Yahoo Upgrades Web Analytics Tool

The analytics arms race between Yahoo and Google escalated a bit further on Friday as Yahoo released an upgraded version of its Web analytics tool.

In addition to added functionalities, Yahoo has made the suite available to any search or display advertiser with an account manager. Dennis Mortenson, director of beta insights at Yahoo, said the new tool was designed for larger clients who need deep, complex analytics, as opposed to smaller advertisers who might be better suited to a do-it-yourself approach.

“If you have a select group of people you want to roll this out to, you can add more functionality and advanced metrics because you can cut certain segments off,” he said.

Among those added functionalities is new demographic metrics that can tell advertisers about their audience’s age, gender, location and primary online interests. Yahoo is also offering more in-depth snapshots of the conversion process so advertisers can see where they are losing potential customers.

“Instead of me telling you you had 10,000 visits last week, I can tell you how many were male and the age distribution and what their primary interests are,” Mortenson said. “Then if you figure out that your primary audience is female, between 32 and 45, and primarily interested in politics, you can go in and buy against that segment.”

Yahoo launched Web Analytics in October 2008 after purchasing IndexTools in April of that year. It said at the time that the service would be rolled out in stages, and that its intention was to “provide a full suite of analytics to our head and tail advertisers, agencies, publishers and development partners.”

Mortenson added that even with the new functionalities, Web Analytics would continue to report in real time, and that it would keep its raw data format so that customers could put that information to use elsewhere.

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