Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Google Adds Annotations in Analytics

In midst of the growing hype around Google Goggles and real-time search, Google has released another exciting update. This time, it is within Google Analytics. The feature is called annotations and it will help to explain changes within your web page statistics.

For those that do not use Google Analytics, let me quickly explain. Google Analytics is a web-based tool used to track activity on web sites. In the old days, people were happy with a page counter. Each morning, we would race to our site in order to find out if anyone has paid us a visit. Today, we have grown more sophisticated and are able to track tons of information. With Google Analytics, developers can identify site visitors, but we can also see where they are, what pages they go to, how long they stay there, and how often they return. We know the most popular browsers, screen resolutions, and even how they found us. It is a great tool that I encourage all site owners to use.

With annotations, developers can keep notes regarding major changes to the statistics. As an example, imagine everything is going great with the site. All of a sudden, the server crashes. For a couple of hours, users are unable to access the site. Looking at the numbers, we see a huge dip in site visits. With annotations, we can explain the phenomenon so as to jog our memory in the future.

All in all, this should be a very useful addition to an already valuable tool. To see more, take a look at the video clip below.


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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