Web Analytics and Hippos

Avinash Kaushik hippo.jpg

Some Web sites fall flat because they’re designed by hippos.

That’s the name Avinash Kaushik, Google’s analytics evangelist, gives to the highest paid opinion, or hippo, in the room.
In citing an example, he said he did a search for a bathroom sink and the search results turned up Delta Faucet; the link took the visitor to a Web page featuring faucets, not sinks, Kaushik said. “What the hell are they thinking, selling me faucets,” he said, stressing that many other Web sites make similar oversights.

Kaushik had the audience laughing several times during a Web analytics discussion at SES NY.

Bringing up a theme raised by others today, Kaushik said clicks — as a success metric — shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Generating revenue and profit for the business is what counts.

Citing another metric, he called the bounce rate a good indicator of a site’s shortcoming or “suckiness.” Why? “It measures, from a user’s perspective: I came, I puked, I left,” he said.

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