user stats. This kind of traffic that comes from any standard search engines & other web spiders can wreak havoc with your Google Analyticsgoogel-bot data. Of course, everyone knows that fake traffic generation from different bot networks is a billowing business. As a matter of fact, it accounts for close to 1/3rd of all traffic to some sites.
But Google is now filtering-out the traffic that comes from some known spiders and bots and is using “International Spiders & Bots List” by IAB for this- and will be updated monthly. There is a hefty annual subscription attached to this feature but its there for those who want and need it. If you do opt in for this service, depending on your website, some of your numbers might drop a little, which is but natural. But at least the new number you get will be closer to reality than the spider and bot-brushed one you saw earlier.
And Some More…
Google Analytics Premium has been integrated with DoubleClick Bid Manager to further optimize the strongest lead-generating campaigns. With this integration it is possible to quickly personalize creatives and the knowledge of specific visitor segments can be optimized, and not just the generic visits. The smart marketers of today are increasingly attempting to tie measurement to the aspect of media execution.
Now with seamless integration that has been launched between GA Premium, DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick Campaign Manager; the current day advertiser is presented with more ammunition to understand exactly how existing & potential customers are interacting with the ad media that is being trafficked across the DoubleClick platform. So impression level data is something that advertisers have in the palm of their hand. In addition, the functionality of sending remarketing-lists from GA to DoubleClick manager is well within reach too.
While there is awe and applause all around, enterprise customers have even more to cheer about. Now, developers, service providers and enterprise customers that manage numerous accounts are being offered 4 new API’s that will help them save time & up their productivity. AdWords & Filters API can be used for managing new configurations, the Embed API can be used to surface dashboards and key reports and the new Provisioning API can be used in the creation of new Google Analytics accounts (this is by invite only).
Speaking to the Gallery
The App Gallery has been re-launched as the Partner Gallery. This will now be the new destination for finding services by GA Certified Partners as well as apps by GA Technology Partners. There is no doubt that Google in diving deep and surfacing with new treasures in the form of features and tools for tech- hungry and update-needy users. This is one reason why the Google sheen never fades. It will innovate and surprise, be creative and cater to the needs of individuals and enterprise.
Google Analytics is a boon for various segments and any enhancements that Google adds, goes a long way in adding functionality and making the internet marketers’ life easy. That is probably why no matter how the internet weather changes, the ability that Google has to make people ogle will stay unchanged !