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Facebook Quietly Announces Major Analytics Flub

Recently, you might have noticed a pop-up when visiting your Facebook Insights page informing you of some changes to the way their reach figures are calculated.

“Fair enough,” you probably thought, “They’ve got a burgeoning user base and spammers, scammers, and a whole other lot of potential confounding variables to weed out.” If you clicked though, you found that the change was something much more breathtaking.

As of July 3nd, Facebook’s reach metric will include both mobile views and will now only count a ‘reach’ if a user scrolls down and loads a Page’s story. Take a second, let that sink in. Maybe read it one more time.

Download Web Data Directly to Google Docs

Some of you may think that this is a non-story and you would be right unless you are keeping an eye on the continually expanding big picture that Google is painting.

The ‘story’ is reported at the Webmaster Central blog that data from webmaster central reports can now be downloaded into either a CSV file (which has been available for a long time) or directly into a Google Docs spreadsheet. Google tells it like this

Webmaster Tools now has a new download option for exporting your data directly to a Google Spreadsheet. The download option is available for most of our data heavy features, such as Crawl errors, Search queries, and Links to your site. If you enjoy digging into the data from Webmaster Tools but don’t want to use Python scripts or the API, we’ve added new functionality just for you. Now when you click a download button from a Webmaster Tools feature like Search queries, you’ll be presented with the “Select Download Format” option where you can choose to download the data as “CSV” or “Google Docs.”

Are Online Companies Using the Wrong Data to Measure Success?

Everyone knows you need analytics on your website and some people actually pay attention and act on the data they acquire. But digital design agency Extractable says you might be putting all your eggs in the wrong data basket.

Right now, off the top of your head, what would you say is the most common data point for measuring success?

If you said traffic, give yourself a gold star. 66% of the companies Extractable surveyed said they use use traffic numbers as a measure of success. 46% said they use time spent on site but neither one of these is a true indicator of customer satisfaction and neither speaks to conversions.

Facebook and Google Do Battle on the Metrics Playing Field

The heated battle between Google and Facebook is more than whether Google+ can challenge Facebook in social or whether Facebook will trump Google in search somehow. Not to be mislead, these are two of the biggest fronts that these companies take hacks at each other each day for sure.

But while these products and services are being honed there is something happening between these two that could ultimately make the difference as to just how much advertisers are willing to spend with each media outlet. That something is analytics and measurement. Even little ol’ Aol recognizes this potential difference maker so it must be a big deal :-).

Both companies have announced their latest efforts to help companies understand just what they are getting from each dollar spent. In the end, the one that gives the best insight could very well be the one that wins this thing.

Google’s latest initiative is called Brand Activate. Here’s a video explaining what is taking place

Marketers’ Desire for Big Data Often Leads to Big Disappointment

Hunters like to hunt big game. Sports enthusiasts love the big game. Journalists look for the big story. Marketers? Well, more and more marketers are going after something big as well, big data, and, more often than not they are coming away disappointed.

Why? It’s because big data is elusive. It’s massive and it is swirling around us everywhere much like the pollen does everywhere this time of year (in some parts of the US that is). Much like that pollen it seems to land everywhere but it get washed away or pushed aside just as quickly as it falls. A recent study from the Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (as reported by eMarketer) shows these challenges.

Report Shows Marketers Less Confident in Measurement of Efforts

eConsultancy along with Experian Marketing Services has released their Marketing Budgets 2012 report and as we have seen in the recent past, most companies continue to or intend to continue to increase spending on the digital channel. That’s good news in that there is recognition that the digital channel is an effective use of marketing dollars which can often be harder to find in the current economic climate. Here are some quick data points from the study.

  • Of those companies increasing their digital marketing budgets, 79% will increase them by more than 10%.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of companies are increasing their investment in digital marketing technology this year, up from 67% in 2011.
  • More than half (56%) of companies are planning to recruit more people into their digital marketing teams in 2012, up from 52% in 2011.

There is more evidence given in the report that companies are turning more to the digital space as we move forward and we get that. It’s good news for those of us in the space but growth hasn’t been the problem.

Despite this rise in investment in the digital world the real problem comes in the analysis of this data. Whether it is in the online or offline space, marketers appear to be a getting a little less cocky about their ability to measure what is actually happening in the space. Take a look at this.

Google Announces YouTube Analytics With a Video Tuto….Infographic?

Just how popular is that video of your aunt’s faceplant in the snow? Who’s watching your rendition of White Christmas?

Those questions and much more will be answered when Google rolls out YouTube Analytics later today–replacing the more limited Insights.

Here’s what you’ll get, so long as you are using a “modern” browser:

  • A Quick Overview: A new overview provides all of the information that you care about quickly, while also enabling you to easily access more detailed information.
  • More Detailed Reports: Analytics now includes more detailed statistics so that you can have a more precise understanding of your content and audiences.
  • Audience Builders: Discover which videos are driving the most views and subscriptions.
  • Audience Retention: See how far viewers are watching through your video in the new audience retention report.
I have just one question. Why in the world is Google using an infographic to explain YouTube Analytics and not a video tutorial? That’s like Bill Gates giving a presentation about the new Windows 8 using a Mac! ;-)