Articles written in August, 2008

August 21 2008

Google Analytics now recognizes 38 websites as organic search engines!

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Because I am a geek, and because I love to know the innermost, obscure, and technical aspects of everything Google Analytics related, I do a few things from time to time that you may find peculiar:

  1. I view the source code of http://www.google.com/analytics because I like to see if Google Analytics engineers make any modifications to the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) on their own website.
  2. I create a “fake” custom advanced filter to see if there are any options from the “Field A” or “Field B” fields that have disappeared or have been added (I am NOT paranoid here – try creating a custom advanced filter and open up the Field A or Field B drop-down menu, and you’ll see that there are some options that are not listed [most notably, Visitor IP Address], but they are there if you use your Up and Down cursor keys to navigate the menu instead of your mouse’s scrolling wheel).
  3. I like to download the ga.js file from http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js and view the list of organic search engines, to see if they’ve added or removed anything recently.

Did you know, at the time of this post, that Google Analytics automatically recognizes 38 different websites as organic search engines? Did you even know that there were that many out there to begin with? It catches me by surprise almost every time, because there is one search engine that I use 99.9% of the time (bet you can’t guess which one it is), and I forget that there are so many other search engines out there to play with.

So I’ve decided that I’d list and link all of the search engines that Google Analytics automatically recognizes as organic search engines here. Visit some of these if you can – perform a search or two on some of them. Perhaps even see what they are offering as far as advertising solutions are concerned – you’ll be surprised at just how many places you can spend money in online advertising these days 🙂

Here is the full list (Updated: August 21, 2008):

(Note: Finding all of these Search Engines was not as easy as I thought it would be! Thus, there is a chance that a few of these links are incorrect. Please let me know if you find any inaccuracies).

Google – The #1Search Engine in the land.
Yahoo – The Search Engine that put the internet on the map in the early 1990’s.
MSN / Live – Microsoft’s Search Engine (MSN.com and Live.com are the same).
ASK – Formerly ASK Jeeves, headquartered in Oakland, California.
AOL – Formerly America OnLine, currently powered by Google.
Lycos – They have been around for a while. Owned by Daum Communications.
Altavista – Owned by Overture in Sunnyvale, California. Online since 1995.
Netscape – Makers of the popular browser in the 90’s. Now owned by AOL.
CNN – Yes, CNN.com has it’s own search feature! Go check it out.
Looksmart – They have recently changed from Search Engine to Ad Network.
About.com – A great repository of articles and information.
Mamma – The Mother of All Search Engines (Their term, not mine).
All The Web – Powered by Yahoo. Features “Livesearch”, also powered by Yahoo.
Gigablast – Search the Web for pages, images, and videos.
Voila – Popular French Search Engine. Merci bocu!
Virgilio – Popular Italian Search Engine. Powered by Alice. Prego!
Baidu – Popular Chinese Search Engine. (Sorry I can’t do Chinese Characters).
Alice – Roll Your Own Search Engine. Web 2.0 Search.
Yandex – Yandex is a popular Russian Search Engine.
Najdi – Specializs in the Repubic of Macedonia.
Club-Internet – A French Internet Service Provider.
Seznam – Search Engine for the Czech Republic.
Search.com – Owned and Operated by CNET Networks.
WP – Stands for “Wirtualna Polska”, a Polish News / Social Directory.
Onet – Another Polish Internet Portal/ Directory site.
Netsprint – Our Third Polish Search Engine on this list!
Interia – More from Poland, but this one is powered by Google.
Scukacz – Poland is definitely being counted by GA as organic, no doubt about it.
YAM – I am pretty sure this is a Taiwanese Search Engine.
PC Home – A Japanese Web Portal. Owned by CNET.
Kvasir – Search Engine for all of Norway.
Sesam – A Scandinavian Search Engine / Web Portal.
OZU – An Internet Directory from Spain.
Terra – From the USA, but written in all Spanish.
Nostrum – On the list but I cannot find a reliable URL!
Mynet – Mynet is a specialized engine for the Turkish Language.
Ekolay – I believe that Ekolay is also Turkish.
Ilse – Search Engine in the Netherlands.

August 15 2008

Make Your Life Easier – Segment Stuff

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It’s a bit surprising to me how many folks do not make use of their segmenting / cross-segmenting options in their Web Analytics Packages. Some folks don’t even know or aren’t even aware of what it means or what it does. So for today’s blog post, I would like to explain what it is, and how you can make use of it.

Segmenting Options

What is Segmenting?
In Analytics, segmenting is basically viewing one particular set of data by another set of data. It allows you to “drill-down” or “dig deeper” on a particular page, traffic source, or keyword.

For example, let’s say I am looking at data from my Google.com Organic Traffic. I can see how many Visits, Pageviews, and so on that came from the Google.com Organic Search Results. The next thing that I think about is to discover what keywords from the Google Organic Search Result sent me the traffic. In whatever analytics program you use, you should have a “Segment” or “Drill-Down” option that will allow you to do this, either from a drop-down menu or a series of checkboxes and submit buttons. Then, you’d be able to see the keywords that brought you traffic from Google.com on one page.

This, like the title of this blog, “makes your life easier”, because you don’t have to open multiple report windows or spend a lot of time trying to find things in your analytics package of choice.

Can you give me some more examples of things that I can do with segmenting?

Yes. Here are some of our favorites here at MoreVisibility:

  1. Segmenting any Organic Traffic Source (Google Organic) by Keyword, to see which keywords brought traffic to your site,
  2. Segmenting any Organic Traffic Source (Google Organic) by Landing Page, to see what visitors saw upon arriving at your website,
  3. Segmenting any paid (Cost-Per-Click or CPC) Traffic Source by keyword or landing page,
  4. Segmenting any page (like the homepage) by Visitor Type (New or Returning), to see how each group of individuals behaves on the pages of a website,
  5. Segmenting a Landing Page (a CPC Landing Page) by Source, to see which initiatives were responsible for bringing in the traffic, and how each performed,
  6. Segmenting a Campaign by Ad Content or Ad Group, so that you can see how each individual Ad Group performed in a cost-per-click program,
  7. Segmenting a country in your Map Overlay or Geographical Areas report by Revenue (my favorite), so that you can see which states and cities brought in the most revenue,
  8. Segmenting Browser or Operating System by Screen Resolution or Screen Colors (our graphic design team loves doing this),
  9. Segmenting a Source by Hostname, to see what domains are collecting data on my account and which domains have tracking code on them
  10. Segmenting anything by the User-Defined value in Google Analytics (which is already custom segmentation – so this is double segmentation!)

If you are someone who has never really made use of segmenting before, you need to start doing so right away. It’s a very powerful feature, and arguably the most important feature of all of web analytics, and you can really dig deep and slice & dice data in countless ways. It also saves you a bundle of time – and makes you look good, too!

As far as custom segmentation goes, this is great if your web analytics package has it. Play around with it and make use of creating custom segments to make you look even better! 🙂

August 6 2008

Rest in Peace, _initData.

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Take a look at the following two sets of Google Analytics Tracking Code. Can you spot the difference between the two?

Old GA.js Tracking Code:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJshost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." :
"http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3C script src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js'
type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-1234567-1");
pageTracker._initData();
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>

New GA.js Tracking Code:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJshost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." :
"http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3C script src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js'
type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-1234567-1");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
</script>

As of very recently, the great folks at Google Analytics have removed the following line of code:

pageTracker._initData();

…and have modified the actual GA.js tracking file to execute this command automatically.

What this means for you:

Until Google Analytics makes some sort of announcement about it, this does not mean anything to you. There has been no interruption in the collection of data or the display of data in all of your Google Analytics Accounts. Also, it will not “hurt” you to keep _initData in your Google Analytics Tracking Code on the pages of your website. So, don’t worry, and don’t send in that request to your IT or Web Development team quite yet.

If you’d like to be proactive about it, simply remove:

pageTracker._initData();

from the GA Tracking Code on all of the pages on your website, and you should be good to go.

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