Google Analytics: Free or Premium?



  • My client wanted to know how much it would cost to have "near real-time" Google Analytics numbers. After carefully reviewing the Premium offer, they decided that the 24h freshness would do for now...

    This client would have had no issue paying $500 a month to get the 4h freshness without the SWAT team support and free blowjobs that must be included in the $150,000 Premium offer. Meanwhile Google (and their shareholders) are looking for ways to increase their bottom line. This is an obvious case of what you get when you combine arrogance and a shortsighted business model...

    @Morons at Google HQ said:

    Google Helpdesk: Hey boss, I have Techcrunch on the line, they have about 20 millions hits per month and a $15,000 budget for analytics...

    Larry Page: Fuck them, they can call back when they have a billion hits.






  • What's the WTF here? I guess that they don't have multiple stages based on hit count?

    Those prices look to be roughly in-line with other vendors, and I have some experience with that as it's my field. Webtrends actually has a Twitter-like real-time analytics feed which is pretty cool and a hell of a lot faster than anything Google offers, although I'm not convinced it's really good for anything.

    From my experience companies only use Google Analytics to "double-check" their other, better, analytics implementation. Which is fucking stupid and causes tons of headaches all-around, but Google lends itself to that because you can start for free.



  • I don't get it.

    Why is there a screenshot of a table of contents?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the WTF here? I guess that they don't have multiple stages based on hit count?

    Those prices look to be roughly in-line with other vendors, and I have some experience with that as it's my field. Webtrends actually has a Twitter-like real-time analytics feed which is pretty cool and a hell of a lot faster than anything Google offers, although I'm not convinced it's really good for anything.

    From my experience companies only use Google Analytics to "double-check" their other, better, analytics implementation. Which is fucking stupid and causes tons of headaches all-around, but Google lends itself to that because you can start for free.

    Google is terrible at making money with its products. Recently they basically painted themselves in a corner with the pricing for mobile ads - but since it's your field you must know about it. The platform is already there so if they were to lower the entry barrier for premium services on Google Analytics they could make a lot of money. That's how Obama kickstarted the funding of his first campaign - targeting millions of people who could pay $5 instead of a few who could pay thousands.



  • @Ronald said:

    Recently they basically painted themselves in a corner with the pricing for mobile ads - but since it's your field you must know about it.

    Mobile ads aren't my field.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ads aren't my field
    Stop being pedantic.



  • @PJH said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    ads aren't my field
    Stop being pedantic.

    I'm not. I've never worked with ads or ad exchanges; everything I know about them I know because I've had to write peripherally related software. (Reporting dashboards, A/B testing JavaScript, etc.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the WTF here? I guess that they don't have multiple stages based on hit count?

    Not even necessarily hit count; from that price tag, it seems clear that the main selling point is the extra support and training you get, and the shorter delay and increased hit count are just a bonus thrown in for good measure. But what if you are not interested in that extra support because you already have an in-house analyst?

    Google is now essentially telling potential customers that they can either fire their own analyst and rely exclusively on their own expertise and services, or forget about having near-real-time statistics. And I too know a few companies interested in more up-to-date info, who are willing to pay for that, but not in that order of magnitude. Surely the limits on the free accounts are primarily in place to prevent abuse - anyone generating 10 million hits a month should have no trouble monetizing their website - and the actual cost to Google for the more powerful statistics is negligible? I too am mystified by their reluctance to sell their product in this manner.



  • @FragFrog said:

    And I too know a few companies interested in more up-to-date info, who are willing to pay for that, but not in that order of magnitude.

    Well direct them to one of Google's competitors. Hopefully not the one owned by Adobe.

    @FragFrog said:

    I too am mystified by their reluctance to sell their product in this manner.

    It could be worse; they could just shut it down without even bothering to try to monetize it, in what is probably an extremely misguided attempt to get people to focus on their shitty social network. While ignoring the fact that the reason nobody uses Google+ is that it's a usability nightmare and nobody can fucking figure out how to use it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Well direct them to one of Google's competitors. Hopefully not the one owned by Adobe.

    Quite honestly, analytics is not exactly my area of expertise, and I do not feel qualified enough to make a recommendation. Besides, while Google Analytics is not perfect, it is free, it ties in neatly with their AdWords campaigns and more importantly, it is familiar. I doubt I could convince them to switch even if I could make an informed recommendation.

    And, not to put too fine a point on it, I already whipped up a simple real-time user tracking system for my current employer. Augmented, ironically, by a few simple charts courtesy of Google's Chart API.



  • @FragFrog said:

    And, not to put too fine a point on it, I already whipped up a simple real-time user tracking system for my current employer. Augmented, ironically, by a few simple charts courtesy of Google's Chart API.

    95% of the web analytics industry is marketing people and/or analysts who can't talk to engineers.

    If you're already an engineer, you can replicate Google Analytics or Omniture or Webtrends or whatever using your own web server logs in a couple weeks. The problem is you don't want to be the guy they have to call every time they want a different report, so support is important.



  •  @Ronald said:

    That's how Obama kickstarted the funding of his first campaign - targeting millions of people who could pay $5 instead of a few who could pay thousands.

     Everyone targets people who can pay $5. It's just that Obama offered a better deal. Pay $5 now and you get free stuff for life (at the cost of the vanishing middle class).

    Obama generated more wealth during his campaign than the campaign contributions. Which is disconcerting.

     


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @xaade said:

     @Ronald said:

    That's how Obama kickstarted the funding of his first campaign - targeting millions of people who could pay $5 instead of a few who could pay thousands.

     Everyone targets people who can pay $5. It's just that Obama offered a better deal. Pay $5 now and you get free stuff for life (at the cost of the vanishing middle class).

    Obama generated more wealth during his campaign than the campaign contributions. Which is disconcerting.

     


    A politician pandering to his constituency? I am shocked.



  •  You're right. He should right?

    I mean, in Middle School I almost won class president because I offered coke in the water fountains. I'm sure someone is going to pay for it. Should I have offered everyone a free laptop too? Heck, let's just tax 100% of income and give everyone a one-size-fits-all pair of boots. All possible if you just offer $5 to my campaign.

     

    Funny that a bunch of politicians, making more money than I'll ever see, don't bother solving problems by donating to charity. However, they feel free to take from the middle class, who's going check to check, to make them pay for all the problems they want to solve and get the credit for. A middle class that donates a higher percentage of their income than the politicians will ever dream to donate of theirs.

    Stack that on top of community organizers that work off of government grants, so they don't know what work really means, scurry door to door to convince people to give the government an excuse to tax me even more.

    And don't you start with "Democrats want to tax the rich." Because that's bull. Doesn't matter what politicians are in office, rich people give less % in taxes than I do. Make it a flat % tax, no deductions, and the government gets more money than they do now, because the rich end up taxed more.

    What do you think single-payer is, it's a tax on the middle class...

    Sorry, but how much fail government welfare is compared to private charity, I'll never willingly give the government another cent in taxes for "welfare".

    When Katrina hit my area, FEMA was too busy trying to find the trailer it sent, in my name, to some thug in ANOTHER city. Red Cross, however, got us a place to stay and food to eat. By now, I've repaid all that in donations.



  • @xaade said:

    And don't you start with "Democrats want to tax the rich." Because that's bull. Doesn't matter what politicians are in office, rich people give less % in taxes than I do. Make it a flat % tax, no deductions, and the government gets more money than they do now, because the rich end up taxed more.
     

    No, don't do a flat tax rate please - it's terribly regressive.  It's almost as bad as tax deductions at marginal rate instead of tax credits*.

    Instead, do this: your income tax rate is your wealth percentile squared.  So if you hold the most wealth in the country, your income tax rate is 100% - you cannot accrue more wealth. If you are right at 50%, your income tax is 25%; slightly higher than today's values perhaps. In the 1st percentile? Income tax rate is 0.01%.  The reason you do wealth percentile and not income percentile is because of goofy things like CEOs making $1 in salary and $10M in "non-income" things.  You'd also have to put in stuff that correctly accounts for people trying to assign their wealth somewhere else (like in corporations or foundations or something).  This scheme has the added effect of helping naturally counter wealth inequality (income inequality doesn't really matter as much as wealth inequality) because if you are super-rich, you essentially stop accruing new wealth.It would also be interesting to see the top percentile fighting themselves so they aren't the 100%th percentile person...  (I'd also assess property tax in a way that increased the more property you hold, to prevent too much real estate from being owned by too few entities.)

    This scheme is also nice because it's always 100% inflation proof, because it's always based on relative wealth compared to the entire population for that year, rather than some arbitrary rate.  You could probably implement it by having your tax rate in year X determined by wealth measurement in year X-1, so you can still collect taxes quarterly or annually or whatever.

    The downside is that the government would not be able to increase or decrease revenues easily, but have to be constrained to actual productivity of the nation.

     

    *Say you're in the 25% tax bracket and have a $10000 deduction, so that saves you $2500.  But if you're in the $30% tax bracket and have a $10k deduction, that saves you $3k. (Assuming the deduction doesn't change your tax bracket of course. Brackets here are also for examples and round numbers. This is also US Federal tax specific, actual results may vary in other jurisdictions, dimensions, or timelines).



  • That actually makes a lot of sense. Except for it would have to be based on the total from the last year, which doesn't change much.

    The extra benefit is because it is based on productivity, we don't have a debt problem. Yeah, maybe if the economy drops we lose taxes and we can't feed the poor, but then we'd rely on charity, and it will just have to do. At some point, you have to say we can't solve the problem and settle for that

    I would like to remove the brackets though. I'd like a smooth scaling figure, but that would require a integral curve, and ZOMG we can't have something the politicians can't understand, much less the low-income government employees.

     

    The one thing I'd argue against is any attempt to address wealth inequality. People's efforts must carry value. If you try to say that effort is equal, then you remove incentive. The more productive a person is, the higher their income. I'd like to keep to that as much as possible. Of course that carries the weight of curbing some of the over-inflating income of the highest earners. But if money makes money, then money making money demands productivity, and more producitivity is more money for everyone.

    You have to think of the rich like an engine. Their demand for wealth drives productivity. Take that wealth out of the engine and put it into the workers at the bottom (or the tires on the road) and the car goes no-where. As much as I'm not a welfare baby, I'm also not a wealth-generator. I'm only a wealth consumer at the middle class. The demand for wealth creates more wealth than the demand for consumerism. So buying a new shirt does not generate as much wealth as buying a new stock.

    Now, I want to point out that this means we need to enforce the wealthy as generators. So, no just throwing money in a foreign account, it has to move through the economy, or it does no good. This is part of our problem today, the richest don't move their money, they sit on it. So money that isn't productive needs to be threatened. Wealth should be rewarded to the guardians of the economy, not the scavengers.

    For example. People often bash Bush's trickle down economics. They say trickle down doesn't work, and that's not true. You have to incentivise. Incentive is more effective than punishing. Bush's plan carried no incentives to guide the new wealth to trickle down. So, I say, instead of just offering the wealth back in tax breaks, you have the tax breaks for companies that put their wealth back into the economy. You only get the Bush tax cut if you hire more people with most of it, and make investments with the rest.

    What I would address is opportunity inequality. If someone has the desire and means to be productive, we need to ensure they are at their max productivity. This has the downside of potentially splitting up families, so it's a fragile goal. If someone has the desire to be unproductive and has the means, they need to be either punished or unsupported (depending on the severity). We simply do not have the ability to support people who desire to be unproductive. That issue must be left to private charity to reform those people. If that makes them homeless, so be it.

    Private charity helps those who won't help themselves. Government only helps those who help themselves. That's the meaning of "ensuring welfare". But teach a man to fish, please!

    That's my political theory.



  • @xaade said:

    I would like to remove the brackets though. I'd like a smooth scaling figure, but that would require a integral curve, and ZOMG we can't have something the politicians can't understand, much less the low-income government employees.

    Yeah, like anyone really understands what we have right now.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    @xaade said:
    I would like to remove the brackets though. I'd like a smooth scaling figure, but that would require a integral curve, and ZOMG we can't have something the politicians can't understand, much less the low-income government employees.

    Yeah, like anyone really understands what we have right now.


    Result: no one can figure out how much money they actually owe, everyone guesses, more discrepancies than can actually be enforced (unless we throw all the unwashed masses in jail - hey, there's a thought).



  • @joe.edwards said:

    (unless we throw all the unwashed masses in jail - hey, there's a thought).

    I thought you were already doing that years ago?



  • @xaade said:

    The one thing I'd argue against is any attempt to address wealth inequality. People's efforts must carry value. If you try to say that effort is equal, then you remove incentive. The more productive a person is, the higher their income. I'd like to keep to that as much as possible. Of course that carries the weight of curbing some of the over-inflating income of the highest earners. But if money makes money, then money making money demands productivity, and more producitivity is more money for everyone.

    Wealth inequality in and of itself isn't a bad thing, as you indicated. What's bad, though, is a system that ensures that wealth inequality tends to result in a system where the wealth is concentrated.  The "percentile-based" system doesn't prevent wealth inequality - it just prevents the wealthiest from owning everything and does it in a structured way, rather than having it enforced by some strange mechanisms (like anti-monopoly law which is not consistently applied).

    @xaade said:

    You have to think of the rich like an engine. Their demand for wealth drives productivity.

    Eh... perhaps.  A demand for wealth may increase productivity. It may also simply reallocate wealth.  Reallocation of wealth is generally considered unwanted compared to productivity increases.  If you look at the recent global "recession" what we saw really wasn't that great a reduction in wealth (after all, people didn't stop making things in factories, but simply made a little less) but a reduction in the rate of change of wealth.  Wealth distribution changed dramatically during that period however - and it made it less equal.  Consider this: what if one person owned all the real estate in a city and simply rented it out, and refused to sell. What structures would you put in place to prevent that from happening (that didn't rely on arbitrary things like anti-monopoly laws, which are inconsistently and subjectively applied?)  The system proposed starts reducing incentive to own more unless other people also own more. This is a much better structure if the goal is to improve wealth for everyone.

    If, instead, productivity really increased during that time, we would see increased standards of living instead of stagnant or reduced.  By most accounts (at least in the US and most of Europe), standards of living have not been increasing.

    @xaade said:

    What I would address is opportunity inequality. If someone has the desire and means to be productive, we need to ensure they are at their max productivity. This has the downside of potentially splitting up families, so it's a fragile goal. If someone has the desire to be unproductive and has the means, they need to be either punished or unsupported (depending on the severity). We simply do not have the ability to support people who desire to be unproductive. That issue must be left to private charity to reform those people. If that makes them homeless, so be it.

    I'm not sure what you mean here - although I've heard it several times before. All opporunities are inherently unequal so long as we live in a physical universe. Unless you have an equal distribution of resources and ability, opportunity is generally unequal.  What society could do is ensure that barriers to entry are low, and that acquisition of wealth always has diminishing marginal returns. This would encourage people to acquire more, but would prevent what we have today, which is where acquisition of wealth has stable or increasing marginal return (look at market makers, for instance).

    Also, I find it very dangerous to assert "we need to ensure they are at their max productivity" because how do you define if someone is at their max productivity? How are you going to force someone to be productive? How do you decide if someone is not "as productive as they should be" and then punish them?



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Instead, do this: your income tax rate is your wealth percentile squared.  So if you hold the most wealth in the country, your income tax rate is 100% - you cannot accrue more wealth
    What a great idea. Tax the people who are best at creating wealth out of doing so. That'll work wonders for the taxbase, won't it?


    What you're I think understanding unconsciously but not getting out in sensible form is that income taxes aren't a particularly good way of raising revenue. There are a number of reasons for that, such as being more economically harmful than alternatives, but the primary one is that it doesn't make any real sense. What we want to tax, from the progressive/regressive perspective, is consumption. If someone earns more than they spend, they're either saving it to spend in future, or investing it; one way, we get the tax eventually, the other is not something we want to tax. The alternative is that someone earns lots of money but buries it in a hole in the ground, or some such, but then again there's no reason a business couldn't avoid corp tax at the moment by doing that except that it's obviously an insane idea.

    Personally, I'd abolish almost all current taxes and replace the lot with land value taxation (or tax on other fixed, immovable assets, such as they may be). It's the only form of taxation that's actually economically beneficial rather than harmful, and it's also extremely difficult to avoid.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    The reason you do wealth percentile and not income percentile is because of goofy things like CEOs making $1 in salary and $10M in "non-income" things.
     

    You do realise that they actually get taxed higher when they do this than when they get salaried, right?

     

    @xaade said:

    However, they feel free to take from the middle class, who's going check to check
     

     Middle class? You just described a low class person, or at least a very lower middle class person.

     

     



  • @Kaslai said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    The reason you do wealth percentile and not income percentile is because of goofy things like CEOs making $1 in salary and $10M in "non-income" things.
     

    You do realise that they actually get taxed higher when they do this than when they get salaried, right?

    No, the $10M is "capital gains" from things like stock options.  Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate.

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Kaslai said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    The reason you do wealth percentile and not income percentile is because of goofy things like CEOs making $1 in salary and $10M in "non-income" things.
     

    You do realise that they actually get taxed higher when they do this than when they get salaried, right?

    No, the $10M is "capital gains" from things like stock options.  Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate.
     

    Yes, capital gains are indeed taxed at a lower rate. However in the case of stock options, corporate tax has to be paid out by the company on all the dividends before they're sent out to common stock holders. Then the stock holders have to pay capital gains on them. The value of dividends can fall in value by up to almost 50% when sent through the IRS.

     



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    Personally, I'd abolish almost all current taxes and replace the lot with land value taxation (or tax on other fixed, immovable assets, such as they may be). It's the only form of taxation that's actually economically beneficial rather than harmful, and it's also extremely difficult to avoid.

    By land value taxation, you mean charge a tax based on total wealth*, even if a person had no income? This would require a person to use their wealth in a productive manner, I agree, so that might be a good approach. I would still probably tax the property (wealth) based on percentile though - so people that held more wealth had to make more productive use of it.

    Am I understanding that correctly?

    *I include all valuable assets here as wealth, not just "fixed, immovable assets" because of silly things like IP and people who just sit on piles of resources (e.g. commodities warehousing).



  • @xaade said:

    Doesn't matter what politicians are in office, rich people give less % in taxes than I do.
    Which means you pay more tax than they do? No, thought not.

    @xaade said:

    Make it a flat % tax, no deductions, and the government gets more money than they do now, because the rich end up taxed more.
    No, that really wouldn't happen. All that would happen is the rich would bugger off elsewhere, leaving you to have to pay more tax to make up for what they are no longer contributing.



    Please refrain from commenting on tax again until you've completed your Economics 101 class, thanks.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    *I include all valuable assets here as wealth, not just "fixed, immovable assets" because of silly things like IP and people who just sit on piles of resources (e.g. commodities warehousing).
    The idea doesn't work so well with all wealth, since much of it is movable and so subject to tax competition and so-on. Liquid wealth can be transferred away. Immovable assets like land cannot be. If you want to encourage economically optimal use of land, it's important to note that the tax must be on the value of the land without any buildings.

    @too_many_usernames said:

    I would still probably tax the property (wealth) based on percentile though - so people that held more wealth had to make more productive use of it
    That would disincentivise the wealthy from investing in property, which is not what we're looking to do - it would have the effect of shifting the tax burden away from the wealthier end of the spectrum, which I imagine is the opposite of what you intend.


    The other problem there is that it's relatively hard to gauge someone's wealth compared to valuing a specific piece of property. LVT is laughably simple to administer compared to any other form of taxation because there's no wriggle room: a piece of land is a certain size, in a certain location, and that's all there is to it.



  • @PJH said:

    @xaade said:
    Make it a flat % tax, no deductions, and the government gets more money than they do now, because the rich end up taxed more.
    No, that really wouldn't happen. All that would happen is the rich would bugger off elsewhere, leaving you to have to pay more tax to make up for what they are no longer contributing.



    Please refrain from commenting on tax again until you've completed your Economics 101 class, thanks.
    Ironic. The Laffer Curve, as studied in economics 101, presumably, shows that the impact of the effect you're talking about is dependent on the level of taxation. It's entirely possible, in theory, that the wealthy are being taxed below the peak of the Laffer Curve and so raising the tax rate will raise the return (even as some leave).



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    Ironic. The Laffer Curve, as studied in economics 101, presumably, shows that the impact of the effect you're talking about is dependent on the level of taxation. It's entirely possible, in theory, that the wealthy are being taxed below the peak of the Laffer Curve and so raising the tax rate will raise the return (even as some leave).
    Indeed; however while the proles might be quite happy being taxed at 50%/60% of their income, the rich (who tend to be more mobile, especially when it comes to matters like this) are less likely to be so.


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