Archive for category Measurement

Major news in SEO and Analytics

Google has made an announcement that is going to have massive impact on website analytics and SEO.  This announcement is that Google is no longer going to by default pass to sites the search terms people have found your site. This is going to be restricted from those users logged into a Google product and not delivered unless you have a Google Adwords account and campaign in progress.

The impact of such a move by Google to current analytical and SEO practices should not be overlooked. The reality is that Google is the only search engine that delivers a solid steady volume of valued visitors.  We know this because we can (not I should say could have – past tense) see the keywords used in Google to reach and travel through to conversions by every Google referral. Now, without an Adwords account and campaign, this data is only partial and will not entirely reflect the valued data from visitors who find the site from Google.

How important is this?  Massive! The measure of such keywords in often the primary KPI (key performance indicator) of activities to ensure the site is not only found, but clicked through in search results. Then, there is the discovery use.  We use these terms to identify those phrases that we are associated by the visitors to strength or reduce the association.  Without this data we lose some of the most powerful analytics in our tool chest.

Is this good for me and my clients? No. It restricts my practices and in the short term is going to alienate me from Google.  Is this good for Google? No, this is GREAT for Google.  This means that they are going to see an enormous growth in the use of Adwords simply so that sites can obtain this data. I image also that the newly announced commercially supported Google Analytics service probably will have this data available as well.

Here are a couple of good articles on this subject.  I am sure lots more will be published soon.

 

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Questions of social media monitoring vendors

For about a year, I have been using Radian6 that I selected after a rather exhaustive evaluation.  Lately, I am less pleased with the tool and have begun to look again at the old set and search for new ones.

I started to put together a list of questions that never seem to be answered up front on sites, in demos or in the first round of sales discussions. or demos. I put this list together and then just today I found another helpful list from Scout Labs. The Scout Labs list is longer than mine and very good.  But, I have some others as well.

  • What are the content sources? Are they RSS feeds or paid content sources such as Factiva, Boardreader or others?
  • How often and when is content imported? Basically, how quickly will it appear from when it is published?
  • Is there a method to create “watchlists” for monitoring a set of sites?
  • Can we place in a list of sites/feeds to be searched to be sure the content is included in the monitoring?
  • Is there a way to check to be sure a desired source is monitored?
  • Is the cost we see simply based on monitored items? Is there a limit on the number of profiles, user accounts, searches, or other aspects?
  • If we end or pause a search, can we retain the content/monitoring from where this halted. If so, for how long?
  • Are the monitoring volume fees based on new content per month? Or, is historical content billed.

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Measurement Best Practice: Exclude yourself from statistics

Exclude your offices as well as those of your agencies, consultants and other consultants from your Web site statistics.  Google Analytics, HitBox, Webtrends and all other packages allow for such exclusions by IP address, domains and other strings. Sometimes you may also want to exclude the IP address of home computers. This is especially true for sites that receive very low traffic.

How do you find your IP Address.  Surf to a site such as  http://www.lawrencegoetz.com/programs/ipinfo/.  This will reveal your external IP address.  Collect the various addresses and place these on exclusion lists. 

Note that any settings usually only start excluding from the stats on a move forward basis.

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More on MediaWiki Competitors

Since I placed up my post about MediaWiki I have received some feedback from individuals and companies. I have now tired out more than half a dozen products and services.  What stands out is that every product out there offers close to the same features and functions with variations that are often subtle rather than overt.  In the end I have two findings.

  1. It is clear that even my completely unknown and haphazard blog is immediately noticed by those who monitor on their focused topics. Kudos to Atlassian for solid proactive monitoring and marketing efforts.
  2. There appears to be solid agreement outside of the world of the techno geek that platforms other than MediaWiki are easier for the end user.

Two folks have contacted me to supplement my original review with products they find useful – Mindtouch Deki and Atlassian Confluence.  Both of these products clearly target the same market as Socialtext to provide a more usable and supported environment then MediaWiki. Both products seem to offer solutions worthy of investigation for those considering Wiki products.

Here are some things I noticed.

  • MindTouch’s offering of a free & open source version and source code as well as a free personal Wiki hosting is a great marketing win.
  • MindTouch’s marketing clearly to people who tend towards the open source spectrum.  The easy to use free hosting also is very inviting to those who want to get started quickly with experimenting and need a simple quick solution to get running.
  • Altlassian has a taken an alternative voice and is focused on IT audiences.  It’s Wiki offering is clearly packaged as one solution of many they offer to enterprise workgroups.  And while they offer similar hosted and license options as others, the marketing focus on features bespeaks their expectation of readers’ familiarity with why one would want a Wiki. Atlassian’s free 30 day evaluation (rather than offering any free personal hosting option) supports this IT focus as well.

Lessons learned: 

  1. There are many many options potentially better than MediaWiki.
  2. The marketers are targeting their message to different organizations to provide differentiation via message for a product set that is rapidly becoming a commodity.

 

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