I've launched and buried a few blogs in my day, and the one constant through all of my personal online publishing has been my use of Google Analytics.
Being something of a metrics freak, I've always found the level of detail that Google Analytics delivered to be both fascinating and useful.
Any web publisher who users GA knows what I'm talking about. This traffic tracking tool offers an unbelievable level of detail, down to the city location of someone who clicked on one of your links.
Most amazingly, at least to me, is that the service always has been free. It almost makes up for my suspicion that Google's AdSense program deals from the bottom of the deck when it comes to smaller accounts, mysteriously disappearing accrued money so that your site never quite hits the $100 threshold necessary to get a check.
Google this week announced some changes to its Analytics tool, primarily a redesign intended to make it easier to navigate and, more importantly, the availability of real-time data. Until now, you had to wait at least a couple of hours to see traffic data for a post. Now you can view the numbers instantly.
But while GA will continue to be offered as a free service, the search giant now has rolled out a premium, for-pay version. So what does Google Analytics Premium offer?
Well, nothing to a small political or humor blog that gets a few hundred page views a day. The GA Premium service isn't cheap. It costs $150,000 a year in the U.S., so this is for enterprise-level websites.
It also doesn't offer features beyond what you can get with basic GA. Rather, as Google explains, GA Premium offers "more data, advanced tools, dedicated support and guarantees." Specifically:
* Extra processing power -- increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
* Advanced analysis -- attribution modeling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit to conversions
* Service and support -- experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call - all backed by 24/7 support
* Guarantees -- service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting
It almost makes me want to launch another blog! I just need $150,000 or so in venture funding. Feel free to contact me with a check!