Split testing – it’s the latest craze amongst the kids

Technology Blog

Google Website Optimizer – a Win-Win

By: Andrew Goodman | Source: webpronews.com

Like a few others, I’ve been beta testing Google Website Optimizer. It’s great.

Here’s why it’s a win for Google. They’ll make more revenue because marketers who test will get impatient and need more data. They’ll enable their paid search accounts fully, possibly even enabling marginally performing groups, to get a statistically significant conclusion to their test more quickly so they can move on.

I’m interested in Website Optimizer, too, though Google haven’t yet replied to my application for an account. I can’t say I’m quite as enthusiastic as Andrew Goodman, because Optimizer appears to solve only part of the split testing problem, making it a service that’ll be used mainly by a small sector of internet marketers.

The trouble is that to use it you have to paste code into your HTML pages. But most webmasters, especially those who are engaged in selling stuff online, don’t create their pages using plain ol’ vanilla HTML: instead, they have content management systems to do that for them.

The other problem with Optimizer is that it uses javascript to generate variant content dynamically. That content comes from a Google server. Rationally or not, many webmasters are not going to like relying on an external site to deliver parts of their precious pages for them. A selling headline that doesn’t appear because of a backbone router hiccup? No thanks!

For these reasons I don’t think Optimizer is going to wipe the floor with its rivals like Vertster and SiteSpect right away, even though Google’s offering is free in its basic form. A free service that’s very fiddly to use simply isn’t going to excite potential customers.

While we’re on the subject, take a look at my new blog about split testing. Whatever else Optimizer does in the market it’s bound to create something of a buzz around the subject, so I thought I’d try and catch some of it. Bzzz!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>