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What’s New From Google (December 2009)

Google has been busy this week releasing a few new features on various platforms that are of significance to web marketers and surfers alike. What’s new from Google? Added features in Google Analytics, a light weight YouTube option for slower computers, region tags within the SERPS, and Site Performance in Google Webmaster Tools that will help you speed up your site.

New Google Analytics Features

Google has added 7 new features to the popular Google Analytics website tracking software program. Google Analytics is the industry standard as the price is right (free). There may be better software out there, but unless you’re in the very top end the additional cost of upscale tracking software just isn’t necessary. Combine that with the fact that Google is adding new features fairly frequently to create a better use experience and you wind up with a free program that meets the basic needs of webmasters and business owners.

google analytics

The 7 new features added by Google are:

  • Analytics Intelligence with Custom Alerts: Create your own custom alerts that can be sent by email or displayed in Intelligence reports. Watch Video
  • Expanded Goals and New Engagement Goals: You can now create up to 20 goals per account including Time on Site and Pages Per Visit goals. Watch Video
  • Expanded Mobile Reporting: Added tracking for iPhone and Android. Read Blog Post
  • Unique Visitors Metric: Select Unique Visitors as a metric when creating reports and viewing stats.
  • Advanced Analysis Features: Perform in-depth, on the fly data analysis. (Pivoting, Secondary Dimensions and Advanced Table Filtering)
  • Share Advanced Segments and Custom Report Templates: Share custom reports with anyone who has a Google Analytics account. (Read Blog Post)
  • Multiple Custom Variables: Define and track visitors according to visitor attributes, session attributes, and by page-level attributes.

Feather: A Lighter Version of YouTube

you tube

Just bought a netbook and your main complaint is not being able to watch Charlie bite his brothers finger? Meet Feather, a new light-weight version of YouTube created for slower computers. You will not be able to watch video in HD, and most of the commenting and sharing options are gone, but at least you get to watch those two cute British kids do their thing for the hundredth time.

Region Tags Within Google Search Results

Google has added region tags on the green line that shows the URL of the result and the Cached and Similar links. Those who set their Geographical preference in Google Webmaster Tools will have the country chosen show up like in the screen shot below.

google region tag

Google’s Site Performance Feature

As most webmasters know, site speed can really hinder user experience on a website. With this in mind and the fact that Google (most likely) takes site speed in to account when ranking websites, it is imperative that a site loads fast. While Matt Cutt’s recently commented that Google may consider using site speed as a ranking factor, may SEO’s believe that this has been the case for some time. One thing is clear, site speed can increase or decrease the value of your site and a slow loading site whether through Google’s algorithm or through bounce rates, etc. will somehow affect your Google ranking.

Google has added an experimental feature to Google Webmaster Tools that allows users to check the speed of their site and provides suggestions of how to improve the loading time of your page.

google site performance

Read Google Official Blog Post

What do you think of these new developments over at Google? Do you think these new features will help your web experience as a surfer? Do these new tools help you as a web marketer? Let us know what you think about the latest coming out of the Google camp.