Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Google Analytics

.. is Big Brother watching you and me?

The word is out for a day now. Google has presented Google Analytics. It's a Googlefication of the recently purchased Urchin statistics software. They once again offer it free.

But is it free? Or does it come at a cost?

Bogle's Blog already has an entry about the terms of service and privacy policy. In this he utters some reserves to the contents of that document.

Some quotes from the Google document:

The Google Services are made available for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use the Google Services to sell a product or service, or to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales.

Clearly this is weird. I can not use it to increase traffic. Well, my main purpose of doing website stats is analyzing my visitors behavior in order to serve them better and server more of them. That's obvious.

We may use personal information to provide the services you've requested, including services that display customized content and advertising.

As far as my personal information is concerned that is OK by me, but hey, we are talking about the personal information of people visiting my website. Should I warn visitors that I have Google Analytics switched on? Will that scare them off?

Just, like Bogle's Blog I come to the conclusion that Google Analytics promises to be a valuable tool. And yes, I have already switched it on on this blog. So Big Brother Google is watching you! Your visit is being analyzed and maybe you will be spammed, harassed by appropriate AdWords ads and maybe I will hunt you down to the end of the Internet. No, I don't think so, too much hassle.

Does it work?

Bottom line for me is: does it work?

Well, as many website owners have jumped on the Google Analytics bandwagon, the service seems a bit stressed. I only see the message below now for the last 24 hours.

I'll just wait for further results.