This post is not about the difference between Google Analytics older mode of sessionization and the new one. There are TONS of blogs that talked about it. Actually, I think the change makes much sense.
What makes less sense is the sheer sense of panic we were getting from many people about it.
First, I too, as Google was it seems, was surprised to hear how much more some report settings were impacted by that change. I didn’t suspect that so many visitors would go back-and-forth a site and various sources during the same session. I mean, you’re there after clicking on an ad, then you leave to go to a search engine, which brings you back to the same site 5 minutes later? It seems that this (weird?) behavior happens more than we thought. You know what? Good learning here (or as I like so say, Wow!).
But I don’t get the reaction. Heck, the thing is FREE! What did you seriously expect? We should even consider ourselves lucky that Google took the pain to blog about the changes and be polite about the caused troubles. If I work for free for you, you better not complain, or I’ll show you one of my fingers.
It is also amazing to see how many companies seem to rely very heavily on Google Analytics. As if their online farm was bet on the application. Don’t get me wrong, GA is an amazingly good product, but I certainly don’t have the same expectations as I entertain towards suppliers I pay. With GA, sure, we need to abide by their T&C, but we get no SLA, no real support, no one’s throat to choke if something goes awry, no big contract renewal to blackmail them with.
If that type of change makes you lose sleep, maybe it’s time for you to revisit your strategic choices. And if $0 is still your budget of choice, shut up and live with it (and educate management about the joy of not investing).
When Google changes the tune, you’d better danse on the new beat.
Or you can leave the party.
[Since this post, Google released the $150,000/year Google Analytics Premium, and I have already heard of large companies switching from their current paid solution to the new GA one]