I thought that I’d just give a left field post on what the impact or opportunity might be for affiliate marketers. Remember that top merchants are already using enterprise software like Omniture and WebSideStory, and these merchants are unlikely to be directly affected by Google’s latest move.
Before I continue, you may want to also check out my recent post on Revenews today, on this topic as well.
Assuming that Urchin is implemented, one or more of the following after effects will occur:
1. Prices rise, forcing out affiliates and marginal merchants
The reason for this would be that merchants begin to find more flaws and issues with the website that affected conversions, by repairing these items, they begin to buy more traffic, and given that the number of searches are not increasing at the same pace, due to demand and supply constraints, prices can and will rise.
2. Prices on poor converting keyword start to fall and become less competitive
Those not monitoring their traffic at a keyword level will be hit by surges in poor traffic due to advertisers ending their bids on those keywords.
3. Smaller merchants grow faster
Those who previously could not afford Urchin now start understanding their traffic better and start pushing prices across the board, due to newly increased demand.
4. More Private/White Label Websites (I personally think that this is the way to go, but I’m biased because of synthaSite)
Affiliates start producing more and more white label websites with transactional capabilities (ala Priority Click, in order to have more understanding of the traffic.
5. The Tail become Visible
The long tail of search marketing will become more visible to those who previously did not access their server logs. This will assist small websites in finding keywords that convert very well, but were not obvious from their Google Adwords accounts.
In my experience with data analytics, the key is not the gathering of the data, which is what Google is now providing a tool for, it’s in the analysis of it. Most small companies who are the targets for Urchin, do not have the knowledge, skills or resources to dedicate to analyze their data.
All-in-all, I think that the move is great for the web, and will ultimately improve the user experience and hopefully combat SEO spam (as per my prior post).