March 13, 2008, 12:00 AM

Data shows Google Analytics emerging as widely used tool

Year-end data from consultant site show the free Google Analytics is the sole analytics tool at half of sample web sites and in use at 17.2% of the sites that use more than one analytics vendor.

Google’s two year-old, free web analytics tool is getting a tryout from online businesses both as a solution to augment another analytics package they are using and as the exclusive provider of web analytics. In fact, where online marketers are running more than one web analytics package to track traffic or other site data, Google Analytics is the most common second tool, according to new data on the analytics market.

Those findings, from, the web site of analytics consultant and author Eric T. Peterson, are drawn from the Vendor Discovery Tool application he developed to allow users to research the web analytics packages in use at major web sites. The sample population includes more than 58,000 web page addresses covering 23,00 distinct domains, drawing from all of the Fortune 1,000 companies as well as other highly visited sites on the web.

As of the end of 2007, Google’s free analytics package was in use at 17.2% of domains searched in the sample that use dual analytics vendors. Google Analytics also was in use as the exclusive web analytics provider at 50.5% of the domains searched by the tool. This exceeded the 11.6% share as exclusive web analytics vendor held by Omniture Inc., the next closest contender.

Brett Crosby, senior manager of Google Analytics, has placed the current number of users of the tool, which launched in late 2005, at “hundreds of thousands”; some outside estimates place the number of users at upwards of 1 million.

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