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How do you know about visitors to your website ?

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How much Google knows about you? The google dashboard. I found out the google search I did last Saturday on “enable root on Mac” (by going to google => “My Account” => “web history”). I believe there is a setting a google user can change to disable google to collect the data. But for me sometimes it could be useful because I want to repeat an old search I did a while back. A related question for business is:

How do you know about visitors to your website?
My title may be a bit misleading, I think a better question is how do you measure the performance of your web site? In other words, which page is highly viewed, which page gets no attention etc. Here comes web analytics (Wiki). Web analytics came of age lately as Omniture being bought by Adobe recently.

Google analytics
Google analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google (Wiki entry here). Setup tutorial (video, link here)


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Google analytics is enabled in this site. Code in my WordPress Footer (file)

< script type="text/javascript" >
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));
< /script >
< script type="text/javascript" >
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-510172-1”);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}< /script >

Book: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Web-Metrics-Google-Analytics/dp/0470253126/ref=pd_ts_b_3?ie=UTF8&s=books

Google analytics is NOT the only game in town. There are other companies specialized in this: besides Omniture, there is Hitwise (owned by Experion).

(Update 11Nov09) Another useful tool from Google is Google Webmaster Central. From there a webmaster can use the Tools to see how Google sees (crawls) his/her site. It’s also free, but needs some initial setup.

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