This week’s news – Google Analytics is getting a major upgrade: natural language and voice queries; Facebook is allowing brands to create groups within Pages for better targeting; Increased competition drives AdWords costs in the red zone

Categories Analytics News

Every week, we’re bringing you the latest news, trends and product launches taking place in the analytics industry.

Google Analytics, one of the most used analytics tools around the world, is getting an important upgrade, adding natural language and voice queries. Analysts will be able to directly ask anything about their websites or app data, without having to go through all the trouble of filling the right forms and knowing where to search for their needed info.
For example, if you’re wondering “What’s the trend of mobile versus desktop traffic last week?” or “How many new users did we have yesterday?” or “What were our top countries last month?” you won’t have to navigate to the correct dashboard in Analytics and tweak the chart to get the data you want. Instead, you just have to type your query in or just ‘talk to the app’, which will be able to take voice commands.

Annissa Alusi, project manager for Google Analytics, talked to the reporters at Tech Crunch and demoed the product by asking the three questions presented earlier. Tech Crunch reports that, in each case, Google Analytics answered with the relevant data after just a few seconds.

Ideally, this will become a new and more accessible interface for analytics overall,” said Alusi. 

According to Babak Pahlavan, Senior Director of Measurement and Analytic, voice and natural language control are not just a small upgrade. He said that it took three years to build, and would have lasted more if his team hadn’t built the function on top of the technology that Google is already using with Android search, Tech Crunch reports.

Google is taking more and more market share as a publisher, and companies’ needs to rank better in search results (paid search) is driving Google’s profits higher than ever before. Google parent’s (Alphabet) profit rose 29% in the first quarter, to 5,43 billion dollars. Google is expected to command a 61.6 percent share of the search ad market worldwide in 2017, up from 60.6 percent in 2016, according to research firm eMarketer. Mobile ads command lower prices than desktop ads, but growing volume is more than making up the difference, Reuters reports.

Image source: Word Stream

Having said this, companies struggle more and more to find the right words when placing Adwords bids that promote their content. And the right words are starting to cost a lot. Word Stream published a list of the top 25 most expensive Adwords keywords, with Business Services ranking first, with an average CPC of $58.64, while bail bonds rank second, with an average cost per click of $55.48. 

Several industries, though, aren’t so lucky as to enjoy the relative affordability of “average” CPC’s. Some highly competitive businesses have to pay an average of $50 or more per click, with individual long-tail keywords costing twice that much, according to Search Engine Journal.

Facebook announced this week that Groups for Pages are available around the world, giving page administrators the ability to create groups within pages. This new feature provides media companies and brands new options for increasing engagement with niche groups, giving them a complex tool for better targeting their audience.

The update is a move Facebook announced a while back, shifting focus heavily on groups. In April, at Facebook’s inaugural Communities Summit in Chicago, the company rolled out new tools for Groups, including a way to help administrators and moderators manage their members while also analysing real-time engagement stats.

Here is the official statement, made by chief product officer Chris Cox.

“We’re making Groups for Pages available around the world today. If you are an artist, a business, a brand, or a newspaper, you can now create fan clubs and groups centered around your super-fans. There are over 70M Pages on Facebook so we hope this unlocks a lot of goodness.

Like so many things we build, this came out of a pattern of emergent behavior on Facebook that was new and interesting – and in retrospect, obvious. Terri Rupar and Teddy Amenabar at The Washington Post started a group called PostThis – from The Washington Post, where reporters talk directly to the most avid fans of the paper about how stories come together. It was a digital version of letters to the editor, but with ongoing real-time discussions. The fans loved it and we heard from the Post that it was a success, connecting the newsroom with their most avid readers, and their avid readers with each other.

This is one of thousands of interesting examples we heard of super-fans who wanted to be a part of the day-to-day discussion of the decisions inside the walls of an organization they care about, and more importantly to connect with everyone else who felt the same way.”

Mark Zuckerberg also wrote in a post that, since lots of people follow pages on Facebook for topics they’re interested in, Facebook is making it easier to join groups around the pages people follow.

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation & management and web analytics.


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