Google has been making quite a few changes as of late. They have been halting development or simply ending projects like Google Notebook, Google Video and Google Catalog Search to name a few. All of these moves are perceived as efforts to contain costs and be frugal with the pile of Google cash that they have been collecting for years now.
It’s hard to argue with the effort. While Google has given its employees plenty of company time to explore new ideas they may now be putting that brain power to work to strengthen the existing tool set. Evidence of this is the announcement of the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ). Analytics is one of the most popular and powerful offerings that the search leader offers to further put their hooks in their customers. It only makes sense that the better the understanding of this important tool would help Internet marketers and Google alike.
The press release by Google states
The Google Analytics IQ program is tailored for agencies who want to retain and develop employees who are knowledgeable about Web analytics, and for individuals who seek ways to improve their job prospects or further their own personal development. Individuals do not have to be associated with an agency or organization to take the online course or test.
A study from Forrester research in September of 2008 also tells the story that although outside consultants are valuable in helping companies further understand web analytics there is a need for staff to be better educated to lead internal efforts.
It will be interesting to see how this program is received. The vast majority of Internet marketers are not up to speed with analytics and barely have time to keep up with the nuances of SEO and paid search. Of course, if you can learn enough to pass the test then it’s another badge for your website that says you’re an expert. Just what we need in this industry …. more ‘experts’.