There has been a modest buzz this week over some leaked screen shots of the Google AdSense integration into Google Analytics. I don’t think this addition is a surprise to anyone, but it is very exciting to see Google pulling more data into GA. As I’ve said in the past, it’s only a matter of time before Google includes data from its various apps into GA.
But over the past few weeks Google has rolled out a few other subtle changes to GA that may indicate changes and future enhancements.
1. Easier Login
There’s a new button to log into GA! Awesome, a new BUTTON! Woo Hoo!
Just kidding, while there is a new button, the real benefit is some added functionality that makes it easier for all of us that are in and out of GA on an hourly basis to access into GA.
You will now remain logged into GA even if you navigate away from GA or close your browser, just like you do when using GMail.
This is not a major deal, but I think it ties GA closer to other Google services. Combined with the layout and access changes to Website Optimizer (which is now organized more like GA), I think it moves us one step closer to the Google Business Platform. The same functionality already exists for Google AdPlanner, Google Insight for Search, etc. How long before all these tools are linked together?
2. Revamped Profile List
Google recently added website domain to the list of profiles that appears when you first log in:
While this change may not seem like a big deal, I think it signals a shift in the way that we think about profiles. For a long time I’ve been stressing that profiles are not websites, they are segments of traffic. That’s why we can, and should, create lots of profiles for a single website. This change facilitates that line of thought.
Changing the profile list to include the website URL makes it easier for us to name profiles something more descriptive, like ‘Segment: New Visitors’ or ‘Segment: CPC’. The addition of the domain simplifies profile naming and promotes the use of profiles as segments.
Could this have something to do with segmentation of data or might profiles fundamentally change? I’m not sure, but I know that it’s now a lot easier to organize all of the various profiles that we create for clients.
3. Bye, Bye Segments, Hello Dimensions!
This one came as a complete surprise to me. Google changed the ‘Segment’ drop down to a ‘Dimension’ drop down. The options in the drop down have not changed, and the functionality remains the same.
Does this mean we’ll be doing ‘di-mentation’ rather than ‘seg-mentation’? HA!
Not only did they change the name from Segment to Dimension, but they also changed the location of the drop down. It moved from above the data table to within the data table. This reinforces that we need to start thinking in terms of Dimensions rather than Segments.
Now the important question, why this change?
I’m not sure. But I think this is a pretty big deal. I think this has something to do with the way that we segment data in GA. Given the change to the profile list, maybe segmentation will change into some type of ‘profile mashup’ tool, where you can mix data from different profiles into a single profile in order to do segmentation.
Who knows what will happen, but it’s Friday and I’m having fun with this.
What do you think these changes indicate?