I believe a lot of webmasters and SEO professionals are happy with what Google Analytics brings to the table. But as a free service I always thought there are features absent in what’s being offered right now.
I have a fear that as I wake up tomorrow I realize that Google Analytics has joined the ranks of WebTrends, Coremetrics and Omniture that charge a fee for using their services. Google has the right to do so because not only it provides web analytics, it also hosts the data collected from these websites Google Analytics tracks. And hosting obviously has costing implications.
But I won’t expect Google to do that in the near future. And if it starts charging clients for using its tools, new features should definitely be introduced. Consider me ignorant if you think the following are already provided:
- Real-time display. Currently Google Analytics updates only once a day as far as I noticed. Though this is less addictive that having to view stats every 45 minutes, having a real-time report helps webmasters decide to implement site tweaks in a quicker manner.
- Easier downstream traffic monitoring. Although Google Analytics currently supports the outbound links tagging, they need to be manually setup. So if you have a links page that contains 200 links, it will be better to use a count-and-redirect script than to embed individual code on each link.
- Dynamic referrer details. In the current setup, if the referrer link is from a dynamic page, say from a forum, I only see the filename of the dynamic script and no details about the parameter values are given. In other words, I need the exact URL of the referrer.
- More integration with other Google products. Google Adwords and Google Analytics is a start. And Google Checkout too. Imagine if we could also access the high performing Adsense ads in Google Analytics to better optimize ads on published content.
- Site Overlay labels. Currently it is somewhat difficult to distinguish a link from another especially if two or more are close to each other. Worse, if you have a submenu in place. Having a URL identifier would be great.
- Ability to compare stats between two profiles. It seems that we can compare details between two periods for one profile but we can’t compare two profiles in one period. Doesn’t make much sense especially if these sites aren’t related. But this feature could come in handy too.
Not a lot of wishes from me. I can live with what I have now. I just hope when I wake up tomorrow, I see no news that Google is charging for its web analytics service.