Early yesterday morning Google turned on free Google Analytics. Well, it's only technically free if you have less than 5 million pageviews a month, but that covers a whole bunch of people, and if you are over that, all you need is an Adwords account and then your page views don't matter.
And even this morning, it's not quite "on" yet: it seems to be suffering from massive popularity. As this service (Urchin Analytics, which Google bought) formerly cost $199.00 a month, it isn't surprising that a LOT of people want to sign up.
This is a simple bit of code in your page headers, and then Google takes over tracking visitors, giving you everything you could possibly want to know and more. Well, except (so far anyway) the one thing I really want to see: Asrep style reporting tightly bound to Adsense. They do integrate this with Adwords and it obviously wouldn't be hard to tie in Adsense, but there's no mention of it. I'm hoping that's coming.
Possibly Google will add Adsense. It would make sense: they are losing page views to YPN and Chitika et al. every day, and if they can't raise the payout rate they need something to keep us loyal. Tying this to Adsense would do it for me; I'd drop Yahoo in a minute if I could correlate Adsense clicks and income to actual pages.
Why? Because it would help me improve my income. I'm not saying that my writing would be driven by ad dollars, but if I have two articles in mind and I knew that the first one is going to be more profitable, I might spend more time on it. If I knew that articles over 637 words always pay me less, I'd make sure it was 636 words or less. If I knew that articles with bullet lists are more apt to make more money than articles without such lists, I'd be sure to use bullet lists and so on. These activities would benefit the advertiser, Google, and me.
However, even if they don't add Adsense, this is a great tool. Not very different than a hundred other tracking tools, but quite complete and full featured and.. free.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Anthony Lawrence