My boss and I had an interesting conversation yesterday around -- I'm sure this will come as a surprise to everyone -- Google.
Specifically around the amount of information Google gathers. I've been down this road before, I think it's too much.
Andrew Goodman had an interesting article at SearchEngineLand.com: Your Paid Search Performance Is Relative detailing metrics and conversions all relative to paid search. Of course performance is measured all along the way.
All of this finessing should see a better spend, but the hope is a better spend will lend itself to a bigger budget, not only for you, but for your competitor as well. And up and up rates go.
With analytics on the guts of your web presence, the tracking goes far, far beyond the click to the conversion.
In short, everything you do is being measured.
Google states as much on their own blog in the "Improve Our Services" section.
But it's also more than possible it's being used against you. Not from a "Big Brother" sense, per se, but from a supplemental indexing perspective and a conversion perspective, and frankly from an ad rates perspective for now, those little ads still pay the Google bills but there's a lot going on out on the searchscape right now. Get as much as you can as fast as you can.
Google Analytics and Site Maps could well be an easy way to self-identify to Google the pages that don't work on your site.
In my head, I keep coming back to the fact that with something as gargantuan as Google there is a requirement for global consideration. The big gestures that can be affected in one fell swoop.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is through feedback mechanisms. Which Adwords, Analytics, Site Maps, History, Calendar or any other thing you care to mention are. Get your customers to do it for you.
Ultimately you have a system that becomes better with aggregate modeling, however, you pay for that system, whether with cold hard cash, or with information provided. But as any marketing or product manager can tell you "New & Improved" is just another euphemism for "Ultimately costing more."
In the end, it's kind like gambling in a casino. You go in knowing the odds are always in the house's favour. And yet... and yet...
Have a good one.
~The (SEP) Guy