Saturday, March 20, 2010

Google Sending Mix Messages, Offering Analytics Opt Out

Will the new Google Analtics opt out have a huge impact on the ability to fully track conversions? Absolutely. Does the Google Ad Preference option show a future of personally interactive and personalized ads or one that Google as the host of all these wonders will be the only ones that have the data?

Sure Google claims it deletes accumulated personalized data but with the volume of predictable actions garnered from accumulated behavioral information do they really need the individual data.

Seems Google is really saying allow us to block everyone else's chance to learn from their traffic, it will be our little secret.

Are they pushing people back to the non analytics days? When blanket adwords buys were done without the benefit of tracking conversion, why would they want such a thing?

Could they be getting ready to launch a new form of advertising, or another product like caller id creating blocking?

The Official Google Blog when discussing the future of display advertising states:
"image, text, video and rich-media formats — on most of the websites that you visit. These ads are crucial to the Internet. They provide information about thousands of products, services and businesses. They help to fund the web content and services that we all use. And they enable large and small advertisers to reach new customers, increase sales and grow their businesses."

Google plans "unveiling new features to improve display advertising for users, advertisers and online publishers alike."

But if analytics can be countered is the average advertiser likely to get faulty information of the ROI for ads? Or is Google giving a back door opportunity to the analytics companies whose pixels cannot be turned off by the Google opt out?

Could Google be trying to get other analytics firms to help with the development of new innovations for the space? Could some former Google Analytics employee have a start up Google is eying?

Google Watch's Clint Boulton calls "the notion that the search engine's tendrils are seeping into every aspect of the Internet realm, from broadband networks (no, really) to social networks (Buzz), to niche Web services such as annotations to ambitious forays into mobile platforms (Android)," Google Creep. Thanks for finding the Hungry Beast video, Clint, I miss the Australian humor.

It's scary but true. Hiding behind the Google logo cannot stop people from wondering why they are shooting their own system - GA - because turning off analyics means others will gather more accurate information and become a financially viable alternative. Or could the view through conversion technology be the new way to track everything.

"By using View-through conversion reporting, you can more easily compare the performance of your Google Content Network campaign with the performance of your other display advertising campaigns. This feature can also help you determine the best ways and places to advertise, how best to optimize your display ad campaigns, and, ultimately, how to spend your advertising dollars more effectively," Google explains.

How can they offer this while also the ability yo opt out? They must be storing enough http-referrer info to track without the feedback of the tracking code?

"Here is an example of how View-through conversion reporting works: Let's say you're selling pet food online and you're measuring conversions on your site's email newsletter sign-up and your shopping cart "Thank You" pages. If a user sees your display ad, does not click on it but then visits your site within the next 30 days to sign-up to receive your email newsletter and to purchase a couple dozen cans of organic cat food, you'll see two View-through conversions reported on your Campaigns tab in AdWords".

The messages are mixed and really need to be clarified. How does opt out impact accuracy of analytics? How does this view through technology work when opt out is enabled? Will opt out decrease the ability to see some conversion sources? Does opt out effect any other tracking collecting data? Why decrease information gathering? Is Google expecting the FCC to regulate the opt out ability and just starting early to get in front of the curve? I am sure this will be discussed at SES NY this coming week.

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