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Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Technical and Webmaster Guidelines for HTTPS


Spurred on by the Edward Snowden revelations, Google has begun taking security more seriously. After the revelations came out, Google quickly secured and patched their own weaknesses. Now they are pushing to encrypt all internet activity by incentivizing websites that use SSL certificates by giving them a boost in rankings.

During a Google I/O presentation this year called HTTPS Everywhere, speakers Ilya Grigorik and Pierre Far made it clear that this move is not just about encrypting the data being passed between server to browser, but also to protect users from having the meta data surrounding those requests collected.

Though the meta data collected by visiting a single unencrypted website is benign, when you aggregate that data it can pose serious security risk for the user. Thus by incentivizing HTTPS, Google has begun to eliminate instances on the web where users could be vulnerable to having information unknowingly collected about them.

I will give you the spark notes version of the HTTPS Everywhere presentation, but even that will warrant a TL;DR stamp. My hope is that this outline and the resource links contained within it give you a hub you can use when evaluating and implementing HTTPS on your site. (more…)

MozCon 2014 Recap: What I Learned


A holistic industry transformation was the tone at MozCon this year and Erica McGillivray and team did a fantastic job getting speakers that supported this theme. Those chosen for the conference are experts in their fields, pushing conventional wisdom and challenging us with new ways to tackle old problems. Each spoke on different topics, but to the same point.

MozCon started with a presentation from our fearless SEO leader, the Wizard of Moz himself, Rand Fishkin. Rand started off the conference by reflecting on the past year in search and framing his vision for the future. He highlighted 5 big trends from the past year.


11 People to Watch at MozCon 2014

MozCon 2014MozCon is a three day marketing conference put on by Moz.com. The conference brings together next-level speakers to talk about everything from SEO to brand development to analytics. This year Erica McGillivray and team will bring 29 speakers to the Emerald City to give their expert opinions on the future of marketing. It is a jam packed three days, so I have outlined eleven of the people I am most excited to see along with some of their own reasons you should watch them.

When: July 14-16, 2014
Where: Seattle,Washington


Big Data, Big Problems? Resources for Applying Big Data to Your Business the Smart Way


I’m the least-qualified LunaMetrician to be writing about the field of Data. I’ve never had a great recall of numbers, I designed much of my time in academia to avoid spreadsheets and focus on the arts and I even dropped an early college Statistics class. However, I’ve always been fascinated by grand narratives, Economics and business trends. Big Data’s story is still being written, and what has been committed so far is fascinating. I love reading trends and case studies to see how Big Data is impacting the way we do business as SEO and Analytics providers and how it can benefit my roster of clients. Let’s look at ways your company can approach and benefit from these techniques.


Hands Free Google Analytics – “OK GA”

What do you do if you need to use Google Analytics, but you have a broken hand (or two)?

broken hands
This is the problem we were faced with last year, as two of our analysts were involved in separate bicycle accidents. Using a mouse and keyboard to navigate the reports in Google Analytics proved difficult, if not impossible, with hunks of plaster covering our hands and fingers. (more…)

W3C Customer Experience Data Specification Released

If you use Google Tag Manager or another tag management tool, you’re probably already familiar with the idea of a data layer. It’s basically a centralized place for information about the page to be passed to analytics and other measurement tools.

tag-management-data-layerUp to now, there have been some informal conventions in tools like GTM. But it would help us all to have some standard guidelines, for interoperability between tools. So, if you need to switch from one tool to another, you can easily do that without rearranging the data. Or, if you build a plugin for a content management system, you can build to the standard and not worry about which tool it will be used with.

So a W3C Community Group was assembled to tackle this problem, including 56+ organizations (including Google Tag Manager) providing input on a specification that is standardized enough to provide interoperability, without being too rigid to represent many different industries and websites. (LunaMetrics also participated in the development of the specification.)

After much deliberation, version 1.0 of this specification has been published. Let’s take a look at what it says and does.

GA Summit 2018 – 14 Announcements from the Future

The future of Google AnalyticsA lot has been written about this year’s Google Analytics Summit, which was held last week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. There were 14 major public announcements, over a dozen speakers, and a boatload of cool new features that were triumphantly revealed on day 1, or quietly implied behind closed doors on day 2.

I had the opportunity to attend this year’s GA Summit. For two days, we sat on the cutting edge of the industry, and it was nothing short of amazing. The venue, the theme, the speakers… the roadmap. You think 14 announcements were cool — just wait ’til you see what’s next.

Somewhere atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, late in the evening, I found myself dreaming of what the GA Summit might look like five years from now. It would definitely be even more international: this year’s Summit attendees already represented 47 different countries! It would definitely be more popular: yes, we were a trending hashtag on Twitter this year, but that’s just the start. What else?

GA Summit 2013This year’s three major themes were “Access. Empower. Act.” I imagined 2018’s keynote Googler pacing the stage, broadcast live across YouTube to Google Glass, Android devices and Google TVs around the world. What would her three themes be? “Act?” That’s perennial. “Predict?” GA is definitely headed in that direction. “Engage?” “Track hoverboard users?” Obviously.

What would her 14 announcements be in 2018?

3 Ways to Build a Trust-centered Consulting Practice

pieTwo cops walk into a diner and sit down for a piece of pie and a cuppa coffee. “How’s the strawberry rhubarb tonight?” the first cop asks the waitress. “Hmmmmm ” she says. “We’ll, I think you would be better off with the apple pie, ” she finally answers.  “Is there anything else you’d recommend?” asks the second cop. “Well, the ice cream always makes the pie taste even better — I recommend the cinnamon — and I can heat up the pie to be sure it really is awesome. Instead of the same old joe, you might consider our latte. Expensive, I know, but so much better than the house brew.” They bought everything she recommended and left a nice tip. And they came back after their shift the next week and made sure to sit in her section of the diner.

This kind of thing happens because the waitress created trust and credibility from the moment she answered their first question. She could so easily have taken their order — after all, not many people say no to the sale. Instead, she gave them an honest answer, and it was obvious that it was her own opinion. When she suggested the expensive latte, they didn’t blanche — she had already proven that she wasn’t going to steer them in the wrong direction. (more…)

Google Analytics Premium & BigQuery: Access Raw Data in Seconds

Big Muppet and Little Muppet

One of the advantages of Google Analytics Premium is that you can get unsampled data, but it’s still processed data. Have you dreamed of getting access to your raw GA data?

Those dreams are about to come true. Announced today at Google I/O: later this year BigQuery will be available to users of Google Analytics Premium.

Query hit-level data at interactive speed

BigQuery is a web service that lets you query billions of rows, a.k.a. Big Data, with a response time in seconds. Without Google Analytics Premium, you upload some data first and then run your queries.

With Google Analytics Premium, your hit-level GA data will be available for the same type of interactive ad hoc queries. Pose a question, get an answer. Does that lead to another question? Rinse and repeat! You can batch queries, too.

Build complex queries and join data sets

Direct granular access to your GA data opens the door for all kinds of complex queries. You’ll also be able to combine data sets from other sources for powerful business insights.

Imagine having data at your fingertips to solve problems like these: (more…)

Congratulations Semphonic!!

semphonicI don’t blog much anymore (and aren’t you all lucky that I don’t, I would be taking up a “blog slot” from all the people at Luna who have real talent.) But I cut the line so that I could congratulate our friends at Semphonic, with special call outs to Gary Angel, Joel Hadary and Phil Kemelor.  As many readers probably know already, they were purchased by Ernst & Young on Friday.

Semphonic isn’t the first analytics firm to be purchased.  Certainly, EpicOne did it a few years ago when they sold themselves to a company, local to their market, who specializes in automotive sites. There are probably quite a few others that I don’t even know about. But Semphonic did something really special .  This was a strategic sale of a boutique consultancy to an international accounting and consulting firm, and it was enormously important for our industry.

The sales we’ve been seeing in our industry almost always carry strong intellectual property with them. Adobe purchased Omniture and its software suite, Sitecatalyst/Test&Target/Discover. IBM purchased Coremetrics, as well as companies like Pittsburgh-based Vivisimo. We consulting companies bring different opportunities to the table. Sure, we have great branding and awesome links/rankings and a kick-ass client roster. But mostly, we bring know-how.

And it’s so clear that the rest of the world has sat up and noticed. If you read Gary Angel’s blogpost, you’ll see that Semphonic had “two handfuls” of offers (so I suppose that means in the neighborhood of ten?) They were in the enviable position of being able to choose their acquirer.

Best of luck to the Semphonic team on its new journey!