December 15, 2005, 12:00 AM

Google web analytics poses little to threat to high-end vendors, study says

High-end web analytics vendors have little to fear from Google Inc.’s free web analytics service, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. Google announced the free service in mid-November.

High-end web analytics vendors have little to fear from Google Inc.’s free web analytics service, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. Google announced the free service in mid-November.

Google Analytics will appeal mainly to small and medium-sized businesses that lack a web analytics program. But the Google product, built on the Urchin Software Corp. product, is less sophisticated and lacks the analytical features larger retailers seek, according to the report.

For example, Google Analytics is primarily a self-service product. “Buyers looking for hand-holding and guidance should stick with web analytics vendors with deep service staff and skills,” Forrester said.

In addition, Google Analytics has only a basic access control model, no custom reports, no e-mail support for reports, no data import capability and limited export capability, according to the study. It also offers integration only with Google AdWords and AdSense, while sophisticated online marketers want integration with major e-mail vendors and support for multiple search vendors and affiliate networks, according to the report.

Retailers also will hesitate to purchase analytics from the same vendor that sells them ads, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, Google’s free offer will increase awareness of web analytics among non-users and novices, and ultimately will whet their appetites for more sophisticated products that offer rich graphics, data warehousing and more flexible administration, Forrester said.

However, high-end vendors should expect to see less revenue from mid-market retailers that might find the Google offer appealing, Forrester said.

 

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