Google.com was registered as a domain in 1997, and since then has acquired many companies. One of the companies acquired in March 2005 was Urchin which lead to the development of Google Analytics later that year. Google Analytics is a service that allows users to track and report the traffic on their website.
There are other companies provide a similar service to Google Analytics though Google’s service is currently the most widely used. The basic analytics program is free from Google, but they have a premium product as well that targets enterprise-level organizations and costs $150,000 per year. Google Analytics was released in 2011 and is gaining in popularity because of its easy-to-use features, and general user-friendliness. I have been learning how to use Google Analytics and it has been fairly easy to figure out. Google provides four sets of video lessons, but the two that are most important (Fundamentals and Platform Principals) that take about 8 hours to complete, and after watching them and taking notes, I already feel like an analytics expert.
An article released by Forrester and written by James McCormick in May of 2014 listed Adobe, AT Internet, IBM, and Webtrends as the leaders in the Enterprise Web Analytics world and listed Google as a “Strong Performer.” The report explains how six Enterprise Web Analytics competitors compare to each other, and though Google Analytics is not listed as leader, it is well on its way to passing by the other companies. Google Analytics is a young service, and it is growing.
Currently, Google offers 24/7 customer support for their premium customers, nearly endless data (up to one billion hits per month), 4-hour data turnaround, and 50 custom variables. Google is doing well in its early stages, but according to McCormick, “Google must continue to develop enterprise features and functions, find a way of handling personally identifiable information (PII) data directly, and grow its professional and managed services offering” to have continued growth, and continue building. I predict that Google Analytics will continue to better its product, and become a leader in Enterprise Web Analytics in the next few years.
I am looking forward to the next Forrester report to see which web analytics provider takes the lead in the next few years (and to see if my prediction comes true!). Google Analytics is the basic, entry-level web analytics program, and it is perfect for beginners like me to learn. Once I learn Google Analytics, I think I will be able to pick up some of the other Enterprise Web Analytic contender’s programs. I have been learning all about Google Analytics this was week, and will be taking the certification exam on April 13th. I am excited to have the Google Analytics symbol on my LinkedIn page, and add it to the certification section of my resume. Wish me luck!