Striving to be (Below) Average...

Google Analytics came out with a novel benchmarking feature which compares your site's performance to other websites in your field. You can see this benchmark data ONLY IF you are willing to aggregate your data into the pool of anonymized data.

The best sites in your industry probably are not using Google Analytics, and those who do are probably not benchmarking against average, so you are essentially benchmarking your site against a random sample of the bottom half of your industry. I guess such a measurement has purpose, unfortunately I fail to see it.

I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some. - Herbert Rappaport

Published: March 6, 2008 by Aaron Wall in conversion tracking


March 6, 2008 - 4:57pm

I registered and will try the results. I must admit that I have little hope for the results since it is inclear what is the basis of the benchmark.

We will see.

March 7, 2008 - 12:31am

Could someone please tell me where I can buy the SEOBOOK. All I can see now is how to sign up for the $100 per month training program and as I'm just dipping my toe into the water it's way too rich for my blood...


March 6, 2008 - 5:25pm

How did somebody said that once.
Knowledge is Power or is it Google? ;-)
I guess if you want to feel good you have a reason to sign up :)

MfG Falko
Learn a lot, Work Hard, get Success :)

Search Engine O...
March 6, 2008 - 5:39pm

Nice Quote! We suppose it would be a good "pick me upper" for those who want to feel a bit superior but it'll be interesting to see how it eventually pans out as far as an improvement tool.

March 6, 2008 - 7:35pm

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out, I've opted in just for curiousity. But then that did kill the cat..

Chris Marshall
March 6, 2008 - 10:06pm

Aaron, for what reason(s) would top industry players decline to use Analytics or its benchmarking feature?

March 7, 2008 - 12:25am

I agree, why wouldn't top industry players decline to use Analytics and its Benchmarking feature? I think any competitive business owner would want to find out as much market research as they can about their industry...even if a lot of companies don't use it.

March 7, 2008 - 12:18am

Not wanting to give Google their data. Companies like eBay, Amazon, etc. probably have far better internal statistics and analytics stats (with built in goal based automated strategies based on season and market) than they can get from Google Analytics.

Chris Marshall
March 7, 2008 - 1:08am

Maybe so for eBay and Amazon, but how many industries have that size and level of technical expertise?

Let me put the question differently. Does the Analytics cost exceed its benefit for the average small business?

March 7, 2008 - 2:40am

We are letting Google to grab too much of data just because the analytics service is free.

March 7, 2008 - 8:07pm

In their struggle with ad fatigue, search engines need more and more relevant data to display more relevant content. There is still some data that can further improve results relevancy, data like: time spent on a page, user’s bookmarks, direct visits, CTR levels through SERPs, bounce rates, etc. The data is hard to collect unless you’re using some sort of tracking system that can track and send the data to the search engines.


They (Google) have the data now. They need a way to access that data in an "official" way. That's the catch with the benchmarking. They just found a way to make you share the data ... officially.

March 10, 2008 - 5:03pm

Majority of Analytics users are small website / blog / forum users and I don't think many people would like to do that for the simple reason that we all have big ego and would not like to see the data which may not makes you feel good. I for that matter will not compare the data for my site

March 11, 2008 - 5:03pm

How does the software exactly work? Would you be able to see the difference between your website and your competitors in numbers?

I think we shall find an agreement on the good will of google and the real benefit or damage to us all.

Aaron would you mind tapping into this? or shall we do it in the community forum?

March 11, 2008 - 5:46pm

You can only guess at what Google desires to give you and how they may change it over time to further favor themselves. Any conclusions you or I come to will have little to no effect on the conclusions Google comes to with what they feel is fair, just, right, do no evil, etc.

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