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Monday, August 28, 2006

Analytics and Results

Two weeks ago Google Analytics opened up their doors to anyone who wants an account. Last week the GA blog noted how to link your AdWords account to your GA account.

Peter Da Vanzo over at the SEO/Marketing News & Opinion blog notes that Google needs to be more transparent about how they'll use the information they are collecting. Definitely a good point.

They've made it quite easy to link this information together. Why? One way to slice this is to suggest that it's a decent approach to being a good business partner. They are asking you to tell them what your goals are - and then trying to help you reach those goals with their tools. And reporting back as to whether you've attained your goals. That sounds good.

Yet, some wonder: Should one company be responsible for both setting prices they charge you and reporting your revenue results? What happens when they know that you're over-achieving your goals? What happens when they discover that your AdWords ads are working better than your ads from a competitor of theirs?

Of course, all of this is more likely about stretching business model for pricing ads. Once they can move away from CPC to cost-per-action pricing for the masses, it will leap-frog them out ahead of their competition once again.

Eric P started a great thread on defining a new standard for measuring Web 2.0. Our Analytics industry may also want to make sure "conversions" or "actions" are also well defined standards so we can successfully and consistently report ad (or whatever campaign) performance information for our customers.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

IAB to Define a Click

The IAB announced the formation of an industry-wide Click Measurement Working Group to define what a "click" is.  As Business Week notes:
"There's a lot at stake. Click fraud—using software or low-cost workers to repeatedly click on banner ads in order to artificially inflate the success of an ad campaign—cost advertisers just shy of $1 billion last year"
It sounds like a good idea to me, although I still think the idea of charging ads on a cost-per-action basis is a better long-term solution. Forget about a simple click from a search page - let's talk about what that visitor did (action) after clicking to the site. That's where the value is.

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