$165K in Adwords + Broken Google Analytics = Pissed Off Client.
You get what you pay for. It doesn’t matter a fig whether the analytics service provider is a multi-billion dollar global empire corporation or a guerilla search marketing firm in Minneapolis. Serious SEM Clients don’t care if the hosted analytics service is Google-free-with-a-promise or cost thousands each month. When cash money is on the line and analytics disappear our clients are freaked out and pissed off.
In the Real World People Don’t Trust Free Things with Good Reason.
What kind of never-never land do we live in anyway? Have we been lulled into star-crossed stupidity by accepting mission critical hosted analytics services for free with no quality of service promise, little customer service, and spin doctors spinning social CYA laden sound bytes?
Sure Google’s a great company but would any business ever trust free van repairs for morning milk delivery vehicles in exchange for allowing the repair shop access to their bank account information? Would you ever trust an unlimited supply of free hard drives for your server in exchange for log files? How safe would you feel your child’s 33 year old full time school bus driver worked for free just because he loves to be around kids? Little in life is free.
Google Schmoogle-Clients Blame Us.
Even though Google Analytics is an amazing free toy concocted by geniuses, in the real world when I recommend a vendor to a client as capable, reliable, accountable, and effective I put our company’s reputation on the line. We’re held especially accountable for analytics recommendations we make. It doesn’t matter if the services outage is Google’s fault-our clients blame us for making the recommendation. This is the second round of Google Analytics outages since May. There was data loss this time around, in spite of Google’s spin. Client analytics accounts, where we also use ClickTracks, were low for the outage-hours.
This week I’ve fielded tough questions from multiple 6-figure analytics clients like “Marty, why would you recommend something for free that breaks where we have no recourse?” Fortunately aimClear is a ClickTracks partner agency and we’ve nearly completed top to bottom deployment across all of our client accounts. ClickTracks, IndexTools, Unica Affinium NetInsight, and WebSide Story HBX Analytics have support techs we can get on the phone who are willing to remote access into our analytics servers and find out what’s broken. The invoices we pay each month are for quality of service we can take to the bank.
Google’s Quality of Service Promise
Ask yourself if you want the success of your business (food on your plate) to the subject to the following quality of service promise (from GOOGLE ANALYTICS TERMS OF SERVICE, Paragraph 10:
THE SERVICE, THE SOFTWARE AND REPORTS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY GOOGLE AND/OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES, EITHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE, THE SOFTWARE, THE DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTS, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NOR ARE THERE ANY WARRANTIES CREATED BY COURSE OF DEALING, COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, OR TRADE USAGE. GOOGLE DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE SERVICE, THE SOFTWARE OR REPORTS WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS OR BE FREE FROM ERRORS, OR THAT THE OPERATION OF THE SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED. THE FOREGOING EXCLUSIONS AND DISCLAIMERS ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THIS AGREEMENT AND FORMED THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE PRICE CHARGED FOR THE SERVICE. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW EXCLUSION OF AN IMPLIED WARRANTY, SO THIS DISCLAIMER MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
Google is a killer-app-free toy and sometimes users get what they pay for. None of us have any right to complain. However our company plans to avoid deploying free mission critical services where we have no recourse when things break. Moving forward we’re going to tell our clients the truth in our SEM contracts. Use Google Analytics at your own risk.
Google Analytics Blog Resources
Google Analytics Outage for 30 Minutes
“There are reports across the web that Google Analytics has gone down for about 30 minutes. First reports started coming in at about 5:30am (EST). By around 6am (EST) people started confirming that they can log into Google Analytics. People were noticing 404, page not found, errors when trying to access reports. Many were completely unable to login to see their reports.”
Google Analytics “Outage” Causes Reporting Delay
“After several complaints on many forums, including DigitalPoint Forums, High Rankings Forums, and WebmasterWorld, and from the fingers of Andy Beal, Google has officially acknowledged a reporting delay with Google Analytics.”
Digital Point Forums
High Ranking Forums
Marketing Pilgrim, by Andy Beal 7/3007
Google Analytics: Not Entirely Dead
I’m not buying the “no data loss” bit
“My account shows a huge dip on the 28th then back to normal on the 29th. My other tools show no dip on the 28th at all…”
The Google Analytics outage: Could there be a reason?
By Garett Rogers 7/31/07
“Over the weekend, people had noticed and reported a major Google Analytics outage — days worth of data aren’t available…, “
July 30, 2007 by David Erickson
Google Analytics struggles to stay alive
July 31st, 2007 at 08:57 am ET
Google Analytics is having the time it’s life – down for 3+ days. Frankly I stopped checking too frequently on Google Analytics since their last outage which I had … “
Users Upset Over Google Analytics Outage
Πρόβλημα λειτουργίας του Google Analytics
Ιουλίου 25, 2007 @ 1:37 pm » Νίκος Καψωμενάκης