Google Analytics Soft-Launches Event Tracking + Tons More

It’s always a nice surprise when Google releases new tools and features for free products such as Google Analytics, because it shows that they’re committed to innovation, even in a time of economic uncertainty.  Today I received an automated e-mail from Mountain View informing me that one of the websites under my management was slotted for a new feature called Event Tracking.

Event Tracking establishes another milestone in a recent flurry of Google Analytics upgrades and feature roll-outs, making Google Analytics more and more useful for a wider variety of webmasters and maybe one day enterprise.  With Event Tracking enabled, analysts can automatically track rich “Web 2.0” (yawn, I hate that term) content without artificially inflating pageview metrics.

What that means is, the new javascript tracker will be able to differentiate visitor interactions with Flash, AJAX and other previously unsupported interactive page elements.  Although the news is good, it will likely result in higher server calls to Google Analytics datacenters, so the release is to only select Google Analytics profiles right now.  My guess is, once they iron out any issues they may have in the javascript file, they will roll it out as a standard feature across the board.

Other features available to select profiles in the coming weeks include:

  • Advanced Segmentation: Think Google Analytics goals on crack.  With easy to use pathing constructs that you specify from within GA’s web UI, you can differentiate between paid and organic traffic, and site sections quickly and easily. Now we’re getting even closer to enterprise-class solutions.
  • Custom Reports:  Yes, Google Analytics did have ways to get custom reporting accomplished using frequently accessed report sections, however the new Custom Reports feature goes that much further.  You define correlations with drag-and-drop simplicity and have the option to build out your very own analytics reporting interface that goes beyond single page dashboard creation.  Sweet.
  • Motion Charts:  Now I’m getting scared.  The new “visualize” button pops up a whole new dimension to analyzing your data.  It’s really hard to explain in plain english, so I’ll let the YouTube video work it’s magic, if you haven’t already seen it.

Those are some significant upgrades arriving in due course.  If that weren’t enough, though, Google’s also releasing the following features to Google Analytics:

  • Data Export API:  Similar to the Google Adwords API, developers will now have the ability to pull data from Google Analytics to complement Adwords data, or develop their own solutions in-house.  It’s certainly a powerful tool many agencies will be salivating over.
  • Integrated Reporting with AdSense:  Kudos to Google for finally playing the integrated branding game.  Bringing everything under one roof closes the circle of traffic drivers (Adwords), analysis (Analytics), and content monetization (AdSense).  I’m sure functionality to tie in DoubleClick/Performics won’t be far off.

Coming up on Thanksgiving, Google has given us quite a bit to be thankful for, for free!  For more information be sure to swing by the Google Analytics Blog.

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