Google Analytics a Bad Idea?

Just a quick comment (which would have been stuck in moderation-limbo for eternity) in response to this video on WordPress.tv, which was featured in the WordPress dashboard.


Google is watching.
If you want custom tracking of any activity on your site (without bothering with Google Analytics) get in touch with me. One drawback of Google Analytics: keeping the secret sauce of your business a secret. Recently Google stopped sharing keyword data for people coming to your website. What was the spirit of that decision? So when you pop in that Analytics code on every page, how much transparency is there? Google literally knows more about your users’ activities than you do. That might be OK, that might not be OK. There are times when you want to keep a competitive advantage and not share everything with the Google Mothership. Google is not just a search engine, they’re direct competition in everything now. Do you think Google looked at Analytics data before buying Zagat to compete with Yelp? Of course they did. Analytics is a fantastic tool, but think about why it’s free. It’s free because you’re paying Google in data. If you know your business data isn’t more valuable than the Analytics tool’s usefulness (and what you’re giving up in exchange for using it) then by all means use Analytics. I use Analytics, it’s cool. But some web properties I would not use Analytics on. Take the pizza example from the video. If I sell 10 different toppings, I already know topping A sells the best. But online, topping B might have a higher conversion rate on Friday night. Dynamically sorting the toppings on the screen by popularity (using in-house data) you might sell 20% more toppings. In contrast, integrating a toppings ranker with a Google API might be more trouble than it’s worth.