By: E&P Staff
Google is in the works to roll out Web analytic tools that will compete directly with measurement firms like comScore and Nielsen Online (owned by E&P’s parent company).
Google’s data will be partly based on information from servers. Google’s service, unlike comScore and Nielsen, will free. In addition, Google will offer marketers demographic information about users in a similar strategy to Quantcast (another measurement company that uses a mix of server and panel-based data to capture Web usage).
According to The Wall Street Journal’s Emily Steel, “Google’s approach aimed at bolstering its ad-sales business, could pose a major threat to the Web measurement services that are available now, ad executives say.”
But Steel also quotes some advertisers who are leery of giving Google too much power citing that the online giant already controls a large stake of advertising. “For an advertiser, the last thing you want to do is to have your adviser be the same person you are spending your money with,” Sarah Fay, head of Aegis North American, told Steel.
E&P has covered the issues of both server-based and panel-based metrics. Site centric data, which relies on servers, can duplicate users who delete cookies. Panel-based metrics, employed by comScore and Nielsen, often undercount Web traffic. The numbers can vary widly for the same site, even when comparing the data of two panel-based metrics.