Tag Archives: AWStats
Two significant impediments have historically hindered the uptake of Web Analytics by businesses. The first has been cost. Professional Web Analytics systems have been fairly expensive, both in server and hosted forms. The second issue has been the great quantity and complexity of available reports in commercial systems, sufficiently intimidating many business professionals away from Web Analytics.
Google’s Google Analytics
Google, with their release of Google Analytics in November 2005, removed the first obstacle, cost, by releasing the first free “full featured” Web Analytics system. Previous free tools, such as AWStats, lack robust visitor recognition and click stream analysis, among other things. Yet a significant obstacle still remained to general Web Analytics usage: how to find the “important” data, without getting lost in a sea of confusing and often redundant reports? In May 2007 Google released an updated Google Analytics with a significant focus on the user interface, specifically as a response to this need.
All of six people were present to represent the Internet’s accountability side in Italy. A pitiful number when you consider the thousands of visitors at the IAB Forum.
Since the Milan WAW, Giovanni Lorenzoni has worked to keep the ball rolling by organizing Web Analytics Association / WAW events in Bologna. Yet therein lies the problem: with the apparently small Italian web analytics community spread across the peninsula, significant meet-ups can only occur when there is a critical mass due to an Internet industry event happening at the same time.
Yet a lot has happened in the last six months. Web marketing practitioners, such as my friend Leonardo Bellini, are writing extensively on web analytics. The Italian blogging community has become even more interconnected through the various barcamp events which have provided a needed pretext to meet like-minded folk outside of the ether-sphere.
Expats in Italy need to stay on top of professional and daily happenings locally while still engaging in the wider world. This task is made difficult by the vast quantity and quality of resources available in English (my native language), as exemplified by the BBC. Unfortunately, their Italian equivalents, such as the ad-infested public broadcaster RAI, just can’t compete for my attention.
It doesn’t get much easier on the web marketing front. The primary search engines in Italy are the US based Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live and Ask, sometimes found in their rebranded skins: Arianna (enhanced by Google) and Virgilio (listed by Google as a customer). Inevitably, most of my web marketing reading is English language centric.
As a side note, Google commands a percentage of the market in most western markets that most politicians can only dream of. Yet the search market remains very dynamic and innovative.
Organizations implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies will sooner or later consider monitoring search engine crawling activity. Before a web page can appear in search results, the content has to be discovered through a crawling or spidering process. This is done through software which automatically navigates the web, finding and downloading web content for the search engine to parse, index and rank.
- search engine spider
- A “spider”, also known as a “crawler”, “robot” or simply “bot”, finds and retrieves web pages. Once a search engine finds your site, either through a link from another site or through a submission form, the “spider” will begin to crawl your site.
Search engine crawling activity is an early sign that SEO is functioning or a potential warning sign of site issues impeding content discovery.
Web Analytics tracking choices with advantages and disadvantages
Basic Web Analytics tools usually fall into one of two categories:
- Web server log file based
Both have advantages and disadvantages.