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Yahoo to Take on Google Analytics 95

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the battle-of-the-network-titans dept.
whencanistop writes "Having seen Google set up their Google Analytics product for free (in an attempt to get everyone to spend more money on adwords) and then seen Microsoft release their version of a free web analytics tool into beta, Yahoo have decided to do the same thing, by buying someone else and releasing it into the wild for free. Great news for bloggers who don't want to sign up for Google's 'evil' plans."
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Yahoo to Take on Google Analytics

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  • Yahoo just tags along...
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Yahoo?" More like "Metoo."
    • Its funny how in the late 90s or 2000, all these big boys Gartner Research etc.. were saying the web/proxy/nameu4server analytics were a $50billion market.

      Who ever trusts these 27yo analyst's who were in baby rockers when us elite coders were hard at work hacking the vic-20s.

      Yes log files are dead, even tho our app did process faster than anything, 3-5m lines per second on todays fast PCs (random benchmark spec, take your pick)

      Who knows maybe someone will make a analytics engine language in a few years anal
  • by carcosa30 (235579) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:54AM (#23088762)
    It's funny to watch Yahoo scrambling for market share. If the Microsoft bid is successful, it'll be funny to watch Microsoft hitching their wagon to Yahoo. Two boat anchors fall twice as fast.

    It's not quite game set and match to Google, but in a number of spaces it's starting to look like endgame.
    • by (913902) <> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:01AM (#23088832) Homepage

      Two boat anchors fall twice as fast.

      I think our friend Newton that would disagree with that.
    • by iminplaya (723125)
      Two boat anchors fall twice as fast.

      And they'll cut twice as many cables
    • by BlueGecko (109058) <(benjamin.pollack) (at) (> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @11:46AM (#23091530) Homepage
      I actually have to disagree with your sentiment. It's long past time that Yahoo had a competitor to Analytics, because it dramatically increases the value of Yahoo's ad service.

      Most people focus on Analytics as being good for web developers because it lets them track where their visitors come from. That's true, but missing the point: the value for web developers that Google cares about is that it helps you, both directly and indirectly, increase your ad revenue. In so doing, they increase their own revenue, both immediately (the more clicked-on ads you have, the more they get paid) and long-term (if you're making more money, you're more likely to keep using them). Analytics is the perfect loss-leader for online advertising.

      Yahoo, meanwhile, lacks any such tool. Yes, the Yahoo Publisher Network lets you get basic ad stats, but it just doesn't approach the information Google can give me with their AdWords + Analytics combination. If I'm going to be using Analytics, why not just use AdWords/Double Click too, and be done with it? Acquiring an Analytics competitor gives Yahoo vertical integration on one of their key products in a way that should directly positively impact their bottom line.

      Though this may be Yahoo "scrambling for market share," it's a smart scramble. More of this and fewer surreal pairings with AOL, and Yahoo could return to viability.
    • by B3ryllium (571199)
      I would suggest rephrasing it as "Two boat anchors hit bottom twice as hard."

      But, then again, my understanding of physics is very limited.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @08:59AM (#23088814)
    If people are going to use Google Analytics for their sites, perhaps they should wait until Google fixes so it can actually handle the demand. I'm sick and bloody tired of siting and staring at Firefox as it waits for a response from Googles asthmatic servers.

    Back on topic, who cares what Yahoo! are doing? They haven't been a relevant force on the web since 2001.
    • by flufffy (192294)
      Yup and also let you export more than 500 lines of data at once. This is a restriction which renders it pretty much useless for our site.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Javascript's defer attribute is your friend.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 (933028)

      You know what's worse? The unreliability of the results they show. Basically they get the number of pageviews right, and that's all they get. Because somehow they fail at telling who's the same visitor and who's a new visitor, a single visitor going through ten pages in 5 minutes (you can tell it's the same one by the hour, the city, or any other characteristic) might appear as such, or as 10 different visitors who only visited one page to never return. Which means that all the other indicators, number of u

  • Now I don't get anything...

    Funny how life is.

  • Yahoo or Google? There is only one way to find out ...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)
      Through Doubleclick, Google's the most evil online entity. Yahoo's taking a step in that direction though.
      • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . c om> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:47AM (#23090428) Homepage Journal

        Through Doubleclick, Google's the most evil online entity. Yahoo's taking a step in that direction though.
        Doubleclick was an annoying company that cared nothing for its actual users and only for their paying customers, true (though now that Google has purchased them, it's pretty clear that they're simply being dismantled for people and customers). Yahoo! has been turning in Chinese political dissidents. I'm having a hard time drawing an ethically parallel line between those.

        When a company says that their guiding principle is not to be evil, perhaps it's not the best use of our time to seek out evil in everything they do. Perhaps we could continue to treat them like any other company and judge them on their deeds?

  • Thank you Adblock (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gothmolly (148874)* []

    I heard of Google Analytics in the first few seconds after I installed Adblock, and then never worried about it again.
    • I was bothered by them first few seconds on a random website before my NoScript went Untrusted ->
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by internewt (640704)
      You're gonna want to make sure you block *urchin.js* too with adblock, and I think */_ga.js* since some sites have the Google javascript in a different file. I think the way Google spy-alytics works is that a bit of JS runs from the domain you're browsing, either in a file called urchin.js [1] or directly on the webpage, and when combined with another script from it then phones home with your habits.

      Also block third party cookies.... I have never seen a site break when you block third p
      • by Kalriath (849904) *
        That's not informative, that's wrong! If you're seeing urchin.js on a site (NOT from then you're actually seeing a site who uses the Urchin software (which is not a service, it's a program on the server) for their analytics, not Google - so they have no access to your browsing history other than what they can get from their own logfiles, and Google has nothing. There is also absolutely no local javascript file for Google Analytics, the whole thing needs to run from Google's server.
    • Have you heard anything good/bad about the customizegoogle extension on firefox? It has an option to "anonymize the google cookie uid" and "don't send any cookies to google analytics" under privacy.
  • What is the value? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:16AM (#23089014)
    While I think competition is good in pretty much any format, I'm starting to wonder what value all of these additional analytic tools are providing. I'm an online marketing manager and with Google Analytics, Microsoft's Gatineau (or whatever they call it now) and server logs, the market for free analytics software is already saturated. Then there's the considerable amount of premium packages such as Webtrends etc that all, in the end, essentially show the same friggen data in different ways.

    As an aside, if the Microsoft bid does go through, do they merge Gatineau and Indextools? Would anyone really care if either went away?

    • by sabernet (751826)
      I wonder if this move is to poison the waters of sorts. Microsoft wants a chunk of Google's marketshare in search and marketing.

      If Yahoo release this for free then Microsoft buys Yahoo forcefully, this would mean they either have to give away their analytics tool or kill this one off, causing more ire in the webosphere(or whatever they call it now) they are trying desperately to appeal to of late.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:25AM (#23089118)
    The blurb sounds kind of down on Yahoo for buying somebody and then giving the product away, but Google did exactly the same thing. Google Analytics is a retooled version of Urchin, a web stats company that Google purchased in 2005.
    • by ajs (35943)
      Well, yes and no. I think Google has done an excellent job on the stats-display end. For a small site, the service is free, and I really get quite a lot out of it.

      • Well, yes and no. I think Google has done an excellent job on the stats-display end.

        The fancy interface largely came from Measure Map [], another acquisition.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @09:36AM (#23089270) Homepage Journal
    The best way to compete with Google Analytics would be to set it up somehow so that I never see "Waiting for Google Analytics" in my browser while a page is blank, stalled and not loading.
    • by TheSunborn (68004)
      That would be easy to do with google analytic. Just modify the javascript so that it look at the dom, and if the google analytic code is not last code in the html document, just above the tag, replace the entire website with a "PLACE THE JAVASCRIPT AT THE BOTTOM, THE WAY GOOGLE DOCUMENTET IT SO IT DON'T PREVENT THE LOADING OF THE PAGE

      Anyone up for a greace monkey script?

      • by Mike89 (1006497)

        Anyone up for a greace monkey script?
        Fuck it, it's easier just to AdBlock it. And yeah, I have had the same Google Analytics load delay crap, up until that. Even when it is done properly (it was on a forum I visit, they scrapped it not long after), it still slows everyone down.
    • by asserted (818761)
      Note that if you're using Firefox, its status bar may be misleading. I investigated causes of long page loads numerous times, and in many cases found that FF would actually be waiting on something other than what it says in the status bar. Not defending GA here, I don't have actual stats for how slow/fast they are, but just noting that status bar information is not always correct.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        A clickable "Details..." button on the Status Bar sounds like a great FF plugin. And if it aggregated (anonymous) stats to a collection/publishing website, those results might encourage sites to improve their loading performance. Could make some money selling access to the stats, maybe even send some money back to those who submitted the stats used (or maybe a lottery among them so they could get some real money).
    • by Quixote (154172) * on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:18AM (#23089922) Homepage Journal
      Adblock is your friend. :-)

      I block any 3rd-party site that takes too long to respond.
      • by pjt33 (739471)
        I stick them in /etc/hosts pointing to and run a simple webserver which returns 404s quickly.
    • by garcia (6573)
      The best way to compete with Google Analytics would be to set it up somehow so that I never see "Waiting for Google Analytics" in my browser while a page is blank, stalled and not loading.

      IMHO, Yahoo isn't exactly the best at having speedy web applications. I *pay* for my Flickr account (yes, it's fairly inexpensive for the benefits) and I find that the interface is slow as hell most of the time and that any sort of long loading (editing a set, placing photos on their map which is also very slow loading, m
    • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . c om> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @10:43AM (#23090346) Homepage Journal

      The best way to compete with Google Analytics would be to set it up somehow so that I never see "Waiting for Google Analytics" in my browser while a page is blank, stalled and not loading.
      That's just a terribly designed site that should be put to death mercifully. If Google's service is tar-pitting your page rendering, then you've done it wrong (probably loading lots of data as XML and then rendering it using JavaScript after the page is fully loaded. Good sites simply don't do this.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        I'm talking about Slashdot. How shall we kill it? I've been wondering that for years. Is there a FF plugin to do it?
        • by ajs (35943)

          I'm talking about Slashdot. How shall we kill it? I've been wondering that for years. Is there a FF plugin to do it?
          I've never seen this on Slashdot, but I'll take your word for it. I'm wondering if Firefox is just mis-reporting (e.g. neither the download from Slashdot nor Google is complete, and it just happens to have the Google info in the status bar since it was most recent).

          • by Doc Ruby (173196)
            As I posted this reply, as I see with most pages, the FF status bar showed "Waiting for" (very briefly, though sometimes it stalls with a blank page for quite a while). It also flashes "Waiting for", but doesn't get hung up, that I can recall.

            I don't know whether the report is accurate. But if Yahoo has a way to avoid getting the blame like that, maybe even just by enforcing the placement of the links to them in site HTML, then they'll score a victory over Google
  • Listen... (Score:1, Troll)

    by owlnation (858981)
    ... do you hear that sound? That screeching sound? That's the sound of the fingernails of Yahoo executives trying desperately to cling onto the edge of the abyss.
  • Having used Google Analytics for free for the past 2 years, it will be tough for these up and coming analytics packages to beat them, especially the ones offered for free. Probably the only way they will convert new users is offer them relevant reports that GA doesn't. GA has recently included several new features as well. Whatever Google wants to do with my analytics data is fine, since I get so few visitors to my site.
  • Great news for bloggers who don't mind having Microsoft's 'evil' plans hanging over their heads.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    i call it Javascript based spyware
    same as binary based spyware, the user has no idea its there and transmits unknown data to a third party
    • This isn't insightful either.

      If you blocked the javascript tag from loading the person who owns the website you're looking at doesn't know you're looking at it. If the person who owns the website tells the advertisers that nobody is looking at it, they don't sign up to advertise. The website doesn't make any money through online advertising and either closes down or hides everything behind a subscription wall. If it closes down everyone gets annoyed because they can't see the good content. If it goes be
  • by sherriw (794536) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @11:49AM (#23091588)
    One site I manage, paid an IndexTools reseller for the Index Tools suite. I got to play around with it, and it is by far the best analytics program I've had the chance to get my hands on, better than Google's by a good margin.

    This is excellent news for site owners... but I would guess not so good for the Index Tools resellers who have been making money off of reselling this product.

    Awesome for me as a website owner.
  • "Yahoo have decided to do the same thing...."

    "Yahoo" is a single entity.
  • I am developing a web stats system called FireStats.
    check out the demo at []
    FireStats supports referrers, popular pages, countries, browser, operating systems and much more.

    it's self hosted, so private data about your users will not be handed on a silver plate to anyone.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries