Are You Using Google’s New Automated Assistant?

In the Google Analytics Blog on September 2, was an article that site owners shouldn’t miss. If you did, you should go check it out. The post is Explore important insights from your data — automatically.

I have access to a number of Google Analytics accounts, and I can say this about the suggestions shown in this new feature from Google Analytics – they are worth looking at and thinking about. A couple of the accounts I looked at offered 10 suggestions for changes. Some of these suggestions simply point out that some content on the site you are looking at saw increases in traffic recently, pointing out the URLS of that content. Frankly, that is what inspired me to write this post – it seemed to be a topic related to other posts on my site that had been drawing lots of traffic.

If you haven’t been paying much attention to the analytics related to your website, it can be a helpful thing to do. I also recommend spending some time on the Website of Google’s Analytic’s evangelist Avinash Kaushic, reading articles such as The Biggest Mistake Web Analysts Make… And How To Avoid It!

I like how he focuses upon business insights, which is something that most site owners want to see.

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Yahoo on How Internet Activity Can Predict Event Outcomes

Two men outside a fortune teller's shop, with a sign advertising a free reading with every article sold.

Imagine that you run a search engine, and you find a way to predict the outcomes of certain events fairly closely based upon internet activity such as browsing and search histories, page clicks in search results, actions taken on social networking applications, and so on. The events might involve things such as winners of American Idol, political election outcomes, weekend movie revenues, or music album sales, attendance for sporting events, or television ratings for different shows.

What would you do with that power?

A Yahoo patent application granted today explores how the search engine might use data about how people act on the Web to predict that kind of information.

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We’re All Google’s Lab Rats

A recent comment here noted that the core algorithm behind how Google works hasn’t changed very much since its earliest days. I’m not sure that I agree. Many of the posts I’ve made over the past five years that involve Google patents and whitepapers describe ways that Google may be changing how it determines which results to show searchers.

Many of the changes Google makes to its algorithms aren’t always visible to its users, while others that change the interface we see when we search tend to stand out more. Interestingly, many changes that Google makes are based upon live tests that we may catch a glimpse of if are lucky, and we pay attention.

Google’s Testing Infrastructure

At Google, experimentation is practically a mantra; we evaluate almost every change that potentially affects what our users experience. Such changes include not only obvious user-visible changes such as modifications to a user interface, but also more subtle changes such as different machine learning algorithms that might affect ranking or content selection…

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How and Why Google Might Estimate the Number of Users Behind an IP Address

When you arrive at a web page, the owner of that page might start collecting information about your visit for a number of reasons. One of the most commonly collected pieces of information is an internet protocol (or IP) address. An IP address is a number that can be associated with the way and the place that you access the Web.

The Difficulties of Using an IP Address as a Data Point

Your IP address might be assigned to a server or a router that you use to connect to the Web, or a proxy server or firewall that stands between the computer that you are using and the rest of the internet. You might go online on a computer that you share with other people at home or at a public place like a library, or at an office filled with other computers. You might share an IP address with roommates or family on the same computer, or use more than one computer through the same IP address.

A unique IP address might be assigned to your internet access every time you dial into the internet, or may be leased by your router on a weekly basis through your broadband provider and may change if that lease isn’t automatically renewed by logging in within a certain amount of time after the lease period is over. If you access the web through an office, your IP address that can be seen by the pages you visit might be that of your company’s firewall.

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