Business Week Goof

This Business Week article about Google Analytics is confused and confusing.

The author claims that Google’s free analytics strategy “could spell disaster for search-engine optimization companies.”

But she doesn’t seem to know the different between search engine marketing firms, online advertising agencies, and search engine optimization companies.

She lumps everyone in web marketing that is not Google together into one mass and claims they are all in trouble.

Reputable search-engine optimization companies rely upon web analytics to know if what they are doing is working. The Google strategy might just save them money.

Search engine optimization firms design web pages that are optimized to get natural search engine traffic, not paid clicks. They don’t manage online advertising campaigns.

They get free traffic from natural search results for their clients by making sure pages are designed right, have the right keywords on them, and are deemed relevant by the search engines because other high quality sites link to them.

While it’s true that Google’s entrance into the web analytics space could have a very negative impact on some companies, I don’t believe for a minute that search engine optimization companies are among them.

If you can think of a reason why Google Analytics will hurt SEO firms (particularly since Google Analytics Terms and Conditions do not allow them to use analytic data from other sites to tweak their search engine algorithm or for any other internal purposes), please comment.

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  1. Well if Google’s plan is to index all content/information in the world,
    then yeah, SEO companies could be at risk becuase they
    create and better manage site content for their clients’ natural rankings. Granted,
    not a big risk, but a risk none-the-less.

    The greater risk is how non-proprietary SEO companies are. They are dependant
    on external technology ie PageRank etc. I’ve seen sites benefit
    from word of mouth networking that took a site’s PageRank and
    Alexa score off the charts with zero meta/content optimization. Traffic is king,
    albeit natural or via optimized.

  2. Dave Bascom

    I agree with you on this 100%, Paul. I can’t think of how the Google Analytics could possibly hurt SEOs. Quite the contrary, in fact, Google Analytics should help SEOs and all small businesses immensely. Urchin was a great tool before, and is actually better now than it was when they were selling it for $500/month (that was the price before Google bought Urchin). For the first time ever there is a free web analytics solution that actually provides actual busienss-grade web analytics! This will help SEO firms to better demonstrate the value they provide. It’s possible that there were SEOs who were reselling the Urchin service, so I guess it could cut into that portion of their profits, but it won’t put them out of business. No, the search engine marketing/optimization companies are safe for now, but if I’m a web analytics software company, I just messed my pants when I heard about Google Analytics.

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