Last week I came across a great slide deck put together by InsightR consulting that compares two free web analytics tools: Google Analytics and Yahoo Web Analytics (formerly IndexTools).  While we haven't had much experience working with Yahoo! Web Analytics, the results from this study are quite intriguing, and favorable for Yahoo! in many areas.

As a GAAC consultant, this really does not change anything when it comes to our preferred choice of tools, but I do think that it proves Yahoo Web Analytics to be a true competitor in this space.  Competition is good!

Personally, I think that this is actually very healthy for the search analytics industry, and I think that it's great to see some innovation in the marketplace.  It's also a new benchmark for Google Analytics to compare themselves to, and a new way of looking at the features where they may fall short.

Since their release of the Google Analytics product in 2006 with a beautiful interface and solid features, Google has spent most of their time integrating enterprise class features into their product.  During that time, their 4 year old interface hasn't experienced many updates.  The new competition from Yahoo! combined with analysis like the embedded slide deck will help them understand where they need to improve their product.  This is a good thing for web analytics. I look forward to seeing what changes Google Analytics may make as a result of these findings, and the continued innovation from Yahoo! and future web analytics services.

As much as I write about Google and their products on this blog, it's great to see innovation coming from other peers in the industry.  Competition is good for continued innovation, and these products are truly amazing examples of that.  As marketers, we are fortunate to be able to work in these tools every day!