Google’s web analytics program, Google Analytics has got two new features: a beta version of industry benchmarking and a data-sharing settings page. Google Analytics blog reports that, all of these features will begin appearing in customer accounts today, though benchmarking reports may take up to a couple weeks to show data.
Data Sharing: On Data Sharing settings page, customers can choose whether to opt in or opt out of sharing their Analytics data.
“With Google products only”: Google says this will enable advanced advertisement services and improvements with other Google products. As an example use case, Google says you would be able to use an enhanced version of the AdWords conversion optimizer, once available.
To be clear, we are not sharing individual data with competitors; we bucket data into industry verticals and then anonymize and aggregate the data. Once you opt in, it may take a couple weeks for the reports to populate.
“Anonymously with Google products and the benchmarking service”: When you check this option, Google say they will enable benchmarking* by sharing your data in anonymous form and improve services. All your traffic data will be non-site identifiable, and combined with other anonymous sites which are aggregated. Here, a use-case is to gain a broader context to understand where your site is placed in terms of traffic from related sites.
This setting will allow us to provide you with additional advanced new features. For example, many of you have asked us to integrate Conversion Optimizer (which is currently only available to AdWords Conversion Tracking users) into Google Analytics. By opting to share your data with Google, you'll be able to take advantage of these related new features as they become available.
Not sharing your data with other Google products at all is also an option. If you do decide to opt-in, data from up to a month before will be shared; opting out will stop data-sharing on that day, according to Google. Google at their data sharing FAQ prints the following teaser to convince you to allow them to do more with your site data:
Shared data will be used to improve the services we provide you and will help create more powerful features for you to choose from. As they become available, only those who share their data with Google will gain access to these services and features. [Upcoming releases] will offer greater insight and flexibility to the customers who have opted to share their data.
Industry benchmarking is a commonly requested new service that enables customers to see how their site data compares to sites in any available industry vertical. We believe this data will provide actionable insights by providing context for users to understand how their site is doing. For example, if you have a travel website and you get a spike in traffic on Mondays, you may want to know whether other travel sites get that same spike on Mondays.
You can also compare your site against an industry vertical different than your own. For example, you might see that your industry's traffic dips at certain times of the year while another industry's traffic increases. Based on that information, you may wish to explore cross promotional opportunities to drive traffic back and forth.
For more information, take a look at the benchmarking FAQs in the Google Analytics help center.
Google, Google Analytics, Web Analytic, Benchmarking, Data Sharing, New Features