Web Analytics ARE Relevant, at Least Google Thinks So

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.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.