Monthly Archives: January 2014

Improving Remarketing with Google Analytics: A UI Refresh and List Importing

Last year, we released a new, more powerful version of segmentation, supporting more robust user-centric analysis (recap here).
Now you can achieve the full power of this enhanced segmentation in Remarketing with Google Analytics.
With this overhaul (which is rolling out over the next two weeks), you can more easily create Remarketing lists based on origin, demographics, and behavior to re-engage with your audiences like never before.
New interface under Admin > Remarketing Lists

One of our early users shared their experience so far:
“We have 8 target user segments that we engage with through Eloqua. Google Analytics provides us with a flexible environment to track the behavior of these segments across all incoming traffic channels. Now we can easily import these segments to make our remarketing spend much more effective.” –Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO, Semantria
Got lots of segments that you’d like to act on? No problem. You can now import from your existing segments in the Remarketing list builder. This includes all custom segments you’ve created, plus segments you import from the solutions gallery.

And after importing…

We’re excited to release this improvement and make Remarketing with Google Analytics simpler and more powerful.  You can get started by importing the Remarketing Starter pack from the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.
Stay tuned for more improvements in the coming weeks! 
Posted by Dan Stone, Product Manager, Google Analytics 

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Games Online Despicable Me

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Affiliate programs and added value

Webmaster level: All

Our quality guidelines warn against running a site with thin or scraped content without adding substantial added value to the user. Recently, we’ve seen this behavior on many video sites, particularly in the adult industry, but also elsewhere. These sites display content provided by an affiliate program—the same content that is available across hundreds or even thousands of other sites.

If your site syndicates content that’s available elsewhere, a good question to ask is: “Does this site provide significant added benefits that would make a user want to visit this site in search results instead of the original source of the content?” If the answer is “No,” the site may frustrate searchers and violate our quality guidelines. As with any violation of our quality guidelines, we may take action, including removal from our index, in order to maintain the quality of our users’ search results. If you have any questions about our guidelines, you can ask them in our Webmaster Help Forum.

Posted by Chris Nelson, Search Quality Team

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2014 Digital Analytics Association Awards For Excellence

It’s award season once again – Digital Analytics awards! 

The Digital Analytics Association exists to help organizations illuminate and overcome the challenges of data acquisition, exploration, deduction and application. The DAA is a not-for-profit, volunteer-powered association, and strives to help individuals become more valuable through education, community, research and advocacy. If you are involved in the analytics industry, we encourage you to check out what the DAA has to offer.
This week, the DAA announced its list of nominees for the DAA Awards of Excellence. These awards are a great way to celebrate the outstanding contribution to our profession of individuals, agencies, vendors and practitioners.
This year’s  list of nominees is chock-full of highly talented individuals, new technologies, agencies & vendors. We’re excited to see so many inspirational leaders nominated for recognition and are looking forward to the digital analytics industry growing for many years to come via their leadership.
We are also honored to see a few Googlers nominated for awards.
Krista Seiden has been nominated for Digital Analytics Rising Star and Practitioner of the Year. Our Analytics Evangelist, Justin Cutroni, our Analytics Advocate, Daniel Waisberg, and our former GACP Program Manager, Jesse Nichols, who travel the world sharing Analytics love have each been nominated as Most Influential Industry Contributor (individual). Jesse has also been nominated for Practitioner of the Year.
We’d also like to recognize the many members of our GACP network who also received nominations. We wish you all the best of luck!
If you’re a DAA member make sure you vote by January 31. Winners will be announced at the 2014 DAA Gala in San Francisco on March 18. Tickets are available now.
Posted by the Google Analytics Team

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A new Googlebot user-agent for crawling smartphone content

Webmaster level: Advanced

Over the years, Google has used different crawlers to crawl and index content for feature phones and smartphones. These mobile-specific crawlers have all been referred to as Googlebot-Mobile. However, feature phones and smartphones have considerably different device capabilities, and we’ve seen cases where a webmaster inadvertently blocked smartphone crawling or indexing when they really meant to block just feature phone crawling or indexing. This ambiguity made it impossible for Google to index smartphone content of some sites, or for Google to recognize that these sites are smartphone-optimized.

A new Googlebot for smartphones

To clarify the situation and to give webmasters greater control, we’ll be retiring “Googlebot-Mobile” for smartphones as a user agent starting in 3-4 weeks’ time. From then on, the user-agent for smartphones will identify itself simply as “Googlebot” but will still list “mobile” elsewhere in the user-agent string. Here are the new and old user-agents:

The new Googlebot for smartphones user-agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5376e Safari/8536.25 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

The Googlebot-Mobile for smartphones user-agent we will be retiring soon:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5376e Safari/8536.25 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

This change affects only Googlebot-Mobile for smartphones. The user-agent of the regular Googlebot does not change, and the remaining two Googlebot-Mobile crawlers will continue to refer to feature phone devices in their user-agent strings; for reference, these are:

Regular Googlebot user-agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

The two Googlebot-Mobile user-agents for feature phones:

  • SAMSUNG-SGH-E250/1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 UP.Browser/6.2.3.3.c.1.101 (GUI) MMP/2.0 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
  • DoCoMo/2.0 N905i(c100;TB;W24H16) (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

You can test your site using the Fetch as Google feature in Webmaster Tools, and you can see a full list of our existing crawlers in the Help Center.

Crawling and indexing

Please note this important implication of the user-agent update: The new Googlebot for smartphones crawler will follow robots.txt, robots meta tag, and HTTP header directives for Googlebot instead of Googlebot-Mobile. For example, when the new crawler is deployed, this robots.txt directive will block all crawling by the new Googlebot for smartphones user-agent, and also the regular Googlebot:


User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /

This robots.txt directive will block crawling by Google’s feature phone crawlers:


User-agent: Googlebot-Mobile
Disallow: /

Based on our internal analyses, this update affects less than 0.001% of URLs while giving webmasters greater control over the crawling and indexing of their content. As always, if you have any questions, you can:

Posted by Zhijian He, Smartphone search engineer

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Learn About Analytics From Googlers At These Upcoming Events

We’re excited to be well into 2014, another year marketers and businesses will make continued investments in Analytics education for their teams. With that, conference season continues to ramp up.Things are likely moving fast for you as well, so we wanted to make sure you were updated on some of the key industry events our team members would be presenting at for the next few months. Following is a brief list. We hope to see you in-person at some of these (or on the digital discussions for our Webinars).
Googler Daniel Waisberg presenting on The Full Customer Journey in Dublin.

1/26: Search Marketing Expo Israel
Analytics Advocate Daniel Waisberg will be presenting a session on segmentation. Learn more.
1/29: Infopresse: Digital Performance in Montreal, Canada
Google’s Analytics Evangelist Justin Cutroni will be speaking on Universal Analytics. Learn more
2/6: IAB UK: Award Winning Attribution in London
Daniel Waisberg will be presenting on Attribution Modeling. Learn more.
2/11: SES London
Daniel Waisberg will be presenting on Segmenting your data to make better decisions. Learn more
2/14: Congresso E-Commerce Brasil De Search & Vendas 2014
Googler Eduardo Cereto will be presenting on using Analytics for E-commerce marketers and agencies. Learn more.
2/28: International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN
Analytics Advocate Adam Singer will share key metrics to measure for the mobile / apps ecosystem. Learn more
3/18: Travel Technology Initiative in London
Daniel Waisberg will be speaking on the importance of attribution for travel professionals. Learn more
3/18: Game Developer Conference in San Francisco
Googlers Russel Ketchum and Rahul Oak will be presenting a session for app developers on using data to improve their app. Learn more
3/21: Be-Wizard in Remiti, Italy
Justin Cutroni will be presenting on making data actionable with Remarketing. Learn more.
3/27: PRSA Big Data Webinar (Online)
Adam Singer will be presenting on how PR pros can use Google Tools to put data to work for their programs. Learn more
4/2: Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications Conference in Orlando
Adam Singer will be presenting on how to best measure and improve your social campaigns using data. Learn more
4/7: Google Analytics Workshop in Washington DC
Adam Singer will be sharing a half-day workshop on using Analytics for communicators along with other trainers from PRNews. Learn more
4/16: Analytics & Optimization Summit (Online)
Googler Krista Seiden will be presenting on testing and optimization at this online digital advertising event. Learn more.
4/17: Building a Testing Culture panel at OptiCon
Krista Seiden will be presenting on a panel at Optimizely’s OptiCon conference on best practices and tips for building a testing culture. Learn more
And remember, even if you can’t make it to an event in person, you can follow Google Analytics on Twitter and Google+ where we share highlights from events.
Posted by the Google Analytics Team

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Changes in crawl error reporting for redirects

Webmaster level: intermediate-advancedIn the past, we have seen occasional confusion by webmasters regarding how crawl errors on redirecting pages were shown in Webmaster Tools. It’s time to make this a bit clearer and easier to diagnose! While it used… Continue reading

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How the Analysis Exchange is helping Non-Profits make data-driven decisions

The following is a guest post from Eric Peterson, Senior Partner at Google Analytics Certified Partner Web Analytics Demystified.
Summary: Web Analytics Demystified continues to advance the Analysis Exchange to help anyone, anywhere get “hand’s on” experience conducting analysis with Google Analytics in an effort to support non-profits worldwide. 
While thousands of non-profit organizations use Google Analytics on their websites, many have not yet been able to take full advantage of the data generated on their site’s performance. The Analysis Exchange, an education initiative developed by Web Analytics Demystified that provides free web data analysis to non-profits, offers organizations an opportunity to gain insights from web analytics to better meet their goals.
The Exchange pairs a non-profit organization with two web analysts — one a student wanting the hands-on training and the other a mentor with years of direct experience in the analytics field. Together, they work on projects with objectives aimed at improving the non-profit’s website performance and overall use of their analytics data.
Since its introduction, over 400 non-profit organizations have used the Analysis Exchange for more than 1,000 projects using data from Google Analytics. Among these organizations have been those involved in public media, foundations, environmental concerns, youth-focused organizations, museums, schools, and many others.

Learn more about the Analysis Exchange in this brief video:

Paull Young, Director of Digital at charity: water, has achieved success with multiple Analysis Exchange projects for his organization. He says, “I see analytics becoming central to how non-profits do business – though I don’t see that being the case right now. charity: water is one of the most digitally focused non-profits you’ll find, but we’re at the front of a trend towards online donations that is only going to increase.
Every non-profit aims to become more and more efficient, delivering maximum impact for the minimum amount of cost. Smart application of analytics will be a must to achieve this objective.”
Other organizations have gained value from Analysis Exchange projects by not only exposing ‘what happened’ on their site and what were the successes but more importantly identifying factors that led to successes on the site and how to make improvements. An example of some takeaways have been:
  • What content visitors consumed and where they came from
  • What social channels drove the most activity to the site as well as off the site
  • Factors that lead to significant increases in visits
  • Competitive benchmarks of success
  • What factors led to declines in traffic and how to correct
Analysis Exchange projects are completely free and take less than a few hours for non-profits and mentors. Google Analytics is the standard analytics tool used for all projects.  Its ease-of-use dramatically improves the non-profits ability to continue to use web analytics after projects are completed.
We’re looking for more non-profits as well as student-mentor partners to sign up to the The Analysis Exchange. You can learn more about our effort at www.analysis-exchange.com or write our Executive Director Wendy Greco directly at wendy.greco@analysis-exchange.com.

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Google Publisher Plugin beta: Bringing our publisher products to WordPress

Cross-posted from the Inside AdSense blog.

We’ve heard from many publishers using WordPress that they’re looking for an easier way to work with Google products within the platform. Today, we’re excited to share the beta release of our official Google Publisher Plugin, which adds new functionality to publishers’ WordPress websites. If you own your own domain and power it with WordPress, this new plugin will give you access to a few Google services — and all within WordPress.

Please keep in mind that because this is a beta release, we’re still fine-tuning the plugin to make sure it works well on the many WordPress sites out there. We’d love for you to try it now and share your feedback on how it works for your site.

This first version of the Google Publisher Plugin currently supports two Google products:

  • Google AdSense: Earn money by placing ads on your website. The plugin links your WordPress site to your AdSense account and makes it easier to place ads on your site — without needing to manually modify any HTML code.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. The plugin allows you to verify your site on Webmaster Tools with just one click.

Visit the WordPress.org plugin directory to download the new plugin and give it a try. For more information about the plugin and how to use it, please visit our Help Center. We look forward to hearing your feedback!

Posted by Michael Smith – Product Manager

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Richer Insights For B2B Marketing With Google Analytics

The following is a guest post from Google Analytics Certified Partner Feras Alhlou, Partner & Principal Consultant at E-Nor Inc.
Marketers and sales professionals want to know who’s visiting their site, what content the target audience is consuming and what converts site visitors to paying customers. 
In a B2B environment — where long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders affect sales decision — “knowing who’s coming to your site” takes on another dimension. 
Say you’re in charge of marketing an eLearning system, and your target market includes telecom, hi-tech/software companies and universities. Your sales cycle could span several months, and there are multiple personas/stakeholders who will evaluate your company and your product. 
Some key personas include:
  • Trainers, professors and teachers evaluating user experience and ease of uploading curricula and content 
  • Management/administrators evaluating your company, pricing, client testimonials, case studies, etc.
  • IT assessing technical aspects of products, maintainability, your technical support processes, etc. 
As a marketer, your job is to ensure your site addresses the needs of each stakeholder, while realizing that the interests/questions each group of stakeholders are likely to be different. It’s critical that the message and content (that you invested so much in creating) “sticks” with the unique personas in each market segment. 
Easier said than done; measuring and optimizing all the above isn’t for the faint of heart.
But don’t fret. Integrating Google Analytics with Account-Based Marketing and Firmographic data has come to the rescue. 
B2B Measurement Framework
Let’s walk through a typical scenario and highlight key performance indicators (KPIs). The measurement framework our eLearning marketing manager has in mind includes (and yes, they follow GA’s ABC!):

Acquisition

    1. What percent of my traffic comes from industries I target
      1. Telecom
      2. Hi-tech/software companies
      3. .edu’s
    2. Percentage increase or decrease in traffic from industries I’m not targeting 
    3. Traffic volume and frequency from organizations our sales team targets offline

Behavior

    1. Landing page stickiness by industry and organization
    2. What content is very popular
    3. What content is most shared
    4. All the above segmented by the three targeted industries

Conversion

    1. Number of whitepaper downloads by industry and company
    2. Number of demo requests
    3. Sales follow-up call requests 
    4. All the above segmented by the three targeted industries
If your site visitors aren’t providing you with company and industry data, it’s not possible to report on this data in Google Analytics. Hello Insightera, a marketing personalization platform, enables your to enrich customer’s onsite journey with firmographic data in a seamless integrated fashion (note, another product in the Google Analytics app gallery offering similar functionality is Demandbase).
Rich Firmographic Data in Google Analytics
Insightera’s firmographic data is organized by 1) deriving information from site visitors by identifying their ISP 2) determining that organization’s information, including location, industry (and soon company size and company revenue will also be available). 
With easy-to-navigate firmographic readily available, analytics data takes on a new dimension; advertising dollars can be better targeted, and you have the ability to customize a visitor’s experience in several new ways.
Here’s a few examples of the rich and super cool data you have access to with Insightera, nicely integrated in the Google Analytics Reports (in Custom Variables):
1- Traffic Distribution by Industry  
Within the GA interface you have a nice presentation your traffic by industry. Telecom seems to be strong (24.1% of traffic) in the report below, while Education could use some love from your marketing team. 

2- Engagement By Industry
You can also report on your KPIs by industry (e.g. see how “Education” is the number 2 industry in the report below)


3- Traffic & Engagement By Organization
This report below shows the platform’s ability to take data segmentation a step further, and highlights specific organizations within the industry visiting the website (e.g. Yale University)

With firmographic data integrated into Google Analytics, it is possible to optimize paid campaigns such as Google AdWords, LinkedIn, banner ads, etc., and pinpoint how many companies from a specified list visited your site, which industries and what size companies visited the site. It provides the opportunity to then target paid campaigns to those visitors and channels, or increase efforts to reach untapped segments of a targeted audience. 
Technical Considerations 
Not a whole lot of considerations. Insightera makes it easy to plug and play. In your ‘Admin’ interface, select your Custom Variables slots for the ‘Industry’ and ‘Organization’ — and let the rich data flow. Double check that the selected custom variable slots are empty and that you’re not already using them for something else in your Google Analytics implementation. 

Content Personalization
Equipped with this new data, you can automate and personalize remarketing efforts and create targeted ads based on any given criteria. In the example above, the education-specific whitepaper can be presented to your higher-ed visitors, while hi-tech/software related content can be presented to your hi-tech/software visitors. 
Insightera’s recommendation engine filters visitors by location and industry, content preferences and CRM data and digital behavior patterns. This process then predicts which content or channel works best for each visitor.
Increase the Value of Universal Analytics with more User Centricity 
If you’re an early adopter of Universal Analytics or planning to migrate to Universal Analytics, Insightera will soon have you covered. The same method described above can be applied and firmographic data can be integrated into Custom Dimensions. 
With some additional customization, and if you are (and you should be) user-centric, you can take up your implementation a notch up and report on visitors, not just visits, across web, mobile and other devices. Examples include where you have premium/gated content behind registration, user logins or when users self-identify. In these examples, a user-id is associated with each authenticated visitor and stored in a Custom Dimension. Measuring user behavior across multiple sessions and across multiple devices will then be available and you’ll be able to stitch data from different data sources including Insightera as well CRM systems such integrating GA with SalesForce.
Conclusion
As advertising and remarketing efforts reach new levels of focus, site owners have the most relevant information to meet their needs thanks to account-based marketing. Combining the power of Google Analytics with the new scope of firmographic data allows a new level of Performance Analytics. This set of tools offers deeper analytic insights into who your potential customers are, what they do, where they come from and what they consume.
Posted by Feras Alhlou, Principal Consultant, E-Nor, a Google Analytics Authorized Premium Reseller

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