More on WebTrends 8.1

I've gotten some of the dirt on the soon to be released new version of WebTrends (WebTrends 8.1). Here are the highlights of new features (remember this will first be released to On-demand customers and then as a download to software owners).

1. A new interface for both Admin and end-users
2. Graphics will no longer be generated using Java, but will be dynamically generated web graphics (i.e. jpg or gif)
3. Users will have the ability to e-mail and schedule reports from the profile interface (not sure if this will be a rights issue or not)
4. Admin logging - yes the feature we've been asking for. All profile changes will be dated and logged. Everything an Admin does (so they claim) will be logged. Open a profile for edit, it's logged etc.
5. No more icons on the right-hand side for Admins (analyze now and reanalyze icons that look the nearly the same) - instead they will be replaced with a drop down list to make it less likely that you'll click on the wrong icon and delete your profile.

You can view a sales demo of the new version at:

Now stuff from the rumor mill. There is going to be a big change in the pricing model. The cost of for the On-demand version and software version are going to be nearly the same and if you've chosen to buy the software, the annual costs will be much higher and perhaps close to the costs of the On-demand version. Final pricing hasn't been set (at least the person I talked to at WebTrends didn't know if had). The good news is that it looks like if you've already purchased the software, you'll be grandfathered in and won't face the new pricing model.

What does this all mean? It looks like WebTrends is trying to harder to move all new customers to the On-demand version of their product. While some businesses don't care, this means higher costs to for others, especially if they like to slice and dice their web site into numerous profiles and have ownership over their own log files.

Other news/rumors from WebTrends, version 9 is now off the drawing board. It has an internal name and development has started. Anticipated release date some time in 2008.


WebBuider 2007 Here I Come

I've just been confirmed as a speaker at this years WebBuilder conference in Las Vegas. This years conference will run from December 3 to December 5. I'm thrilled to be speaking at this years conference as usual. This speaking engagement will ensure my attendance at one of the industries most interesting web conferences anywhere plus it keeps alive my continuous attendance at WebBuilder conferences since the inaugural event back in 97.

WebBuilder was originally organized by CNet and eventually sold to FTP Publications who just after last year's WebBuilder conference was purchased by 1105 Media.

What makes WebBuilder stand out as a conference for web builders is it is the only conference to target the entire web development team. This includes everyone from programmers to project managers to the entire marketing team. There are conference tracks there for everyone and some that try to bring the different teams together. My topic this year is exactly that. Entitled "Designing with Web Analytics in Mind", will address the needs of the marketing team for measuring success and build a bridge with the web developers to ensure that the web site is designed and code in such a way to support the web analytic needs of the marketing and management teams.

More on my conference address at a later date. Once the conference web site is up and running, I'll be sure to post a link to it. For now, if you want to check out last years conference you can view the 2006 WebBuilder 2.0 web site instead and start planning to attend this unique annual conference.

Canadian Mobile Data Rates

Here is a very informative article about how appalling the mobile data rates are for Canadians. Turns out we are paying more then anyone else including some second and third world countries.

These high costs are no going to hold back the adoption of mobile web devices here in Canada and in turn, keep us backward when it comes to mobile e-commerce.

Article URL: news.stepforth.com/blog/2007/07/canadian-mobile-data-rates-are.php


Search Engines Tighten Privacy

Here's an interesting article from the Washington Post about Search engines and their privacy policies. In a nutshell, the major search engines are starting to reduce the the life of their cookie and the tracking of what terms you've been searching on.

This article is well worth the read for anyone concerned about Internet Privacy and search engines.

Read the article


WebTrends 8.1 Comming Soon

I just got word that WebTrends 8.1 is coming within the next 4 weeks to WebTrends on demand. I expect that it will be also available around the same time as an upgrade for people who have a local installation.

From the noticed I've received they are promoting better integration with the Marketing Lab 2 and WebTrends Dynamic Search. There is no mention of what enhancements or new features will be included in the analytics software upgrade.

Stay tuned for more information on this WebTrends upgrade as I get it.


An Amazing Web Site

This post is not about SEO, web analytics or WebTrends, but something truly amazing and still web related. Yesterday, I was introduced to an electronic hand held game an old kids and adult favourite - 20 Questions. While looking at the packaging, I noticed they had a web site www.20q.net.

Well today I checked out the web site and they have same game on-line. You can choose what language you want to think in including several different flavours of English (American, British and Canadian) then choose the version of the game. You can choose the classic version or one of several specialty versions like movies or Dr. Who, Harry Potter etc.

What is amazing about this web site is not only how often it guesses what you were thinking of, but that the site (OK the computer behind it) is learning at the same time. The goal if it guess in 20 questions or less it wins. If takes more than 20 questions, you win. Of course on the few times I stumped it, it shows me where my answers contradicted what was in its database as an excuse for losing. However, if enough people keep answering the same way it will learn and get even better.

So give it a try and try not to get addicted.


Monitoring Search Engine Traffic

One of the advantages of speaking at conferences is the chance to meet and socialize with other conference speakers. Recently at SES Toronto, I had the opportunity to go out for dinner with some 40 plus of these people.

During the dinner I had the chance to chat with someone from Google who actually works on the algorithm and I was able to get some very detailed information o the algorithm that almost contradicted what he had he said during his conference address. To be more specific, I got him to clarify his statement about coding valid HTML and its impact on SEO efforts, more on that another day.

The score of the evening was a chat with Richard Zwicky of Enquisite (www.enquisite.com). During our chat, he mentioned a beta product that his company had launched that allows any web site to get extremely detailed search engine traffic information that typically exceeds anything from all the web analytic products on the marketing (including WebTrends, Site Catalyst, etc.).

So we swapped business cards, and the next day I was given a personal demo of the Enquisite tool. I was impressed and immediately following the conference I registered for the beta. Ever since my account was activated, I've been enjoying rich detailed information on how people are finding my web site.

Features include:

  • Splitting paid from organic traffic;
  • Exact search phrases;
  • Data drilldown by country, region, city, search engine, paid vs. organic, search term or any combination of these elements;
  • Frequency of searches;
  • Which page of search results they had clicked on;

This tool is a must have for anyone doing search engine optimization or search engine marketing. If you're using Google Analytics or any other analytics tool that doesn't easily split paid from organic traffic, the value is even higher. The best news it's free. All you need to do is go to the Enquisite site (www.enquisite.com), register and typically within 24 hours your account will be activated and you'll be given a java script to add to the bottom of all your web pages. It's that simple.

Once the script is activated, you just need to do a tiny bit of configuration to define how you identified paid traffic and away you go. You can now easily and accurately extract valuable information from all your search traffic. With this information on hand you can use it to further enhance you SEO efforts or paid search campaigns.