Google Analytics Book – 2nd edition launched

The second edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics started shipping from Amazon last week – almost exactly two years since the first book. Like becoming a father (well not quite), it’s a proud moment and milestone for me. If you want to dive straight in, try one of these:

Here’s what industry movers and shakers think about the second edition:

If you’re looking for a practical, tactical guide in how to implement and think about web marketing optimization, look no further. Brian Clifton spells it out by industry, by job function, by Key Performance Indicator, and more.” —Jim Sterne, Founding Director and Chairman of the Web Analytics Association

…an indispensable guide to helping you take your online marketing campaigns to the next level.” —Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land

Brian Clifton has done the hard work for us in updating his excellent first book so this second one is the must-read for anyone looking to get the most value out of Google Analytics and web analytics more broadly.” —Ashley Friedlein, CEO, Econsultancy

And here’s what readers so far have said:

  • Search Engine Land conducted a very informative interview around the book launch.
  • Les Faber based in Canada was the first to comment on the preview chapters (18th Jan)
  • Closely followed by Nikki Rae (UK) of Fresh Egg (19th Jan 2010)
  • Daniel Waisberg (Israel) was the first reviewer
  • Sakis Rizos wrote the first Greek review of the book – isn’t Google Translate fantastic…
  • David Whitehouse (UK) of Bronco fame, threw down the SEO gauntlet at SES London in Feb – though they don’t really have a chance 😉
  • Brian May (Columbus, Ohio Area) kindly updated his initial assessment of the first edition to include the new one
  • Sara Andersson and Petra Snickars (Sweden) provided their strategic input on integrating search marketing, web analytics and my book.
  • And last but not least, Dave Chaffey (UK) provided his experienced thoughts with a first-look review.

If you write a review, please let me know. Links to reviews are on the dedicated Google Analytics book reviews page.

That’s quite a spread of geographies. If fact, writing the book on Google Analytics also required the input of people from around the world. The map shows those that directly contributed (the map is embedded Flash, so probably will not work in RSS viewers –…

Why the second edition is needed

book cover 2nd edition When I started writing the second edition (last June), my intention was for an update. A few week’s work – estimated to be ten weeks at most! However, within 3 weeks I was re-writing whole sections and then chapters. This was because once I sat down and gave it some serious thought, so much in the product has changed. In the past two years (you can read my Google Analytics 4 years on post from last April), Google Analytics has integrated with AdSense and Feedburner, launched event tracking, advanced segments, Intelligence alerts, motion charts, custom reporting, custom variables, the data export API and the new asynchronous method of tracking. So in the end, the “update” became a complete re-write that took 7 months! The result? A much more in depth (500 page) read that is easier to digest (practice makes you a better writer!), up-to-date and engaging book. Well, that is my obvious bias view, but would love to hear your comments. See below pictures of typical readers and look how engaged they are…!

Shelby - Pennsylvania USA engaged-nikki-sm.jpg Unknown at SMX Santa Clara. Can you help ID? Unknown at SMX Santa Clara. Can you help ID? Unknown, Feras Alhou, Unknown - at SMX Santa Clara
Figo - south Sweden Figo - south Sweden Daniela - Sydney Linn och Petra of Search Integration - Stockholm

Left to right: Shelby Thayer, Nikki Rae, dunno – can you help?, dunno – can you help? (both from SMX West), Feras Alhlou, Figo the guard dog, Figo the scholar, Daniela Fernandez, the Search Integration team

Looking for a keynote speaker, or wish to hire Brian…?

If you are an organisation wishing to hire me and my team, please view the Contact page. I am based in Sweden and advise organisations in Europe as well as North America.

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  1. Saikrishna

    Just brought the book.Its so helpful for me in Analytics Exam
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Edgar Sánchez

    Hi Brian,
    Just bought your book in a Dublin – Ireland Library ( although I´m from Spain) I already read the first edition and found it very good so I went for the second one.

    Anyway, sad to see that is not coverying anything about the async snippet ( The one is Google recomended and by default now) So the book, being new, loses quite of its value.
    Any updates on this?
    Are you already planning a third edition?


  3. JD

    I was wondering if the code for chp 7 has been uploaded, page 194 of the second edition states that the code can be downloaded at your domain/chapter7.

    I think the piece I implement to track down load times was from the first edition, and it caused my bounce rate to drop dramatically.

    And I have done some research and it looks as though the use of the trackevent may have been the culprit.

    Either way, I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for this up. Thanks.

  4. Erik van der Veen

    Thanks a lot Brian for the signed version of the “The second edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics” which I received from you at the Google Analytics User Conference in Amsterdam.

    • Brian Clifton

      Erik: My pleasure. I really hope it lives up to expectations. Let me know if you have any feedback.

  5. Joe Seidler

    Marco, the book indicates that as of its writing, you cannot use setCustomVar as a profile filter. I’m still waiting to hear when and how it will be done.

  6. Jamie Anstice

    Is there an ETA for a general release for the AdWords beta as described in chapter 5 (and does the Ad Distribution Network break down into the individual sites which make up the Google Search network?)

    thanks & enjoying book so far

  7. Marco

    Does it deal the new function setCustomVar() and its use with profile filters? For instance will I learn how to create an account including only visitors with a specific user defined value?

  8. Paul

    ah… my bad, many thanks for clearing that up for me Brian

  9. Victor Geerdink

    Congrats Brian. I am looking forward to reading the book. But if it similar quality as the first edition then I know it will be a great read.

  10. Paul

    Just bought the book (arrived yesterday) and i’ve been going through some of the ppc ROI and so forth (chapter 11 pg 385), BUT, i seem to have hit a dead end. Not sure if it’s my math (as its not that good) but the equation at the top of the page doesn’t seem to give the right answer: CPAmax = 5.21*0.4/0.25+1 CPAmax = $1.67, my answer (and i’ve tried this several times) = 9.336.

    below is the formula used in excel.

    • Brian Clifton

      Paul: if you view the equation layout at the bottom of page 384 you’ll see it should be:

      (5.21*0.4)/(0.25+1) = 1.67

  11. Jeff Pickle

    Amazon delivered my new copy on Tuesday, March 16th. Pretty good timing. Worth every penny.

  12. Brian Clifton

    Tim: Nice try… the upgrade path is via Amazon, B&N et al 🙂

    David: you wrote a beautiful well crafted article, lets see how it ranks…

    Wendell/Nikki/Shelby/Gerry: Thanks for kind feedback.

  13. Gerry White

    Just ordered the new version – the old version has long been in my bag / on desk / thrown at people who need a bit more info!

  14. Joe Seidler

    The book is great. It would be helpful if you hosted an errata page where people could indicate typos and errors to reduce any confusion they may cause.

    For instance, it appears the book refers to some enhancements in the Analytics detail about AdWords that are not yet available to the masses (p. 115).

  15. Shelby Thayer

    Congrats, Brian.

    Fantastic, fantastic book. Even better on the second read. 🙂

  16. Nikki Rae

    Hi brian,

    Well done on new book! You need to change the book image on the right nav though as is the old version 😉

    Nikki Rae

  17. Wendell

    congratulations brian. i still reference the first edition regularly when i have an issue with ga.

    if it’s anything like the first book, i’m sure it’s a winner.

  18. David Whitehouse

    Actually it was Dave Naylor that threw down the gauntlet, he just got me to write the post 😉

  19. Tim Evans

    Any upgrade path for 1st edition owners? Thanks.


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