Although Web analytics has been in existence for almost 20 years now, it is only recently that the term has become more and more popular in the Internet circles. Now that people understand the importance of the Web, both businesses and individuals have learned that analyzing their Web traffic and using the results of the analysis to better their referencing (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Web marketing, and Web development strategies is essential.

Google the Great

Of course, Web Analytics owes its popularity mostly to Google Analytics, but people started looking at website statistics, hits, and user behaviour way before 2005 – that is when Google acquired Urchin Software Corporation, as well as its analysis software range.

Urchin Software Corporation had a data analysis package named Urchin on Demand that had an annual cost of $495. The price then dropped to $199 as soon as the company was bought by Google, and the package became free of charge upon the launch of Google’s famous traffic analysis tool – Google Analytics.

This particular tool allows websites with a monthly Web traffic volume of less than 10 million hits to have free access to traffic and consumer habits data from people who visit their website on a regular basis, from once a day to once a year.

The Early Stages

The history of Web analytics dates back to the early days of the Internet, in the 90s. At the time, we used to encounter various errors, and by analyzing those errors, we could have access to a lot of relevant information about the number of clicks, page views, and the origin of the visitors. We then started to keep all that connection data in a log and then, in 1993, the first official Web analytics company was founded. This company was named Webtrends and is still operating today.

Commercial Uses

Subsequently, a free navigational data analysis log – Analog – was created in 1995. It provides businesses with documentation, as well as clear and simple charts. Analytics is no longer only reserved to technical staff; it can also be used by anyone. That is how commercial analytics began. As a result, several other companies – such as Coremetrics and WebSideStory – mushroomed everywhere.

Calculating the Number of Unique Visitors

All the new features (including the calculation of the number of unique visitors) that exist today were added subsequently, along with all the new programming languages such as JavaScript. All of this allowed us to improve the way we collect visitor data.

Today, the Web analytics market is mainly dominated by Google, but you are going to see that there are many other big players in the arena that you will get to know better in some of our next blog posts.

Want to find out more about Web analytics and all its features? Contact the Devrun Web agency today. Our team of seasoned experts will be happy to answer all your questions.