Mortensen: Webanalytics might dissapear

Thu 12 June 2008 20:23, Bas van den Beld

Mortensen: Webanalytics might dissapear

The second interview in the Roadshow series is a written one. We had the chance to ask Dennis Mortensen, COO at Indextools, questions about his company and his view on what's going on in search.

Mortensen off course talks about the take over of Indextools by Yahoo. He also gives his opion about the future of Web Analytics and gives us a peek at his iGoogle-page.

About Dennis Mortensen

Dennis R. Mortensen is a pioneer and expert in the Web Analytics industry, having working in the field of internet analysis and statistics since 1996. He is an accredited Associate Web Analytics Instructor - University of British Columbia and a frequent speaker on the subject of analytics and online marketing. Today he is the COO of IndexTools, Inc., a top tier enterprise analytics vendor who was recently acquired by Yahoo. You can follow his insights on web analytics and online marketing on his blog: VisualRevenue.com/blog.

Indextools

About Indextools

In april Tensa Kit, the company behind Indextools, was bought by Yahoo! With that next to Google (Google Analytics) and Microsoft (Gatineau) now also Yahoo has his 'own' webanalytics-tool. Earlier on his own blog, Mortensen revealed that Indextools will also be free.

Indextools was founded in 2000 and has been growing fast ever since. The 2004 enterprise edition in 2004 really put the webanalytics tool on the worldwide map.

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The interview:

Will you keep developing IndexTools and will your team stay active or will Yahoo! take the new development?

I find it unlikely and see no indication of the IndexTools core R&D team in Budapest (which are ALL retained in the acquisition) not continuing the development. And this is also what we all signed up for in the continues work for our future employer.

What market are you focussing on? Small business? Large businesses?

I cannot yet comment on any Y! strategy. However; I will be advocating strongly for Yahoo NOT creating a one-size-fits-all solution. So you will see me personally pitch for both the head, torso and tail market.

Will Yahoo! be working on measuring "engagement"?

IndexTools was half a meter away from releasing a thorough whitepaper together with my good friend Eric Peterson on the subject. So IndexTools support engagement in some way, shape or form from a technology point of view - the go to market on this feature opportunity is yet to be decided.

What is the future of web analytics?

I think that "Web Analytics" as you know it today and as a distinctive product might disappear and that the functionality will be an expected property of internet objects in general. Concluding that we will get access to a whole lot more data and what we will be forced to do a whole lot more analysis.

What do you think are the top 3 most influential people in online marketing today?

That is a big question and if I may, I would like to answer that with a general comment on the fact that I think that influencers (as a social media concept) in general is overrated. I believe the opinion holder and initial catalyst does not have to originate from a influential person.

Is Microsoft going to take over Yahoo?

If not them, then I will buy Y! myself! ;-) (that translates to: I have no idea and besides a few people at MS and Y! I think it is all guesswork)

What will be the biggest source of traffic in five years?

I cannot see search be removed from the number one spot any time soon. I can however see search change a lot over the next 5 years. Go take a look at Y! search monkey - that is really different! :-)

What are the top three websites online marketing-fans must read?

It essentially depends on your market angle and position. I would focus on the industry subjects that one is supposed to be an expert in. I can tell you the 5 tabs I have on my Google homepage:

Analytics
Optimization
Search
Data Visualization

I read about a handful of blogs in each category and then read start-up blogs like techcrunch in my lunch break - because I am an avid entrepreneur and LOVE a good start-up story :-)

What is the difference between search in the US and in Europe?

There is a lot of similarities and a few unique differences. One that keeps baffling me, is that we (European companies) tend to use Search Agencies relatively more that our counterparts in the US.

How do you think search should get integrated in big companies, should there be an inhouse-team or should it be handled by firms?

I think this is by far too important just to outsource. You need an internal skill set to set the right strategy and one that is truly part of your overall marketing mix. In regards to execution of this, I think there are good reasons to use
an Agency.

Thanks again!

No worries Joost.. it's always a pleasure.



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