Sunday, June 22, 2008

Google Trends for Websites

Google has released a new tool called Google Trends for Websites to compete with the likes of Alexa, Compete, Hitwise, Comscore Nielsen Net Ratings. This is exactly what I predicted in my blog post on April, Friday the 13th, 2007. I wrote, "Another effect of the widespread code of Google could be the death of companies like Alexa, Compete, Comscore etc. Google can provide the internet usage data that won’t be based on a sample of those who participate (voluntarily or by installing some kind of application such as a toolbar) but on the Google cookies which will be on almost every single computer connected to the internet."

I also said, "However, this business might not be so lucrative for them. Why would they want to let others know how people use internet when they can use it to make it Googlenet (formerly known as internet) or GWW - Google Wide Web (formerly know as World Wide Web).” I think this business might not make them money but will help them dominate Word Wide Web and make it Google Wide Web."


So how does Google Trends for Websites work?

Google Trends for Websites allow you to trend and compare number of daily unique visitors for up to 5 sites.

Below is a screen shot of Google Trends for Websites. I compared Walmart.com with Amazon.com.



Source: http://trends.google.com/websites?q=walmart.com%2C+amazon.com&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

You can see daily visitors on the graph and a list of
  1. regions where visitors originated from

  2. Other websites that they have also visited. The list shows a correlation between different sites.

  3. search terms they have also searched for. The list shows a correlation between different sites


You can breakdown the data by region and time frame.

It combines data from variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, aggregated opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in consumer panel data, and other third-party market research. Remember, a while back Google asked you to opt-into data sharing in Google Analytics, this is one place where your data is being used.

Are all Sites Included in this tool?

No, at this time not all the sites are included in Google Trends for Websites. Here is why certain sites may not be included
  • Websites with low traffic volume below certain threshold

  • Websites that don't wish to be indexed by Google and have indicated their preference through a robots.txt exclusion file

  • Websites that don't adhere to Google Quality Guidelines

  • Other websites for miscellaneous reasons


Just like other similar service (Compete, Alexa, Comscore etc.), Google Trends numbers won’t match the number you will see with your web analytics tool. However, considering the number of sources that Google can potentially collect and aggregate data from, in future this might provide the best approximation, totally outdoing other competing tools.

What’s next?

  1. Integration of Google Trends with Google Analytics, so that you can get competitive information in one place.

  2. A service for website owners to collect “Voice of Customer” data - surveys, opinions etc. (Watch out OpinionLab, you are next) This service will enhance Google Services such as Search (page rank algorithm), Google Trends and Google Analytics.


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3 comments:

  1. BJ Cook9:51 AM

    I'm very interested in hearing about:

    1. How do you think Google can pull off a voice of the customer toolset? As I see the voice of the customer is spread across the web through various websites, blogs, forums, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Google is in a very good position to build a customer voice data. There are mainly two components to customer voice

    1. On-Site
    2. Off-site

    On-site customer voice is collected via surveys, rate this page etc. Building this tool is not rocket science; Google can easily buy one of the existing companies or build on their own.

    Off-Site – A lot of customer voice their opinion on review sites, social networking sites, blogs etc. Though not perfect, Google has a service called “Google Alerts” which sends an alert to you when a news, blog post, social networking sites, article etc. happens on the keywords that you have specified. Google can just build on top of that and build a robust offering to show you what kind of sentiment your products, brands etc. are generating, who is talking about your, what blogs, sites are influential etc. I believe this is an important part of whole web eco-system and Google will venture into it to control what I call Googlenet.


    - Anil

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5:10 AM

    Great posting once again

    ReplyDelete

I would like to hear your comments and questions.