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Microsoft may moan about Google’s Internet dominance, yet it Microsoft who notoriously suffers from IADD, Internet attention deficit disorder.
Microsoft has a long history of launching internet products and services, only to abandon them. Rival Google has also killed many products, such as notebook and wave, but these were arguably peripheral to Google’s mission to make the world’s information accessible (and get someone to pay for it) nor have there been cases where Google has killed a product in a category where Microsoft had a stronger offering.
In the ’90s Microsoft founder Bill Gates acknowledged underestimating the importance of the Internet yet once the browser wars were won, Microsoft waited 5 years before releasing IE 7, obstructing website development in the process.
Internet services Microsoft has abandoned or neglected
|Service||Name||Launched||Abandoned/ Neglected||Notes||Google Equivalent|
To judge by an e-mail I received, and this post Microsoft is abandoning the Live Metrics solution it relaunched as adCenter Analytics.
On a personal level, this reminds me lot of another web area (book search) where Microsoft competed with Google but later got cold feet and pulled out. I hope Yahoo remains steady in its commitment to Web Analytics [and hope they open it to SEO folks like me :-)]
The following is a list of search engines and significant sites incorporating a search engine, such as ISP portals, which provide site traffic attributable to web search. The list can be used to verify if your Web Analytics system recognizes all the sources of organic search traffic and keywords important in your market – or for other SEO activities.
The last two table columns indicate if a search engine is recognized by Google Analytics and Microsoft adCenter Analytics. See these related articles for more information about search engine and keyword detection in these two Web Analytics systems:
- Improve search engine and keyword reporting in Google Analytics, a SEO best practice
- Microsoft adCenter Analytics search engine recognition & keyword reporting
This information is provided “as-is” without any representation made as to its accuracy. Use at your own risk.
Last updated: 7 October 2008
Microsoft is the other main player, after Google Analytics, in the area of free Web Analytics tools for the analysis of browser centric web data. Microsoft’s adCenter Analytics is the successor to the former LiveSTATS thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of DeepMetrix in April 20061.
Why search engines offer Web Analytics
Certainly the name Microsoft choose for its Web Analytics tool says a lot: with adCenter Analytics you know the priority is on advertising. Google has taken a softer approach with Google Analytics; sure there is and will be strong integration with AdWords, yet everyone is welcome to take advantage of Google Analytics even if they aren’t (yet) an AdWords client. The official line is that having experienced the power of measuring business results derived from a company’s web presence, marketing professionals will be more inclined to become AdWords clients. One presumes as well that the data collected by Google Analytics is used inside Google to measure the overall state of traffic on the web (including Google’s competitor’s market share – the benchmarking with other sites feature gives an idea of the possibilities). I hope that Microsoft will adopt a more enlightened Internet strategy and aggressively promote adCenter Analytics usage among non-adCenter clients. Google is a great company but could use some competition.
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.
Google is in the process of releasing a significant update to the free web analytics tool it launched to wide acclaim in November 2005.
Although we’ve appreciated the professional feature set in Google Analytics, especially given the cost, the user interface was cumbersome at best. As time went on, Google Adwords features were continually patched on, making it difficult for even an experienced web analytics practitioner to navigate through a sea of somewhat repeating, redundant reports.
Google Analytics Reloaded
In version two, the Google Analytics user interface has been completely overhauled. Big bold fonts, similar to those used in feedburner’s statistics, and vibrant colors make key data points and trends much more intelligible. Report and date range selection has been simplified.
The at a glance dashboard is now customizable – sections can be added, removed and reordered. Once this is done, the dashboard can be scheduled to be e-mailed on a regular basis.