Google still has its free analytics product, but now it has announced a paid-for version of Google Analytics, called Premium, which will be a $150,000 per year product.
In one brief announcement today from Google a very bold approach is being embarked upon. That is, going from a single free-to-all product, to one that is now split into two offerings: Google Analytics Standard (free) or Premium ($150,000 per year).
That's a big change for Google Analytics, so what's the difference?
Headline Premium features
Google Analytics Premium offers the following benefits that are not available in the free service:
- Dedicated Processing Power
- Exclusive features
- Service Level Agreement
- Service & Support
Although a global roll-out of Premium is planned, Google Analytics Premium is currently only available in the US and Canada and the UK. It will be available direct from Google or one of its authorised resellers, listed here.
Should other analytics vendors be worried?
In the first few years following the acquisition of Urchin in April 2005, the focus was on internal scalability, ease of implementation and ease of use for end-users.
Since then, there has been a drive for more advanced, yet real-world features such as advanced segmentation, intelligence alerts, conversion attribution and most recently (today!) real-time analytics reporting.
Premium is the next logical step, a product aimed at large enterprise customers. Think P&G, Ford, Sony etc. A large selection of the world's top brands already use Google Analytics.
However, the procurement departments of Fortune 500 and FTSE100 organisations usually request three things in a legal document before they will implement a web analytics tool:
- Data ownership clarification
- Long data retention time
- A formal SLA agreement
With these now in place for Google Analytics Premium, Google can go head to head with any vendor for any organisation.
As an official Google Analytics consultancy, that's good for my business! To be honest though, I do wish the competition had been more innovative in their approach over the last five years.
Their dismissive approach (picking faults with GA as the primary motive to use them, rather than advancing their own product offering), has led to a complacency that has put the other vendors very much in the back seat of the industry.
Competition is healthy for any industry to grow and progress, but Google appears to be doing this all by itself in the field of web analytics.