This is the second post in our Evidon Global Tracker Report series. Featuring proprietary insight* into and analysis of third-party tracking across the web, articles in the series are posted monthly and represent the kind of data you’ll find in the Evidon Global Tracker Report, the first of which will be distributed at our next Evidon Empower summit in Europe this spring. Released semi-annually, the Evidon Global Tracker Report will be edited by thought leader Darren Herman, Chief Digital Media Officer of The Media Kitchen and President of kbs+p Ventures. Website analytics services have evolved from the early days of site visit counters to robust tools that provide a wide range of data about a site's visitors. Publishers have come to rely on these services to understand the demographics of their audience and how they arrived at their site to become that audience. As with any third-party site tool, website operators must weigh the benefits and the cost - and the most precious commodity among web publishers is the speed the page loads. So how much valuable load time is spent on analytics tools? Below is a breakdown showing the relative popularity of the top 25 analytics tools, and the average time it takes for them to load in milliseconds.
math-aids.com, which makes use of lots of third party scripts and helpfully publishes its Google Analytics statistics. On a peak day, math-aids.com can see around 80,000 visitors. Taking only the Google Analytics script into account, that means that users' browsers spent 36573808ms - more than 10 hours - delivering these scripts to web pages on analytics pixels every day. Obviously, no single user experiences a delay anywhere near hours or even minutes, but it's interesting to note the exponential rate at which these numbers can expand - particularly given the popularity of many of the top analytics services.
Website analytics do more for publishers than audience measurement, of course. Many web publishers use data like session duration and click path to better design and engineer their sites. Audience demographics can also suggest low-level changes like a needed language translation or optimal site update times. This is all married to information like search terms that referred the audience and details about users like city-level location. Some services - notably the popular Omniture service from Adobe - provide audience segmentation alongside site analytics, so data about a site's users is collected simultaneously with data gathered about the site itself. Analytics companies are always adding to their suite of services, trying to provide valuable new insights to attract publishers to their client roster. It's a wealth of data to be sure - and nearly every publisher on the web agrees that it's well worth adding to a user's wait time to know that the user was there in the first place.
|Analytics Provider Latency, Ranked by Commonality|
|17||Google Website Optimizer||344.03||221|
|Analytics Provider Latency, Ranked by Latency|
|19||Google Website Optimizer||344.03||221|
*Data compiled with Ghostrank, Evidon’s Ghostery® panel of over 1.6 million weekly users worldwide who opt in to report the tracking code they encounter as they browse the web. If you have ideas about data you’d like to see featured in this series, or ways we can present this data, email Andy at Evidon.com. If you’d like more information about the Evidon Empower summit where the Global Tracker Report will be distributed, email info at Evidon.com.