Posted May 4, 2009 2:45 pm by with 13 comments

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Google acquired Urchin and has offered its free analytics software for three and a half years. Microsoft first started promising a challenger back in 2007, but shuttered the beta in February.

But Yahoo has been a little slow on this front. Although they acquired analytics company IndexTools just over a year ago, and rumor has it Yahoo’s version is better than Google’s, they still have yet to offer it to the general public.

But last week, that started to change. Yahoo! Web Analytics will be available to Yahoo advertisers:

If you’re an advertiser in need of some serious analytics, you’ve probably been watching for our Yahoo! Web Analytics enterprise tool—and you’ll be glad to know that it’s now available for free to search and display advertisers supported by a Yahoo! account team.


In February, an independent report from CMS Watch reported that Yahoo Analytics was better than Google Analytics (okay, so I guess it was more than a rumor). Yahoo highlight some of the features that are unique to Yahoo’s offering:

Yahoo! Web Analytics offers user insight that you’re not likely to find in other free analytics tools, including demographic and behavioral insight on your website visitors, near-real-time reporting, and visibility into as many as 50 different types of actions that take place on your site.

Who’s going to sign up, and what do you expect from Yahoo? Is there a full public rollout on the way?

  • Novel idea to allow advertisers to do this.

  • Jordan,
    What is your experience with the Yahoo program?

    In addition to Google analytics, for years I’ve routinely used multiple independent stats programs and have found enquisite among others, pretty refreshing. Finding the time this month to incorporate the Yahoo program is going to be difficult though, so I’m looking forward to your take.


  • Sigh. I’m not an advertiser these days, so I haven’t been allowed in (yet?). I’ll definitely let you (all) know what I think if and when I do get to play with it!

  • David McInnis

    I just happened to ‘StumbleUpon’ this article.

    I’m just an average Joe. I don’t own a business or work in marketing for some big corporation.

    I check my email and sometimes putz around from website to website.

    I use Firefox and have an add-on (extension? plug-in?) that shows me who’s checking my surfing habits (Google Analytics shows up often, even on the most benign sites), and as a powerless individual, I find that sort of thing not only distressing, but rudely intrusive.

    Yes, in this economy, every business needs a leg up, and I imagine that that is a useful tool.

    But so are warrantless wiretaps and unannounced FBI searches or facial recognition software as I’m photographed just walking down the street.

    I love that technology is improving at such a rapid pace, but it bothers me that its also being used at my expense and to my detriment.

    Am I paranoid? Possibly. I can thank the last administration for that. It seemed that the only place I was free from surveillance was holed up at home. But not even there am I safe from probing eyes.

    Maybe I’ll just become a couch potato and watch TV 24/7 (no Nielsen box, thank you) and actually live in privacy.

    And you make it out to be some sort of toy (“if and when I do get to play with it.”)

    Am I out of line? Can you convince me that I don’t have hundreds or thousands of ‘Big Brothers’ looking over my shoulder at all (or most) times?

  • Obviously you’re computer savvy enough to use FF Add-ons. I’m sure you can find one to help with this, or turn off cookies or JavaScript. Of course, making it so websites don’t recognize you also means that you’ll lose any personalization features you’ve saved on those sites.

    Before, I’ve likened using analytics to using a camera in one’s lobby:

    If you visit a company’s website, are you implicitly giving your consent for them to monitor your activity on their site? Record your IP address? Count your visit on a counter? Is visiting their website analogous to visiting their lobby where your image could be captured on security cameras?

    Here’s my perspective not as a marketer but as a website owner/blogger: I publish a dozen articles a week on several different topics. If I don’t have analytics installed, I have no idea if people are coming to my site, which articles they like, what topics really interest my visitors and readers, etc. That’s why I put analytics on my site: to be able to better serve my visitors. My website is my property, why can’t I see if someone (having no idea whether it’s you, Sally, Suzy or Jim) has stopped by?

    Can you convince me I should be publishing without any knowledge of what my audience is even reading?

  • David McInnis


    Good points all.

    But being the average Joe, as I said, I don’t fully know what these Analytics and other programs are doing. Do they just record my visit (harmless, for the most part) or do they record my web-surfing habits and possibly delve deeper into my computer to learn more about me than I’d share willingly if asked (asked being the operative word)?

    And if your front door has a sign that mentions such activity, it would give people fair warning and the option not to enter your lobby, as opposed to being notified that, “Oh, by the way, you’ve just been scanned and photographed whether you like it or not, and that railing you just touched recorded your fingerprints. Have a nice day.” But at that point one’s freewill to make the decision has already been taken away.

    “You’re about to enter….” is much different than “You’ve just entered….”

  • You don’t have to be notified if you’re leaving behind fingerprints. (You should probably already know that you are if you’re concerned.)

    Most businesses online do note that your IP address may be collected in their privacy policy. A lot of “casual” websites using GA, however, don’t have privacy notices. I’m not sure how I feel about having to be notified (or make a notification prior to entry—I hate all manner of splash pages!) that your IP address may be tracked during your visit to a site, though the address itself isn’t shared with analytics users.

    The amount of information that given to the analytics users doesn’t get any more specific than city and state (which aren’t always right anyway—mine always shows up as a larger town 40 min away or a smaller town 15 minutes away.) I”m guessing though that your real concern is that Google has that information—including your IP address (which still isn’t that “identifying” IMO; my ISP changes my IP regularly). Google is supposed to hang on to user data . . . oh man, I think they just changed it to like 9 months? I can’t remember. It used to be 18 months. After that, analytics users have the data points, but Google anonymizes the IPs.

    Your concerns about being tracked once you leave a site are most valid, I think, when it comes to behavioral targeting—but you can also take steps to block ads and anonymize your IP if you really want to. I know some people don’t browse without that.

  • David McInnis

    OK. I think my concerns have been addressed. I don’t have a static IP and I’ll be more aware of what cookies are placed on my machine. And I’ll consider an anonymizer-type proxy. Not that I’m doing anything evil or horrible, I just don’t like being spied on.

    You’ve been a gracious hostess. I appreciate the education. Thanks much.


  • Sounds like you already knew about all that 😉 . You’re welcome.

  • David McInnis

    I didn’t know the scope of what was collected.

    Besides, what do I know? I’m just a metal shop grunt. Without that piece of paper I know nothing. Self-taught doesn’t count with no way to really quantify it.

    Anyway, I appreciate the info, and as fun as it is to play blog tag with a cute lady, I suppose I shouldn’t take up any more of your time.

    Thanks again

  • A Quick observation following this post -mainly through emailed updates as more are added – shows how the artilce’s title on yahoo analytics with little to no first hand information, has been dominated by popular reliance on and perceived understanding on GOOGLE analytics – which I might add, like it’s serps, always provides a BIASED snapshot.
    Seems this area isn’t even speculating on another biased
    Analytics package.

    I clicked a link that’s headline mentioned “yahoo analytics”.

    I guess when I expend the energy clicking and such, I would like to see a post – and after the road I’ve seen this discussion driving I now suspect I’ll investigate for myself, sooner than anticipated – with information ABOUT YAHOO’S analytics.

    In fact, I’ll even offer a rudimentary, generic opinion after briefly clicking through it later in the week if that is acceptable.

    I believe unless this is just a conversational – meeting place (I’m new here), that’s what meaningfully sharing information should be about.

    Hope I’m notseen as blog-worlds latest angry young man, but now that I’ve thought about it, I’ll probably read some collin wilson before checking yahoo’s take on analytics. So, it might be a bit longer for my take.



  • The article is the same article you saw fit to read and comment on yesterday. The article fully notes that Yahoo has not yet opened its analytics package to the public, so while I am working on the ESP 😉 , I still can’t comment on the product itself.

    If you don’t want to receive updates on the comments, not to be confused with the content of the article itself, every email update features an unsubscribe link.

    Blog comments here often turn into conversations. If you’d rather read the news, I recommend you subscribe to the Marketing Pilgrim feed. That way you won’t have to worry about the conversations veering off topic (into a discussion of the theory of privacy and analytics, in this case, not just Google Analytics) in the comments. If it’s big news, we’re more likely to post a new story rather than update an old one, anyway

    You’re more than welcome to offer your insights into the program if you’re lucky enough to be granted access. I’ll have to wait till the day when Yahoo lets the public in, but I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.

  • Hey Jordan, have you heard any estimates on when this is going to open to advertisers “not supported” by a Yahoo Account Team? I think this is simply shady considering there are so many freelance SEMers these days that work with smaller clients not in need of an account team, but still in need of the in-depth analytics.

    Any idea when this might get to all of us?

    Thanks so much and great article! I am definitely interested to see what they have been doing for the last year and what will be rolled out moving forward…