Move over Google Analytics here comes Yahoo Analytics

I am sure a lot of you heard last week that Yahoo got into the analytics field with purchase of IndexTools. At that time it was not clear if Yahoo will continue selling IndexTools for a fee or will give away the tool for free like Google Analytics and Microsoft Analytics (Gatineau or what ever they are calling it these days).

I speculated, in my blog post, that Yahoo will (or should) give away this tool for free. In my mind the advantage of giving away this tool was clear. IndexTools is superior in functionality to Google Analytics, it is far more advanced and rivals tools like Omniture and Webtrends. A free offering from Yahoo would put them in the driving seat of the web analytics world. This free tool will also help them sway marketing dollars that would have otherwise gone to Google.

Another huge benefit that Yahoo will have is the ability to put their pixels (data collection mechanism) around the web and hence collect data. Which, in turn, will help their Behavioral Targeting efforts, which are currently limited to Yahoo portal only. This is huge!!! and something that might be of interest to both Bassel and Usama of the Strategic Data Solutions group of Yahoo (the group that IndexTools will roll into).

(Sidenote: Both Bassel and Usama were founders of digiMine, the company I used to work for, which rebranded to Revenue Science, one of the leading Behavioral Targeting networks. It could be there opportunity to build a huge Behavioral targeting network which could easily be bigger than Revenue Science.)

In my opinion giving the free tool was the way to go.

Well, this morning Dennis R. Mortensen, COO of IndexTools wrote on his blog that Yahoo will indeed offer IndexTools for free.
He also claims that IndexTools offers 80% of Omnitures functionality. So you get 80% of the functionality for Free.
I am sure executives at Omniture, WebTrends, Google Analytics, MS Analytics are scrambling right now to figure out what this all means to their business.
Let’s just say this for now – It will have an impact.

I also had some speculations about web analytics market consolidations in my last blog post. This move by Yahoo and IndexTools is a huge step toward making my speculations a reality.

Here is what I wrote in my previous blog post:

A free offering from Yahoo will change the Web Analytics landscape. If yahoo is smart they will make index tool available for free as soon as possible. I will replace GA with IndexTool in a heartbeat (as I don’t tie my Adwords to GA).

So what’s next?

Here are few scenarios

Scenario 1

  1. Google Analytics, Microsoft Analytics (and some other tools) will not be able to compete with IndexTools free offering.
  2. Microsoft will need to step up its offering quite a bit (considering the deal with Yahoo is not happening), they should buy WebTrends. Webtrends is built on MS technology and provides far more functionality than IndexTools (Let’s call it Yahoo Analytics). Which will make Microsoft the leader, Yahoo second and Google third in web analytics capability.
  3. Now, Google won’t stand still. They will use their stock power to buy Omniture and replace Google Analytics with Omniture.
  4. Which will make Google the leader once again, Microsoft second and Yahoo Third
  5. Microsoft then buys Yahoo and it will be down to two Google and Microsoft. We won’t have one clear leader as both will be close.

Scenario 2

  1. Google Analytics, Microsoft Analytics (and some other tools) will not be able to compete with IndexTools free offering.
  2. Considering Microsoft’s intent to buy Yahoo, Google will spring into action and buy Webtrends and Omniture.
  3. Which will make Google the leader once again, Microsoft second and Yahoo Third
  4. Microsoft then buys Yahoo and it will be down to two Google and Microsoft. We won’t have one clear leader as both will be close.

Scenario 3:

  1. Google Analytics, Microsoft Analytics (and some other tools) will not be able to compete with IndexTools free offering.
  2. Microsoft will need to step up its offering quite a bit (considering the deal with Yahoo is not happening), they should buy WebTrends. Webtrends is built on MS technology and provides far more functionality than IndexTools (Let’s call it Yahoo Analytics). Which will make Microsoft the leader, Yahoo second and Google third in web analytics capability.
  3. Oracle, which is on the sidelines but one Web analytics company recently, jumps into action and buys Omniture and makes it free.
  4. Which will make Oracle the leader once again, Microsoft second and Yahoo Third and Google the fourth.
  5. Microsoft then buys Yahoo and it will be down to three Oracle, Microsoft and Google.

Some other combinations of the above are also possible. Also, there is a possibility of AOL and some agencies getting into the action but you get the idea that the consolidation will continue.

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Move over Google Analytics here comes Yahoo Analytics”

  1. What about the option where Google and Microsoft improve their products and catch up in quality to Yahoo’s new offering?

    What is so great about what Yahoo bought that no one can replicate?

  2. If Google buys Omniture just to compete with he growing competition in Web Analytics, then they’d not just get hold of the analytics world, they’d also get the world of behavioral, A/B, and multi-variate testing of Offermatica (or now called as Omniture Test & Target). Talk about double power there!

  3. It is possible that Google and Microsoft can improve their products and catch up to Yahoo’s new offering. But so far I have not seen any significant product features from google or MS. IndexTool offering by Yahoo totally changes the competitive landscape. It will take them years or significant resources to catch up with it. If they can easily buy a product then I don’t see why they need to build it (reinvent the wheel).

  4. I think we will see 2 trends.

    The first will be a consolidation and is focussed on marketshare/leadership. A lot of combinations are possible but personally I think Oracle will make a move and buy Omniture, Webtrends will be bought by MS.

    The second wave is the hunt for innovative companies in the sector. E.g. more and more customer engangement tools are linked with analytical software. “Engagement is an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction against a clearly defined set of goals.” (Eric Peterson). Companies like eStara and Netmining are taking the lead here. Both from a different angle but with clear ROI models and results

  5. i have used most web analytics tools from implementation and omniture and webtrends are the most complicated and over-hyped products on the planet. Anyone buying omniture to offer as free would need their heads examined. Omniture took 6 months and $80,000 of consultants time to implement and support. how could it be rolled out to 1000s of sites. The product functionality is also rather archaic compared to high end analytic providers such as visual science and intellitracker.

  6. Yes indeed.

    On the other hand, I see also that the majority of our clients using do-it-yourself analytics (like Google) ASSUME that the have the right reports. Unfortunenately, most of those reports are using wrong assumptions or calculations.

    I see a nice future for partners of Google analytics setting up, for a moderate fee, clickstream reports (remote, why not ?).

    If we would make a list of innovative companies in the world of clickstream analysis what would be a nice shortlist ? Ideas ?

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