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Google Analytics

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Justin Cutroni

Do you know what people do when they visit your website or web app? Or how much the site contributes to your bottom line? Google Analytics keeps track and makes it easy for you to learn precisely what's happening. This hands-on guide shows you how to … see full wiki

Tags: Book, Cafe Libri, Google, Google Analytics
Author: Justin Cutroni
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
1 review about Google Analytics

An interesting Analytics Book

  • Sep 9, 2010
Rating:
+3
I had low expectations for this. After all, Google Analytics has very detailed help pages and you can find specific pages for all of the major concepts covered in this book. So what's the point?

Well, maybe there is a point. First of all, someone new to Analytics may prefer the structure of a walk through. But even someone who has been using Analytics from the day they turned it loose in December of 2005 (that's me) can benefit from the specific examples and gotchas detailed here.

For example, I had never thought of tagging links I send out in emails. I don't know why, and it's not that Google's help pages don't mention that. But their page on link tagging is very Adwords oriented, so I missed that you can tag any link. After reading this book, I have even tagged some internal site links so I can easily see if they get used.

I also hadn't thought about tracking outgoing links. Oh, I knew I could, but again I just didn't ever do it. For reasons I can't entirely explain, the section of this book that ytalks about that made me realize that there actually are a few outbound links I would like to track!

The only complaint here is the same complaint I have about far too many books: excruciatingly boring detail in the beginning that far too quickly ramps up to off-hand references without detailed explanation. I do not know why so many technical books exhibit this same pattern, but I suspect it's probably because the basic stuff is easy to detail and the more tech stuff would just get far too complicated. That's fine, I get it, but leave out the detail on the basic stuff. Nobody who is interested in the more complicated subjects needs the detail of the basics!

I do think the book would have a wider audience if it didn't ignore Adsense entirely. The author is probably accustomed to dealing with large sites that don't care much about that, but for many of us little guys, Adsense is an important part of our site income. A bit of attention wouldn't have hurt, I think.

Other than that, this is very good. I picked up some references to tools I did not know about, got some hints that I do not remember noticing in the Analytics Help pages, and have some new ideas percolating in my head.

By the way, this book led me to the author's Analytics Talk blog at [...] I have been enjoying reading that, probably even more than the book.

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September 18, 2010
Hm...this looks like a book that I might enjoy. I've recently started using Google Analytics myself, although I haven't tackled Adwords or Adsense yet. Thanks for the helpful review!
 
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