Articles about "Google Analytics"


News sites increasingly kept in the dark as Google hides incoming search terms

Adtrak

A sizable percentage of inbound search terms are hidden from publishers now that Google encrypts searches by default when users are logged in to Google.com and Firefox and Chrome use encrypted search in their toolbars.

When Google announced the change in October, the company predicted that the change would affect less than 10 percent of searchers. Adtrak writes that the figure is much higher:

Figures reiterated quite often on blogs, forums and in tweets suggest that some 20% of their keyword traffic is hidden behind secure search (when a person is signed into their Google account and searching the web).

I checked Poynter.org’s analytics: Keywords were hidden in 29 percent of searches in April. That’s up from 22.5 percent in November, shortly after the change was made. Now “(not provided)” makes up the largest category of search terms, dwarfing the second place term: Poynter. Overall, 6 percent of inbound traffic now comes from a black box.

Besides Google, Firefox and Chrome now default to secure search in their toolbars. When you combine Google’s share of the search market with Firefox and Chrome’s share of the browser market, about 26 percent of searches will be encrypted, not including those logged in to Google, according to Practical eCommerce.

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8 questions Google real-time analytics can answer right now about what’s happening on your website

We live in a real-time world. The news cycle isn’t just 24 hours now, it’s 1,440 minutes a day. Publishers who want to keep pace need access to Web traffic data that moves just as quickly.

Several website analytics services will give you real-time data about your site traffic, for a price. But now Google Analytics, the free metrics service popular among smaller news sites and blogs, is rolling out its own real-time dashboards for anyone to use.

There’s no cost or risk to using it. And you don’t have to install anything new. You will have to make sure you are using the “new version” of the Google Analytics website (check for a red link at the top of the page), and look under the “Home” section for the “Real-Time (Beta)” menu on the left. If you don’t have access yet, request it here.

Here are eight questions Google’s new real-time analytics can answer for your news site today.

The overview dashboard for real-time analytics shows total visitors on site, pageviews per second and minute, top active pages, top referral sources, and more.

How many visitors are on my site right now? One simple number shows you the total headcount on your site right now. Watch this over time and you’ll get a sense of what’s normal, and know when your site is doing better or worse than usual.

How many of my active visitors have been there before? Just below the visitor count is a breakdown of the percentage of visitors who are new or returning.

How many pageviews am I recording each moment? At the top right are two mesmerizing, scrolling bar charts. One shows you the number of pageviews per second for the last minute, the other shows you the total pageviews per minute for the last half-hour. Don’t stare at them all day, but do keep an eye out for big spikes or declines.

How many people are on each Web page right now? The “content” section shows pages with current visitors and ranks them by popularity. If something is getting a surprising amount of traffic, you can see where it’s coming from. If you see a good story is underperforming, maybe you can change the headline or promote it more.

The locations page in Google’s real-time analytics shows a map and a list of the places your current visitors are located.

What cities or countries are most people visiting from? The “locations” section shows a map of the top 10 and a list of the top 20 cities or countries represented by your current visitors. The circles on the map grow and shrink in proportion to the audience, so it’s easy to see at a glance that your site is doing well in New York, or surging in Seattle. Try watching how many visitors arrive as you publish a story about a particular city, or see which parts of the country visit your site at different times of day.

How many active readers do I have in a given town? The locations section search box enables you to look up any city, even if it’s not in the top 20 shown by default.

What websites are sending me traffic right now? In the “traffic sources” section, check how many visitors you’re currently getting from each website, social network and search engine. Look for new referral sources you can try to grow over time.

What search keywords are sending me traffic? The overview and traffic sources pages show what keywords visitors are searching for that lead them to your site. This signals what readers are looking for and also how they are finding it. Try to include high-demand keywords in your headlines. (There’s also a whole new SEO section in the regular Google Analytics product.)

Those are eight good reasons to experiment with Google Analytics today. Keep in mind this is a beta-stage product that is still in development. But it is free, and it provides a lot (not all) of the same basic real-time data as a comparable service like Chartbeat, which costs about $10 to $150 a month depending on the size of your site.

There are some things I think Google’s real-time analytics needs to add.

More secondary filters would be great. It’s nice to know you have a lot of active visits from Los Angeles, but it would be better to drill down and see what the L.A. folks are reading, or what referral sources sent them to your site. Right now, you can’t do that. Cutting this real-time data across two or three variables at a time would let people answer a lot more questions.

The other missing piece is advanced social networking data. The referral sources show how many visitors come from Facebook.com or from Twitter’s t.co links. But website owners don’t know which social media users posted those links, or which users accounted for most of the traffic. The good news is, Google recently acquired a social analytics company, so maybe we will see features like this in the future.

Earlier: Google Analytics introduces mobile stats | Newsbeat debuts as robust, real-time Web analytics tool for news publishers | A new generation of Web analytics uses ‘big data’ to predict story performance Read more

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Google News won’t index solo journalists

SplatF | GigaOM
Dan Frommer, who helped to launch Business Insider and now is covering technology on his own site, describes how Google News rejected his request to be indexed because he’s a one-man shop. He posts the email from Google News explaining the policy, which includes this passage:

“We don’t include sites that are written and maintained by one individual. We currently only include articles from sources that could be considered organizations, generally characterized by multiple writers and editors, availability of organizational information, and accessible contact information.”

Frommer writes, “Never mind solo shops practicing entrepreneurial journalism — Google wants news with overhead!” Frommer writes. He argues that the policy doesn’t make sense because he’s doing the same professional work he did when he worked at Forbes and Business Insider. “Google’s best future is one where legacy media is decentralized, and where an aggregator like Google News helps people make sense of it all.” Mathew Ingram sizes up the situation and concludes, “This is just another example of how Google has failed to take advantage of Google News and its real disruptive potential.” (Poynter.org is indexed by Google News.) Read more

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Google Analytics introduces new mobile stats with answers for news sites

The new version of Google Analytics adds a section with data on mobile visitors that can help news organizations learn about their smartphone and tablet audience.

First, to access the new features be sure you are using the newest version (if you see a red link in the top-right page menu that says “New Version,” click it).

Here are the three main tools this gives you, and some examples of important questions they can answer about your website.

How to access the new mobile data section.

Mobile visitors overview: Visitors > Mobile > Overview will show you statistics about your visitors on mobile devices, and contrast it with non-mobile visitors.

Questions the data answers: How much of your traffic comes from mobile now, and how is it changing over time? Are your mobile visitors more likely to be new to the site? Strategic question to consider: What can you do to retain them?

Mobile devices: Visitors > Mobile > Devices will show you stats for each type of mobile device that visits your site. Be sure to explore the secondary menu just below the graph, which lets you sort by device name, device manufacturer, operating system and others.

Questions the data answers: Do iPad visitors stay longer and read more pages than others? What referral sources are iPhone, iPad or Android users coming from? What pages are they landing on most often?

For an example of what you can learn, this map shows where Poynter.org’s mobile device traffic in New York comes from.

Mobile visitor locations: Visitors > Mobile > Devices then click the “Map Overlay” tab above the chart. This will show you a map of where your mobile visitors are coming from. Zoom in to see where your traffic is.

Question the data answers: Where are most of your mobile users? Strategic question to consider: Are there Web products or apps you can launch to serve their specific communities?

After you familiarize yourself with these tools, decide which metrics are important to your businesses strategy and devise a plan to track those metrics over time. Use the data to measure success and adjust your tactics periodically. Read more

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