Yesterday I wrote about the potential game-changing impact that the Google Analytics Browser-Based Opt-Out plugin could have on the online marketing industry. And I still have those fears, but then I got to thinking:
There are a few things that have to happen before the opt-out plugin has the impact I, and most I’ve talked to about it, feared.
- All the browsers have to accept the plugin. – Just because you make the plugin doesn’t meant the browsers have to accept it. Even if you’re Google. Granted, the Google Toolbar will probably be the work-around. But even if they get it working there is still one more barrier to overcome…
- Community acceptance – It’ll be interesting to see if people accept the plugin and use it. Especially considering those who use Analytics on their site.
But if both occurrences happen and the Google Analytics browser-based opt-out plugin monstrosity becomes reality, then alternatives must be considered.
Alternatives to Google Analytics
- Yahoo! Web Analytics – If you’re spending $25 a month or more on Yahoo! Search and affiliates, then you have another powerful browser-based tool at your disposal – Yahoo! Web Analytics. Yahoo! is similar to Google Analytics but the results aren’t always as deep. But there is a tradeoff – real time results as opposed to GA’s midnight updates.
There are a couple other free tools, but sticking with the big name, tools, I’ll start in on the pay sites.
- Omniture - If you’re a small or even a medium size company using one account, Omniture might not be your first choice, but that don’t mean it’s not really really good. Even comes complete with a support staff to assist in implementation and how to read the reports. Just make sure you set your filters. If you don’t touch them and leave them as a period, you won’t get data.
- WebTrends – my friend Douglas Karr is not only the WebTrends SEO Consultant, but he’s also a believer. And with the most recent launch of WebTrends and the surrounding Buzz, I see it worth the try. Especially if you want something with Facebook tracking. And with their relationship with Radian6 and SalesForce, WebTrends reach into search engines and social media is extensive.
- StatPress – and for WordPress fans, there’s always old faithful.
I’ve also found a list of tools I’ve never used. If you’ve used any on the lists in the links, let me know what you think.
Then maybe next week we can dive into my biggest fear with this Google Analytics browser-based opt-in plugin: