Google released today a new tool called Website Optimzer. It allows Adwords users to experiment different landing pages. It is basicially a good A/B tester for all PPC campaigns that run thru Adwords.

 The Website Optimizer is a free tool that helps AdWords advertisers test different landing pages and determine which one drives the most conversions. A true multivariate testing tool, Website Optmizer allows you to test variations of headlines, promotional copy, and images. The tool allows you to update your site with the winning test combination and continue to experiment.

 I believe that Website Optimizer is a major advantage for Google over their competitors. Now the true power of Google Analytics is revealed. The “new tools” approach for campaign optimization is a great thing. Hopefully Affiliate networks will wake up now and  work together with the webanalytics vendors. 

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Youtube numbers are fake

October 17, 2006

YouTube’s claims of serving 100 million videos per day are already proven wrong. I always wondered about high numbers like that, not only since recent controversy about Digg.com.  The number is obviously not accurate at all.

Pete Cashmore over at Mashable now proved that the numbers are fake. Pete’s fake profile currently ranks under the top 100 Youtube videos and already received more than 20000 views. He basicially uses a simple refresh trick that already worked with simple tracking tools about 10 years ago.

Not onlythe views are wrong, but also the length of the video is only 7 seconds.  So how much is a 7 second video worth in real life? 

The numbers are also fake, b/c users tend to launch a video and stop it. Like on your TV. I am not sure if Google knows about that, but it is once more proven that numbers can be easily faked.

Clicktracks discount

October 14, 2006

With the 2006 holiday season just around the corner,  ClickTracksis offering a discount  on both ClickTracks Analyzer and ClickTracks Optimizer  the company’s entry-level and mid-level web metrics
products for small businesses and online marketers.


ClickTracks Analyzer will be on sale for $295 (regularly $495) and ClickTracks Optimizer for $795
 (regularly $1195) through October 31, 2006. “Market estimates show this will be a record online
 selling season, and in some cases, the holiday season   represents as much as 50 percent of a retailer’s annual
 sales. Having the best tools to draw visitors to a site  and to close sales is critical to their economic success.
 ClickTracks is discounting two of its flagship products  to give etailers extra selling power in Holiday 2006,”
 says Michael Stebbins, ClickTracks’ Vice President of  Marketing.
 

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WebTrends Inc responded to a lawsuit recently filed by NetRatings, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. NetRatings, which has filed similar lawsuits against competing vendors over the past two years, filed a lawsuit against WebTrends alleging infringement of several patents owned by NetRatings. WebTrends has reviewed the claims and believes they lack merit. WebTrends intends to defend itself vigorously against the complaint.

“As the innovator and technology leader in web analytics, WebTrends is serious about its intellectual property rights,” said Greg Drew, CEO and president of WebTrends Inc. “We firmly believe these claims have no merit. In addition, as the pioneer in this industry, WebTrends has several issued U.S. patents of its own in the web analytics space. We are currently reviewing all of our legal options and will aggressively defend our position.”

 All the big 5 vendors develop more and more similar features and it was a question of time until one sues another. It will be interesting to see how this case will influence the webanalytics industry

Wednesday, October 25th at 11:00 am PDT, Fireclick hosts a free webcast.  Greg Dowling will discuss customer findings
on what metrics retailers are using to drive their business and increase sales and conversions.REGISTER early, limited seats available:
https://fireclickevents.webex.com/fireclickevents/onstage

Greg was Senior Manager of Strategic Web Analysis for Scholastic Inc., where he managed the Web analytics group for Scholastic’s Internet division, e-Scholastic. He was responsible for staff development, infrastructure, strategy, best practices, and overall service delivery with respect to Web analytics. Prior to Scholastic, he was Director of Web Design & Production for Cendant Marketing Group, responsible for all aspects of Cendant’s Web presence including content management, Web design, usability, e-commerce, Web analytics, e-mail and search engine marketing. Previously, he was Regional Operations Manager for an online database service distributing digital maps and data to the environmental consulting industry.

Harte-Hanks  announces the latest release of its Postfuture® e-mail messaging platform, Postfuture Enterprise Edition, Version 5.0. Harte-Hanks Postfuture Version 5.0 provides more than a dozen new or enhanced e-mail capabilities based on marketplace best practices, with the newest functions addressing e-mail testing, analytics and behavior-based targeting.

“This particular version is an analytics professional’s best friend when it comes to sizing up e-mail messages and campaigns,” said Brad Sanders, managing director, Harte-Hanks Postfuture. “Based on dialogue with our clients, and thousands of campaigns we’ve managed, we have built in automated campaign testing and best practice-driven analytics that make it routine for marketers to measure and optimize their e-mail marketing results.”

For testing, Harte-Hanks Postfuture Version 5.0’s Automated Campaign A/B Testing allows a marketer to create two or more competing e-mail versions, send them out to a portion of a list (such as 5% each), track response during a testing period, and then automatically send a composite of the best subject line and message copy to the remaining audience. Since the entire process is performed without further manual intervention, marketers readily can employ “champion-challenger” testing to maximize e-mail marketing open and click-through rates when an e-mail message is sent.

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WebSideStory announced the industry’s firstCommercially available Ajax-enabled site search solution. This capability, Called Active Browsing, is an extended service of WebSideStory Search and enables any e-commerce site to integrate one of Web 2.0’s enabling technologies, Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), into their product search results. The result is greatly enhanced speed and interactivity, and an improved customer shopping experience in which shoppers are able to engage in “clickless browsing” the ability to preview additional product facets and “more like this” categories just by rolling their mouse over specific search results.

Last year, The Gap received industry wide attention for spending a reported US$10 million to deliver this same type of “quick look”product functionality to its web site as part of a major Ajax-enabled redesign. Active Browsing is available from WebSideStory at a fraction of this cost and can deliver value for any online business model. Active Browsing is currently live on Jockey.com. “When you make online shopping faster, easier, you create a morepersuasive experience, that leads to better conversions and more loyalcustomers,” said Bryan Eisenberg, the co-founder of Future Now, Inc., a NewYork City marketing firm, and the author of two New York Times best-sellingbusiness books, Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? “ActiveBrowsing is demonstrably better than virtually every e-tailer’s currentoffering.”

Active Browsing works by transforming site search into a highlyinteractive application that accesses server data optimally, and allows foruser interface innovations such as “bubbles” that overlay the page to providemore information and navigation choices. This enables visitors to speedthrough product search results and related facets — color, size, gender,etc. — without having to reload the page every time. Active Browsing lays the foundation for additional product capabilities that will take sitesearch to whole new levels of interactivity, including more intuitiveinteraction conventions and user interfaces. Advanced Ajax implementations attravel sites like Kayak.com are credited with having positive impacts on bothuser experience and market share. Hitwise, an online competitive service,recently reported that Kayak.com’s market share has surged in the last sixmonths — an increase that one travel industry analyst attributed to the useof Ajax. Google Maps is another popular example of Ajax in action.”Active Browsing is incredible,” said Susan Aldrich, a senior vicepresident at Patricia Seybold Group and one of the top site search analystsin the industry. “With many e-commerce sites, I almost get motion sicknesshaving to click back and forth between different products and facets. Notwith Active Browsing. It enables you to get key merchandising informationwhile staying focused and engaged on the product. I think it’s fair to saythat a majority of shoppers will be clamoring for this type of experiencewithin the next year. With Active Browsing, WebSideStory adds yet anothervaluable innovation to its solutions.”