New Google Analytics Interface And New T‑shirts

May 8, 2007

So it’s finally been announced – Google Analytics has a new interface!

I can now wear my new GA t-shirt. (Although, I think I have to give it to my daughter. See far below.)

Custom dashboards are now here! You can choose which reports to see every day on your dashboard and (yes – at last) you can have them emailed to yourself or your boss. Just once, or on a schedule. And not only can you get them in Excel or Notepad or XML — .pdfs are here, too.

You can now segment by landing page (this was much more important to me than any other enhancement.) I always want to know, they typed in “iron balusters” and where did they land? It helps us see which pages are doing well vis-a-vis SEO. And you can play with landing page both ways: you can look at your keywords and figure out what landing pages they led to, or look at your landing pages and segment by keyword (or other source.)

If you thought the drilldown was good before (and maybe you didn’t, because you didn’t know to use that little red “chevron” arrow), it is now awesome. With the old interface, you could segment referring sources by content and see what page on the referrer’s site was sending you traffic. Now, you able to drill down into that. Since it’s a referrer, you probably aren’t going to segment again by keyword (after all, they didn’t use a keyword), but you could segment by geography, by language, by browser.

The media is less rich and now I can use the most important button on my browser — my “back” button.

There are lots of other new features, like GA’s new geo capabilities (you can really play with the maps like never before). The whole interface is there in front of you, and you don’t have to know to click on the red “chevron” arrows to drill down. Their visualization is now really special– you see little graphs, almost like sparklines, with many of the metrics. Their Timeline version of the calendar is really awesome, but you have to know it’s there to use it.

The back end, for good and for bad, hasn’t changed. I’m pretty happy with that; nice to teach people just the new front end. Also, on every page there are help resources, one of which is “report finder.” So if you knew where it was before, and can’t find it now, use that report finder.

This will be a phased rollout starting today, Tuesday May 8. All existing customers will have access to the new version over the coming weeks as GA rolls the new version out. (I noticed in the press release that if you sign up for GA now, you automatically get the new version.) All historical data will be in the new version, but everyone will still have access to both versions for at least 30 days. Investment Bankers call me all the time and ask me, “When is Google going to start charging?” — but GA is still free, with the new interface.

Finally, I didn’t post a picture of myself in my new GA t-shirt. I was at Google getting them, and I was down on the floor, ripping open boxes, handing them out to other GAACs as I found different sizes (“I’ll take that extra large! Hand me that men’s medium!”) and I just didn’t get the right size for myself. Well, my daughter will love it, and it’s really that black long-sleeved Website Optimizer shirt that I covet, anyway.