Even on this past Friday the spillover comments about Google blocking referrer data into Google Analytics for signed in users was ramped up from just being irritating to the full rant level. Here are some of the titles of articles that I have read to give you an idea of how rabid people in my industry are getting about this topic.
These are just a few of the articles on this topic that I wrote about this past Monday’s from an announcement that Google made last week that talks about Google turning off the referrer for signed in Google users when they do a search. My comments to all of these writers and whiners is Google is not a non-profit. Everything they do is for money. We cannot forget this. Google.com and Google Analytics are their platform’s their intellectual property, their rules, searches their way!
I want to bring to everyone’s mind that Google Analytics used to be called Urchin and monthly subscription to the service was in excessive of $100 monthly for data and tracking. Google bought Urchin and every webmaster around the world signed up to get the code and get Google Analytics for free. Now that Google has decided to remove some of the data from THEIR free tool the world is falling over itself whining about the loss and trying to brow beat Google into giving it back.
It’s time to get real and realize that Google is a platform that pushes advertising. Google will do whatever it takes to keep other advertisers from scrapping its referral data so they [other advertisers] can use the information to make money. Google will work hard to protect itself from privacy lawsuits as they cost money and hurt their [Google’s] reputation. Google is not providing a search engine or organic results for free, it provides them so you will click their ads so they make money.
Stop whining and start checking to see if there is another statistical tool that will give you what YOU want. I think that you’ll be hard pressed to find one that is free and provides the data that Google Analytics has. Oh, wait, there is always Web Trends and Hub Spot available… but for a price.