Who said it first according to Google

Gerd Leonhard delivered a wonderful presentation at the future of digital marketing in London last week. In his presentation Gerd used the quote “data is the new oil of the Internet”. He wasn’t sure who the author was but thought the quote was a powerful statement, particularly in relation to the social networking & sharing information online.

So who said it first?

New search features released by Google in May 2010 enable you to narrow down search results by time and keywords. Now in couple minutes you can find the original author – of course with an assumption that all content is indexed by Google!

If you use standard search queries you will probably find that it was Gerd Leonhard. In order to find the first result I had to use a combination of phrase match, negative terms, change the sort order and specify date range. The search phrase does almost look like a piece of code.

Here’s the final Google query “data is the new oil” -site:www.mediafuturist.com -@garyr0binson -leonhard -gleonhard

You will see the first result is linking to the speech delivered by Meglena Kuneva (EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner) in Brussels on 31st March 2009. Ms Kuneva said “Personal data is the new oil of the Internet and the new currency of the digital world” . If you trust Google she is creator & original author of this powerful quote.

Wolfram|Alpha vs. Google comparison

After reading Ericks’ article and comments on how Google will crush Wolfram|Alpha I thought it would be good to summmarise the discussion as there seem to be a lot of confusion what Wolfram|Alpha is/isn’t.

See the differences in the table below and feel free to adda comment if you think I missed anything.

At the same time I have to say I’m very excited about the Wolfram|Alpha project and I wish it had been available few years ago when I was still at the uni.

Title google logo wolfram|alpha logo
Search Engine Yes – google is indexing the web and returning list of pages No – it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base
Free Yes Yes, free for personal noncommercial use
Audience Mainstream audience, thanks to its simplicity Everyone, but given its complexity and it will attract mainly academic audience
Link with information source connects users with information source connects users with information
Database updates real-time dependent on the indexing frequency potentially real-time subject to manual data input and approval
Typical queries general interest, shopping scientific, academic
Business model Mainly Pay Per Click contextual ads Paid subscriptions with enhanced features for large-scale and commercial use and business partnerships
Fundations 1995: Based on a search engine called BackRub, BackRub operated on Stanford servers from 1995 1988: Wolfram|Alpha is built on the Wolfram Mathematica system, which has been in continual development since 1988
Languages 41 English only
Limitations authority based on PageRank, lack of common data structure Wolfram|Alpha can only know things that are known, and are somehow public. It only deals with facts, not opinions
Key strenghts Simplicity and a wide range of knowledge/data computation and mathematics
Data checks Mainly automated and managed by Google spam team. But, given its mainstream audience highly affected by spam Automated and manual, including exper review. Less likely to be targeted by spammers
Data upload No – data needs to be published on the web Yes – submission process sumilar to wikipedia
Private personal information Yes No. It contains only information that is considered public.
Adult content Yes, particularly when SafeSearch Filtering is off No. It has no adult images or narrative. It gives only factual answers to factual questions.

Conclusion
Many similarities but they are two completely different tools – targeting different audience.

I think Wolfram|Alpha has its right to exist as a niche and reliable tool for research and I’m sure there are businesses who will pay for additional features. What do you think?

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics Review

Book Cover: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton“Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics” by Brian Clifton is the first and only comprehensive Google Analytics manual. Brian Clifton is web analytics expert who worked at Google helping to develop Google Analytics for more than 2.5 years. There is probably not many people in the world who know more about the product. So when I ordered Advanced Web Metrics I expected a lot of useful hacks rather than boring interface/reporting explanation.

I use Google Analytics everyday and this book answered many questions that have been nagging at the back of my mind for months. If you are wondering what’s the best practice for tracking video or visits from image search with Google Analytics this book is definitely for you.

Here’s my top 5 of the Advanced Web Metrics
– powerful hacks and great examples
– 10 recommendations for web analytics accuracy
– ‘virtual pageviews’ for tracking transactions on non e-commerce sites
– using exitTracker to capture clicks on banners and other outgoing links
– changing referrer credited for conversion

Even though I’ve used Google Analytics a lot I didn’t know that GA keeps data for a minimum of 25 months and that the penultimate referrer gets credit from direct traffic transactions.

So just to sum up, it’s a great book for everyone who works with Google Analytics. Please bare in mind though that you need to have HTML/JavaScript knowledge to get the most out of the examples/hacks.

More about Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
Marshall Sponder Review
Official book launch on Brian Clifton’s blog

Jonathan Jay formula for a successful startup

I went to see Jonathan Jay, he runs highly successful Coaching Academy, at Business Startup conference (Excel, London). He’s done one slide presentation where he explained this formula for a successful startup.

Jonathan Jay Formula for a successful startup

NM – niche market
QL – quality leads
AS – automated system (to generate and process leads)
PP – people power (reduce as much as possible – i.e., try with less staff)
QP – quality product
BPM – big profit margin
LO – low overheads
RR – reduce risk
RP – repeat business
WN – what’s next
BP – big profit
EH -eternal happiness
square 2 – are two additional components that can multiply profits and happiness – no 1 is understanding sales and marketing and no 2 your attitude

It all sounds really simple but I thought is a great way to look at any business plan or idea. Also, Jonathan gave many real examples for all the acronyms above.

I’ve decided to improve his formula to make it mathematically correct.

Jonathan Jay Formula for a successful startup Improved!

Another speaker I went to see was Jeremy Martin, co-founder of the brand For Goodness Shakes. He delivered extremely interesting presentation proving that any brand can be successfully promoted with a little budget.

You can find out more about the seminar on the Business Startup website.

Content effectiveness or popularity measure

One of the metrics that I’ve discovered in Google Analytics recently allows measuring the effectiveness of different sections of your site. You probably heard people using the “content effectiveness”. Some people refer to this measure when talking about a report, which shows you the volumes of visits to each group of pages on your website (content groups in Webtrends).

Here’s an example of this type of a “content effectiveness” report

Content Group Visits
Products 1000
Categories 150
Product Reviews 5200

From looking at the table above you might think that it is important to invest in Product reviews and that Categories are not performing well. Does these numbers really tell you how effective your content is or is it just an indicator of where most of your visitors go?

The information that is missing in that report is the number of URLs. In order to calculate the effectiveness of your content you need to divide the number of visits by the number of URLs within this content group or site directory.

Content Effectiveness = Visits to a content group / URLs within this content group

The same table with this additional column and the Content Effectiveness metric added would look like this.

Content Group Visits URLs Content Effectiveness
Products 1000 400 2.5
Categories 150 5 30
Product Reviews 5200 3000 1.73

So now you can tell that the Categories are actually giving you 30 visits per URL, whereas products only 2.5. This might be due to the fact that you are driving most of your paid traffic to the category level pages but it might also mean that your product level pages are not optimised.

This is probably one of the most powerful metrics that you can use to find out what pages you should focus on and which pages are not worth your time.

Top Limitations of Google Analytics

A couple weeks ago I attended the Advanced Google Analytics Seminar in Manchester, where Andrew Miles from Omega Digital Media was talking about Advanced features of Google Analytics. His presentation inspired me to think a little bit more about the limitations of Google Analytics, which were mentioned briefly on one of the slides.

Although Google Analytics is still probably the best free tracking tool there are some serious limitations that should be considered before you decide to use it as your main tracking solution.

What Google Analytics can’t do?

1. Data re-processing

e.g. if you change or add filters it will only affect data going forward and will not be applied retroactively.

2. Real time tracking

Google Analytics generally updates your reports every 24 hours. It is not a huge drawback but in some cases when you update your website daily that might be an issue. From my own experience I can see that Google Analytics usually updates the reports every few hours.

3. Import non AdWords data

Currently, Google Analytics only enables to import cost data for ROI analysis from Google AdWords.

4. Bid management

Only important when you spend a lot on PPC.

5. Ad hoc reporting

Need a bespoke report? Google Analytics can’t do it for you. This is a major limitation. In case you run a bigger site sooner or later you’ll be in a situation where you need to customize your reports.

6. Heatmaps

Site overlay report is not entirely accurate and doesn’t provide heatmaps.

7. Not integrated into AdSense

If you are running AdSense bare in mind that Google doesn’t allow users to track clicks automatically. There are javascript hacs available that let you to do that though.

8. Transfer account

Currently, it is not possible to transfer profiles or account ownership to another account.

9. Change time zone when linked with AdWords

If your Google Analytics account is linked with AdWords then Google Analytics will use time zone settings from AdWords. These cannot be changed though and you need to contact Google to unlink the account first, which might be a nuisance.

10. Attribute the first touch to a conversion

Google Analytics will attribute the most recent campaign information to a conversion. This behavior can be modified but requires addition of a tracking code and cannot be changed across the whole site. There are some hacks available but it should be a standard feature.

11. Lack of support

Yes there is Help center, however, if your question is not answered there chances that you get any information from Google are slim. You can either hire someone/train in-house, do it yourself or hire one of the GAACs (Google Analytics Authorized Consuntant).

More limitations?

I use Google Analytics almost every day and I’ll try to update this post in case there is something that is not on the list.

Actionable Web Analytics Book Review

actionable web analyticsAfter writing all the positive things about the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day I’ve looked at the book reviews on Amazon and found more than 35 people, all singing praises apart from one! This is what Milan Savani says about the Avinash’s book “90% fluff, 10% knowledge…good if you have time to read 480 pages to get the 48 you need”. He also recommends reading Jasons Burby & Shand Atchison’s Actionable Web Analytics – Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.

To find out if these accusations are justified and whether the Actionable Web Analytics is actually as good as described I’ve decided to act on Mr Savani’s advice and bought my second web analtytics book.

Today, after I’ve read the book I must say that I partially agree with the reviewer…Actionable Web Analytics offers very similar information as you can find in the Avinash’s book but here is presented in much more succinct format.

The most useful chapters in Actionable Web Analytics

There are chapters in the Actionable Web Analytics book, which I find extremely useful. This book definately will help you to get your head around the overall Web Analytics concept. The three chapters, which I’m going to take actions from are the “performance marketing” approach (chapter 2), site types and KPIs (chapter 6) and monetization (chapter 7).

The “performance marketing” approach explains how to deal with site redesigns and dispells some common myths of web design. The chapter also highlights monitoring, testing and user behaviour as the three main areas of the “perfomance marketing” concept.

The 6th Chapter of the book I find the most useful. I’ve never thought about putting sites into the five main categories E-commerce, lead generation, customer service, content and branding sites.

The monetization methodology would be immediately helpful to larger organisations, where business cases have to be created before any changes are made to the website.

Actionable Web Analytics vs. Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

I personally find Actionable Web Analytics more logical and practical, however I still think the Kaushik’s book makes for quite a good read. Both books are excellent and I’m happy that I had begun my Web Analytics journey from the Web Analytics: An Hour A Day.

Best places to see in Poland

Should I go to Warsaw (Warszawa)? Cracow (Kraków)? or Gdansk (Gda?sk)? So what are the best places to see in Poland?
poland map
There is certainly a large number of people not only from the UK who are planning a short break in Poland but they often don’t know where to go. One of my friends is going this week for 4 or 5 days and asked me about the best places to visit.

Here is what I would do if I only had a few days in Poland. There are some essentials that you just have to see as this might be your only visit to this country and you want to make sure you make the most of it.

Cracow a must see place in Poland
Cracow Barbican - Kraków BarbakanI would put Cracow (Kraków) on the top of the list. One of must see places in Poland, Cracow is the former capital of Poland, city of artists and one of the most amazing destinations in Europe. You should give yourself at least 1-2 days to visit the main market square, the historical trade pavilions of the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Wawel Castle, Collegium Maius (situated at the corner of St.Anna and Jagiellonska Streets, is the oldest university edifice in Poland, it’s history goes back to 1400) and my personal favourite Great Barbican. In terms of nightlife and pubs I recommend Kazimierz, which is a former medieval town, now part of Cracow. The Kazimierz’s market square (look for Plac Nowy on the map) offers very different atmosphere than the main one. If you are looking for a real, more bohemian and less touristic area Kazimierz is definately the place to go for a night out. It is cheaper then the main square too! Here is the full list of pubs in Kazimierz.

Day trips from Cracow

The Wieliczka Salt Mine
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is your another stop, they even offer tours in English (in the morning at 10, 11.30 or in the afternoon 12.15, 1.45, 3, 5). Wieliczka is only 10 kilometers from Cracow city centre and you can get here by taxi, one of the buses or just take a train from the Kraków G?ówny train station. Some say that the Wieliczka Salt Mine is no less magnificent than Egyptian pyramids and no wonder it’s been listed as one of the UNESCO sites. Here is what they say about The Wieliczka Salt Mine in UNESCO.

Wieliczka Salt Mine - kopalnia soli“The historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka is the only mining site in the world functioning continuously since the Middle Ages. Lying on nine levels, its original excavations (longitudinals, traverses, chambers, lakes, as well as minor and major shafts) stretch for the total of about 300 kilometres: reaching the depth of 327 metres they illustrate all the stages of mining technology development over time.”

Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum
Auschwitz Birkenau - memorial and museumWhile you are outside Cracow you should also visit the memorial and museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the summer museum is opened from 8AM to 7PM. If you are thinking how much time you should leave for your visit in Auschwitz here is a quotation from the museum’s website.

“The duration of a visit is determined solely by the individual interests and needs of the visitors. As a minimum, however, at least one-and-a-half hours each should be reserved for the grounds and exhibitions of Auschwitz I and for the Birkenau site. It is necessary to visit both parts of the camp, Birkenau and Auschwitz, in order to acquire a proper sense of the place that has become the symbol of the Holocaust.”

As for transport there are a lot of buses, trains from Cracow city center.

Zakopane – top holiday destination
Morskie Oko Lake  Zakopane, Tatra MountainsWhen you are in Cracow you just can’t not go to Zakopane! Zakopane is one of the top holiday destinations and the most popular mountain resort in Poland, located 95 kilometers (59 miles) south of Cracow, you can get there by one the frequent buses from the bus station. The Krupówki street is the main street of Zakopane with tons of traditional restaurants and regional pubs. You won’t be able to see everything you want in one day so rent a room and stay at least for one night. You should be able to find rooms when you arrive, even in the peak periods there is a plenty of local people at the bus or train station offering cheap rooms. Remember to try the traditional cheese called “Oscypek”, which you can buy almost everywhere and don’t be surprised when it is being sold without packaging – it’s all handmade, organic and delicious! Please also don’t limit your visit to the main street, there are thousands of hiking trails. If you don’t like hiking spent at least few hours to see the Morskie Oko lake (see picture).

From Cracow to Warsaw
Warsaw Castle Square Old TownAlthough I’m not the biggest fan of the capital city of Poland from the historical point of view it is certainly another place you should consider visiting. Train travel is definately the best way to tour from Cracow to Warsaw, but be careful when booking trains some of them can make turn this fairly small 275 kilometers (170 miles) distance into 6 hours journey, ask for a train that takes less than 3hrs. If you need train schedule go to the train station or visit the PKP website. Buy tickets at the train station, I’m not sure you can get them online. In Warsaw, I recommend going to Wilanow Palace, Warsaw Old Town and Lazienki Park.

I hope you find it useful and I would also appreciate feedback from all poeple who have been in these places. There is so much more you can say about Cracow and Warsaw but I didn’t want to turn it into a long lesson about history of Poland. There is also a lot more to see in Poland. Although i’ve never been to Gdansk I heard it is a beautiful city.

Anyway, hope you enjoy your visit!

Avinash Kaushik Web Analytics Book Review

Web analytics: An Hour a Day - Avinash KaushikAfter reading The Web Analytics: An Hour a Day I was supposed to write a short review of this probably the most pragmatic web analytics book written so far but Avinash Kaushik’s book makes so many revolutionary and sometimes provocative statements, which I can’t resist commenting on.

Here is the combined list of all interesting thoughts from The Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. Initially I tried to split them up into negative or positive category but even here the golden 10/90 rule applies as I can only refer to a couple small things as negative. I’ve decided to put them into categories, hope this format would work for everyone, so here are the categories:

For those who don’t want to read the full review I might just say that Web Analytics: An Hour a Day id a fantastic resource and everyone interested in Web Analytics would find it useful to read. For advanced analysts though, there will be a lot of sections that you might want to skip but it should be still very useful even if you just want to find out how other analysts work.

List of things to remember from the Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

1. “all vendors use similar methods to capture data” – this is an important statement, even if you spend 200k on your sophisticated software the data will be captured in very similar way as in free tools such as Google Analytics. Think before your pay for gathering data.

2. “Data quality on the Internet absolutely sucks”, here are some most common reasons why: try tracking user activity in Ajax or Flash application, what if you’ve just realised that some of your pages weren’t properly tagged?, what is the definition of a visit? if i wait 30 min and come back to the site is it a new visit? Not many people know how the data is captured and why it rarely ties in with the data captured with another software.

3. “assume a level of comfort with the data” – don’t dive into the data and look at it with 70-80% confidence. See the point about the data quality above?

4. “go for free tools first” – when choosing right vendor, try the free tool and only if it has some limitations try buying one with more features

5. “ensure all pages are tagged” – write a simple software that will do it for you. It is just to ensure that your web analytics software is capturing all information that is available, i.e. you can trust your data more.

6. It happens that there are multiple source links on a website to the same target page”. Not many people realise how common this issue is, its bad for SEO and causes problems from a tracking perspective.

7. “spend time with your IT team and your web analytics vendor to understand
how sessionisation is done in the application”
– assuming that all IT teams understand sessions and implemented sessions in the same manner might be a big mistake

8. “Remember that the unique visitors that we report use cookie values and
therefore are dependent on various issues that affect cookies”

9. When a user walks away from the browser, leaves it open or types in a different URL in the address bar the JavaScript tags have no way of knowing how long the customer spent on that last page, i.e. would report 0 seconds on the last page.

10. Thing to remember when you want to base your reports on page views: rich
media don’t use URLs to communicate with the server, i.e. the URL never changes when you navigate on a Flash or Ajax website (there is no such concept as a page)

11. Understanding multichannel marketing and tracking offline-to-online campaigns is very important; how often we assume that no external factors affect traffic trends on our website it’s good practice to have in mind all offline campaigns when it comes to tracking and traffic analysis.

12. When tracking customer behaviour consider also newspaper articles, visits to branches, call centre questions and purchases in branch or over the phone

13. “Most important cookies should be first-party cookies” – most of the antispyware software will reject third-party cookies.

14. Bounce rate is the first step in understanding whether you are getting qualified traffic.

15. Some websites such as support sites might require qualitative data rather than quantitative, which is better for e-commerce sites

16. Focus on short term goals, no point on setting five-year goals for the Web

17. Segment and try on a small scale, great advice it is so much easier to see things when segmenting data

18. “almost always path analysis rends to be a sub optimal use of your time, resource, and money”

Things you can learn from the Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

1. You can track Exit links, i.e. traffic leakage of the outgoing links

2. Multivariate testing explained in simple words

3. To ask “What is your hypothesis?” every time we are asked to change something in the template/design

DMAIC process4. What is the DMAIC process and how you can apply it to web analytics?

5. “Measure the cookie rejection and deletion rates” – how often we are being asked how many people have cookies switched on or off?

6. Reasons why you won’t know all your referrers, i.e. you will see blank/null referrer. In reality you won’t know referrer for 40-60% of all traffic as it comes from bookmarks or direct entry (people who type in the URL in the browsers). Other reasons why you might not be able to see the referring source includes browser security settings, non permanent redirects, other campaigns where the referrer might not be passed properly.

7. Most people looking at the website performance have an obsession with their home pages, don’t be one of them. Usually the homepage does not account for the majority of traffic to the website.

8. “ask your agency not for data but for analysis”

9. how to track a blog and useful metrics, which enable to measure its success and also RSS feeds popularity metrics

10. Conversion Rate review (best practice) is very useful

11. Site abandonment rate (in percent terms) = 1 – (the total order placed on the website / the total Add to Cart clicks)

12. importance of surveys and qualitative analysis

Great ideas

1. Some powerful metrics for a support website include Problem resolution rate, timeliness, likelihood to recommend.

2. if you focus on sales, i.e. e-commerce goals and only 30% of your visitors
have some intentions to buy something you are ignoring 70% of your traffic; think about creating no e-commerce goals?

3. I like the idea of using colloquial language to name metrics, i.e. “less than one page” – “Abandoners”, “1-3 pages” – “Flirters”

4. Measure the real size of your convertible “opportunity pie” – interesting concept on calculating potential conversions

Things I didn’t like about the Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

1. It happens that Avinash Kaushik oversimplifies statistical & business aspects of web analytics. I’ve found a number of instances in the book where a fairly issue was explained in one sentence, there is also a lack of references to complex statistical books. There is nothing wrong with it unless you need to investigate the issue and need more details. So a general comment is that the book touches a lot of different areas of online but scratches the surface very often. I was mainly disappointed with seasonality and trend analysis, statistical sections (e.g. the one about statistical significance, it’s not that simple as it is explained),

2. Assumptions.
– One of the assumptions is about JavaScript tagging, which Avinash recommends as the best method for tracking. In Poland Internet users value their privacy more or they maybe just don’t trust The Web to the extent as people in other countries and would have their cookies switched off very often. It is definitely a factor to consider when measuring effectiveness of an online campaign in Poland.
– Another assumption “most of the click density in internal search should be clustered on the top five search results links, and no one should click Next Page” – I don’t think I would agree with it and also as a data enthusiast I would expect Avinash to present some analysis to prove it. It would be also interesting to see an industry breakdown as these metrics might be different for a shopping or support website.

3. I found the structure of the book difficult to follow. In the first part of the book there were too many “step by step” guides, which dilutes the focus of important sections of the book. The lack of clear sections/chapters such as tracking, reporting and analysis doesn’t help either. I’m not convinced that the “An Hour a Day” structure works very well.

4. Many irrelevant facts such as “if you are sending traffic to partner sites, consider asking them for a referring fee or at least reciprocal links”, there were times when I thought – Is that a web analytics book or a general overview of online strategies?. I know Aviniash might ask for some examples, as an example I would put here the whole SEO section (p. 204-207) and Web 2.0 (p. 314).

5. Inclusion ratio on page 217. In Google when you do site:www.domain.com it only shows an estimated number of pages. If you use URLs to track sessions the number you get from Google might be way off the real number. So if you are concerned about accuracy of this estimate run a crawler to find out what is the real number.

6. I’m not convinced about referring to Wikipedia when explaining definitions such as “statistics”, “search engine optimisation” and many, many, more.

7. When Avinash revisits foundational web metrics he highlights downsides of the use of Page Views and even gives an example from his blog, i.e. the general message is “Don’t use Page Views as a metric”. In one of the last chapters, however, Page Views are presented as a very useful metric (see the chart below).
intersection of page views and time on site for key customer segments

Avinash Kaushik Web Analytics Review – Part 1

I’m still in the middle of the “Web Analytics: An Hour a Day” and thought i will share some thoughts after reading the first part of the Avinash’s book. The overall impression can’t be more positive and although i haven’t finished reading the book yet I would recommend it to everyone interested in Web Analytics or involved in online marketing. Web Analytics: An Hour a Day will help you to understand how to analyse & measure your online activities.

Good points Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

1. The book highlights some important things that are often neglected. I’ve listed some of them below.

“all vendors use similar methods to capture data” – this is an important statement, even if you spend 200k on your sophisticated software the data will be captured in very similar way as in free tools such as Google Analytics. Think before your pay for gathering data.

“Data quality on the Internet absolutely sucks”, here are some most common reasons why: try tracking user activity in Ajax or Flash application, what if you’ve just realised that some of your pages weren’t properly tagged?, what is the definition of a visit? if i wait 30 min and come back to the site is it a new visit? Not many people know how the data is captured and why it rarely ties in with the data captured with another software.

“assume a level of comfort with the data” – don’t dive into the data and look at it with 70-80% confidence. See the point about the data quality above?

“go for free tools first” – when choosing right vendor, try the free tool and only if it has some limitations try buying one with more features

“ensure all pages are tagged” – write a simple software that will do it for you. It is just to ensure that your web analytics software is capturing all information that is available, i.e. you can trust your data more.

“Multiple source links on a page to the same target” – not many people realise that it is not uncommon to have multiple URLs pointing to the same target page, its bad for SEO and causes problems from a tracking perspective.

“Most important cookies should be first-party cookies” – most of the antispyware software will reject third-party cookies.

“Measure the cookie rejection and deletion rates” – how often we are being asked how many people have cookies switched on or off?

2. I personally liked the phrase “complex website ecosystem”

Bad points Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

1. Sometimes I feel that the Web Analytics: An Hour A Day is oversimplifying some business aspects of web analytics. I’ve found a number of instances in the book where a complicated issue was explained in one sentence. There is nothing wrong with it unless you need to investigate the issue and need more details. So a general comment after reading the first part of the book is that it touches a lot of different areas of online but scratches the surface very often.

One of the assumptions is about JavaScript tagging, which Avinash recommends as the best method for tracking. In Poland Internet users value their privacy more or they maybe just don’t trust The Web to the extent as people in other countries and would have their cookies switched off very often. It might skew data if you have a multi language site.

2. Too many “step by step” guides – dilutes the focus of many sections of the book.

3. Lack of clear sections/chapters such as tracking, reporting, analysing. I’m also not convinced that the “An Hour a Day” structure works very well.

Anyway, can’t wait to read the II part of the book.