GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

March 29, 2005

It seems that every day, there is one media story that’s all the buzz in the blogs and e-mail newsletters that I read regularily. What was today’s?

I’d note that I think that the investment by BV Capital in Fotolog, on the heals of the announcement of Flickr’s acquisition by Yahoo, was of significance. However, I think that the true story of the day is Google’s acquisition of Urchin. Rumor has it that the price was about $30M.

Google is starting to move down a path of offering additional services for their marketing customers. Expect to see more of this activity in the future, especially on the acquisition front. As a former professional internet marketing consultant myself, I know that there remains a lot to be desired in services for online (and especially search) marketers. There is a need for both analytics and tools to help create, refine, and test online marketing campaigns. Urchin fits in here nicely, but there are still empty holes to be filled (like bid management applications and landing page optimization). Google will continue to aggressively pursue acquisitions in this area.

And don’t believe the media hype about consumer privacy concerns with respect to online analytics. It’s just reporters trying to stir up controversy. Mediapost goes even as far to say, “Until advertisers can convince the public that market research has a public benefit, Web analytics companies such as Urchin and WebTrends will be increasingly irrelevant.”

Nonsense. Privacy concerns are indeed valid, but companies are now deliberately addressing them. More importantly, these tools are increasingly helpful for marketers to better understand and address their customers.

Are web analytics relevant? Absolutely – Google thinks so, and so do I.

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