I know its only Mid December - but I thought I would go ahead and make my predictions for the 2008 year ahead in web analytics! And some of these predictions might shock you… but will hopefully make you think!
Jan 2008 – Core Metrics acquire Web Trends. They adopt the ‘Web Trends’ brand name and integrate Web Trends’ Visitor Intelligence tool into their offerings. They see this more ‘holistic’ qualitative-based analytics view as the most revealing analytics path to take – with analyzing click stream data taking a back seat.
Mar 2008 – Amazon.com gets into web analytics! Amazon.com continue their recent diversification by unveiling a new free web site analytics product, stemmed out of their growing and powerful associates program developers network. They plan to integrate this analytics tool into their great new free Amazon powered site store offerings. Yahoo soon follows suit by announcing their beta web analytics tool, a direct competitor of the new Microsoft Site Analytics (formerly known as ‘Project Gatineau’).
May 2008 - Disaster for Microsoft Site Analytics. Only just recently launched, they get sued and lose in a class action for revealing MSN and Hotmail related demographics data to Analytics users, who then illegally tie this into their MSN AdCenter campaigns. Another major set back for this ‘good in theory’ tool after seeing less than anticipated initial usage.
June 2008 – WebTrends continues its spending spree! This time by acquiring multivariate company Optimost, in order to compete with Omniture’s strong multivariate offerings. This is fueled by a recent report outlining that multivariate testing is finally starting to be used more, with great results - CircuitCity.com reporting an increase in $1.1 million dollars revenue as a result of 4 positive tests in 2 months.
August 2008 – Omniture offers free analytics solution. They acquire their second major web analytics company after Visual Sciences - Click Tracks. They immediately announce a ‘free’ analytics solution, based on the Click Tracks tool - stating they see a growing market for free analytics, and aggressively start to advertise their free tool as being better than Google Analytics free tool.
December 2008 – Big acquisition shock. After intense recent competition between the free analytics offerings from Omniture and Google Analytics, Google agrees to acquire Omniture for $2.8 billion. Google state ‘we see tremendous value in Omniture’s Site Catalyst and Visual Science tools, and these paid solutions will complete our suite of web analytics’. The Web Analytics world is shocked.
Some of these may seem a little far fetched, and they may not happen this year, but I can definitely see Google acquiring Web Trends or Omniture in the future – they surely need to get into the more advanced analytics side of things – their free solution will only go so far.
What does everyone think of these rather controversial predictions? I would love to hear everyone else’s web analytics predictions for 2008 too…