Nostradamus and Web Analytics – 2008 Predictions!

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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 2008Core 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 gets into web analytics! 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 2008WebTrends 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 – reporting an increase in $1.1 million dollars revenue as a result of 4 positive tests in 2 months.

August 2008Omniture 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 2008Big 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…

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  • Classic!! Far-fetched is an under statement for some, but too far off on others. My thoughts….

    Coremetrics Aquiring WebTrends – the word on the street is that Core is broke, losing top tier clients as fast as they’re bringing on small/mid-size clients. Plus, after already going through three rounds of financing in the past 7 years, it would appear that this one is beyond far-fetched….haha.

    Amazon gets into Web Analytics – not too much of a stretch on this one.

    Microsoft Analytics – …apple is the future, holding a majority of the under 21 market which is the future consumers of america!

    WT, Optimost, and Circuit City – WT acquiring Optimost would be one of the few things WT could do to hang on to survival. Much like Core, WT is losing clients faster than google can crank out free app! Optimost is an extremely interesting technology, but was just acquired by Interwoven, I believe, so probably won’t sell again….at least this soon. Circuit City loses either way you look at it, unless they get more proactive in their chase of Best Buy, i.e. more cutting technologies than WT.

    Omniture Offers Free App – could have merit. Websidestory/Visual Sciences has a legacy low end solution similar to Google analytics, except WSS/VS sells their’s for a nominal $$ and actually does well. It would probably be tough to turn this small cash cow app into a free one, but who knows.

    Google Acquires Om, or WT – just having a hard time believing this would ever happen. For a company to sell you ad space, and then turn around and tell you how well those ads are doing… just scares media buyers to death. Who wants the fox overseeing the hen house? Not this turkey.

    My prediction – The Om / VS merger is one that will revolutionize the online world. With Offermatica, Site Catalyst, Genesis Partner Network, Touch Clarity, Visual Site / Platform 5 Multi-Channel Analytics / Streaming Data Visualization, Site Search, and Bid Management ALL under one roof, who will compete with the cutting edge integrations that will automate so many optimization best practices for those utilizing this arsenal of best-of-breed apps?

  • Fill

    Instead of Yahoo offering free analytics, why would they not consider acquiring Omniture (or, if they wanted to got the cheap route – WT/Coremetrics)? Purchase of OMTR would put Yahoo way ahead of MSFT and GOOG in the measurement world.

  • RichM

    This is funny. My thought is that Microsoft will make a play for Omniture rather than Google and the price tag will be much higher. This will obviously come after the downfall of Microsoft Site Analytics. Once they have acquired Omniture, they will release Site Catalyst it for free, but the application will be riddled with advertisements on every page.

  • Just a slight bit of inbreeding going on here. Did anyone forget the brave action call of Avinash — that technology is only 10% of the solution.

    My recommendations go to the other 90%, and this is already supported by real evidence.

    1. There is a growing culture of practitioners who believe in this stuff and who are becoming more vocal. Those who get a taste of the value will not be compromised. Companies who are asking to cut back on such efforts are seeing such people leave to go to other companies who are increasing their commitments to such activities.

    2. SEO is a mind-numbing, useless effort for ecommerce. Those who continue to practice it are clearly misusing resources for the purpose of optimizing their own online channels.

    3. The transaction vendors will begin to feel the pressure for true ‘behavioral’ analytics — which cannot be accomplished without a true link to ‘voice of the customer’. This will cause a higher focus on text mining and analysis.

    4. Web analytic practitioners as a whole will begin to abandon many of the current metrics they rely on, recognizing that not all metrics hold the same value for all business models. They will begin to get a lot smarter about what it is they are doing by following the path through to action.

    5. Because of 4. analytics as a whole will begin to come together within a larger effort. For conversational purposes this larger effort is labeled “Design Research”, the means by which all allocation of business resources must be justified (and replace ROI).

  • Hi,

    very interesting news. Now, that rumors even talk about Mr. Abramovich buying Google everything else is also possible…

  • Hey Rich!
    wow this is interesting!, would be curious to hear your views on International web analytics market.

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  • I think Coremetrics is more likely to raise another round of financing in order to stay afloat. No way can they pull off a large acquisition, and WebTrends is twice their size. Maybe the other way around, but Core has too much VC money invested in it to ever take a reasonable price.

  • Biswarup

    The ‘ Microsoft failure’ ; ‘Omniture coming out with free version and posing to be the competitor for Google’ although far fetched , seems to be a very likely one. However as previously mentioned “What about Microsoft capturing Omniture’…Whayt can be the imiplications if this happens… well the scenarios seem to be very interesting… However even before all this , “Amazon moving into WA ” is the most likely…I wonder why didn’t it happen till now?… Overall a very good visualization of the WA industry as a whole. But the question comes back to the same old point. How far are we able to analyze the online behaviour of the customer?…Thanks..

  • Interesting…….
    I think Yahoo will acquire one of the top analytics tool.

  • I read your predictions earlier this we approach end of the year I have compiled key events in this space in year 2008. I hope you will find it interesting in context to this post –