Although some financial services companies use Webtrends or Omniture to track their sites web activity many use Google Analytics. While this may sound odd, sizable corporations relying on a free tool such as this, Google has spent a great deal of time and effort investing in their analytics package such that it arguably competes with some of the best enterprise web analytics packages available today. It is somewhat worrying therefore to see this week to see that Google, faced with a barrage of complaints from regulators and many internet commentars about their ‘privacy’ record, are to allow web browsers to opt out of Google Analytics.
While I firmly believe in giving users choice, it is essential for marketers to know how popular areas of their site are and who – not down to the individual, is looking at this material. This allows companies to make informed decisions about the allocation of resources that ultimately benefit the end client. If particular areas of a website are popular, informed marketers focus additional resource around this content as its obviously of interest to prospective customers or existing clients.
Allowing site visitors to ‘opt out’ of this process will ultimately harm Google Analytics credibility as a viable analytics application. I guess Google are hoping that not too many people will download the add-on that prevents Google Analytics from tracking online behavior. The add-on is currently in beta mode and available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google’s own browser, Chrome.
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