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Yahoo appears to have adopted a policy of putting its acquisitions to good use, with the announcement of Yahoo Web Analytics. Labeled a "business site analytics tool," the beta version of Yahoo Web Analytics reveals a clear initial focus for business and business Web sites, and some of its tools could put rivals like Google in the dark.
Yahoo Web Analytics arises as a result of its acquisition of IndexTools, a provider of analytics software for the Web aimed at online marketing. With this quick turnaround, even though it's a private beta for Yahoo's 150,000 client company Web sites, it is clear that Yahoo is scrambling to gain share in a market where it could be said to be stagnant a few years ago .
Yahoo's decision to buy IndexTools and the tools that Yahoo Web Analytics will include screams how much the company wants to take over the market. Specifically, Yahoo Web Analytics boasts of offering “near real-time” visualization and aggregation of information, something that, if true, would be a great advantage over the typical 8-12 hours lag of Google Analytics.
In addition to faster insights, Yahoo will provide all the raw data, rather than a periodic grouping of items, such as total page visitors. This access to data becomes quite significant with Yahoo's promise to present an API soon, another Google Analytics tool that cannot match, at least for now. This API will allow developers to access data and do things like group popular content, compare with other data sets, or export to back up or move information to another system.
However, as Yahoo's main rival in the field of free analytics, Google is unlikely not to respond to this challenge, especially since Yahoo now offers an attractive combination of hosting and analytics. If Yahoo wants to gain ground in this field, it must act quickly and open its beta to the rest of the market. Perhaps more importantly, you will need to provide the API to developers before Google offers an equivalent and customers lose the temptation to switch.