Friday, 21 March 2008

Google Analytics Benchmarking

If you use Google Analytics for your website statistics, you might be interested in the new benchmarking option. If you agree to share your data (anonymously), Google will give you a comparison showing your traffic stats against other similar sites.

The benchmarking service has been collecting data for the last couple of weeks and it went live today. I had a lot of fun seeing my stats against industry standards. However it's pretty much a once-off buzz at the moment. There's not much to look at, and once you've seen how a site fares there's not much point going back to that report again.

Still, Google has a solid record of starting simple and building things into something no one else saw coming. This could be the beginning of a revolutionary way to measure statistics. I'm optimistic.

Categories

Importantly, all sites are divided into three categories: Small, medium and large. Statistics for a site can only be compared against other sites in the same category. The trouble is, you don't know which category your site is in, so how can you tell what you're really being compared to?

I don't have the whole answer (yet) but I've got a reasonable estimate. Because I have a few dozen websites that get various levels of traffic, I've been able to pin down the range of statistics in each category to some extent. It's still quite rough, and the data will change anyway as the service matures, but here's how I see it:

Small: The benchmark for sites in this category is around 5 visits per day. It includes sites that get up to somewhere between 15 and 50 visits per day.

Medium: The benchmark is around 200 visits per day (2100 page views). The range is from around 50 to somewhere between 1000 and 10,000 visits per day.

Large: The benchmark is around 10,000 visits per day. The range is from somewhere between 1000 and 10,000 visits per day upwards.

I currently have one site in the large category (Google thinks I'm large - now there's an aphrodisiac :)). The site is of course mediacollege.com, which is ranking 57% higher than the benchmark for large sites. Woohoo!

Now here's an interesting idea for Google - what about being able to share data between consenting accounts, so for example, I could agree to share data with some of my competitors and we could all measure up against each other. I don't know how many people would buy into it but I'd be a starter for sure. Nothing like a bit of in-your-face competition to get you motivated.

1 comment:

  1. "Now here's an interesting idea for Google - what about being able to share data between consenting accounts, so for example, I could agree to share data with some of my competitors"

    I love that Idea. Or at least with consenting accounts give the top 10 in a category and maybe bottom 10.. nothing like a walk of shame to get you motivated. It would also be nice when my boss comes to me and says "make are site more like are competitors" I can go to him and say "hey look we are kicking there binary butts"

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