Google announces plans to offer Google Analytics Opt-Out

I was on client calls most of the day, and when I came up for air in the afternoon to check my RSS reader and Tweetdeck to see what what going on in the world I made a fascinating discovery.  Like many of you I came across the following post from the Google Analytics Blog:

http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-choice-for-users-browser-based-opt.html

This was most unexpected, and my Thursday suddenly got alot more interesting.

Before we go any further let me state that I have not been briefed by Google on this news item.  This post is purely based on my own initial thoughts on the matter.

The blog post announces Google's plans to release a browser plug-in that would allow consumers to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking.  This offering is still in development, and the post offers no specifics on the release date, although it implies that this is only weeks away.

(Side note: It is also interesting to note the language used in the post.  The post leads with "As an enterprise-class web analytics solution..."  This isn't a surprising or entirely inappropriate assertion, but it strongly implies Google's aspirations for GA.)

There are many reasons why Google's course of action is counterintuitive.  Naturally, the marketer in me recoils at the idea of voluntarily allowing measurable data to slip through our hands.  Rationalizing web analytics data is already hard enough, and now this?  And we can certainly debate the true privacy impact of web analytics on consumers. 

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Online Testing and Targeting Platforms - We want your input!

Greetings from beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah, where I'm at the 2010 Omniture Summit. It's been a good week, I must say that my favorite part has been the opportunity to meet with so many web analytics practitioners, friends, Forrester clients and the Omniture team.  If you didn't attend but are interested in getting a feel for the event, check out the Twitter hashtag, #omtrsummit.

I am pleased to announce that this week we are initiating the research process for the inaugural Forrester Wave™ evaluation of Online Testing and Targeting platforms.  We plan to publish this Wave report in the third quarter of 2010. Upon completion this research will be distributed to senior marketing executives at hundreds of large marketing organizations globally.

The first phase of the process is to determine the field of vendors who comprise the Online Testing and Targeting landscape.  We have already identified and contacted a number of companies who participate in the market via previous research efforts.

Forrester is actively innovating our use of social media, and this extends to the research process.  I would like to solicit your input through two modes of participation:

1. If you are a practitioner, please share which Online Testing and Targeting vendors you currently or have previously used.  Also please let me know if you would be interested in receiving followup communications to discuss your experiences with vendors and online testing in general.

2. If you represent a vendor in the Online Testing and Targeting space and would like to be considered for inclusion in the Wave report please let me know and we'll send you  our preliminary vendor survey to complete and submit.

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