Google Analytics Premium a game changer?

Google Analytics Premium a game changer?

4th October 2011

Last week, Google launched Google Analytics Premium. An enterprise solution for some of the largest customers that currently use the Google Analytics free edition. These customers have specific needs that Google Analytics could not meet previously. Yesterday, one of the few selected Premium Resellers, Cardinal Path presented Google Analytics Premium with a 1 hour webinar and Q&A.

I will summarize the session for our readers.

What makes premium a special product?

Google Analytics premium was built around four things:

Extra processing power
The system is said to use a different pipeline, support for more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports.

Advanced Analysis
Premium incorporates a new attribution modelling tool with predefined and support for custom attribution models. So new tools for marketers to better analyze and understand their online marketing activities.

Service and Support
Dedicated 24/7 support by both partners and Google itself. Experts to guide customized installations.

Service Level Agreements for data collection (99.9%), processing (data freshness 98%) and reporting (99%). You will get compensated with money if Premium does not meet the conditions.

1. Extra Processing Power

Google is known for its robust architecture. This is considered as an competitive advantage. Google just enabled their international infrastructure for use with Google Analytics. What you’ll get out of the box with this package is hits per month. To clarify, a hit is a server call, this includes events, pageviews and transactions. If you need to collect more data, there are ways of figuring out – ask your premium reseller. It also includes higher sampling limits. Yes, you heard it  – the user interface is still showing sampled data – mainly because Google is very concerned about the performance of the application to the user.

The standard 5 custom variables that are available in the Free version of Google Analytics is now expanded to accompany an additional 45 Custom Variable slots. You’ll now get 50 Custom Variables to work with.

It is emphasized that with these enhanced data collection methods your data will be safe. Distributed globally, but never will your data be in one place at the same time.

2. What you will notice


So how will Google Analytics premium look like? Answer: almost identical to the normal Google Analytics. The main difference is that there is now the availability to export your data – unsampled. Google Analytics will queue up unsampled report requests and these will be available after processing. The interface looks very similar to Google Adwords Reporting interface where requested reports are being queued.

Attribution Modeling

You will now be able to use pre-defined attribution models to better measure the value of different channels as they work together to drive business success. Also with GA Premium you are now able to use custom models. I already have heard rumors about DART integration, but this has not been officially been announced by Google.

3. Premium Services

Premium services means that you will be working with a partner that has been focused on Google Analytics for more than five years.

Partners focuses service on 3 area’s :


The partner will use its experience to understand the business and tailor the needs to the implementation. Understanding the reporting and data access needs. Creating a plan what the product needs to measure and analyze. Also remember that an implementation is never really done – because of changes to environment, new stuff out on the market, etc.

Support & Service

The partner will help evolve the implementation so it maintains relevancy to what the business needs to measure and understand in order to be more successful. If there are major issues the partner will work together with Google.

Training Services

Knowledge transfer is critical. Partners want to be seen as partners and not as a crutch. Trainings will help you put the data into context (marketing needs), explain how things work, incl. the technical aspect.

4. Service Level Agreements

You will get Guaranteed Uptime. Period. You will be compensated if it does not meet the following conditions:

  • GA.JS data collection: 99.9%
  • Reporting Uptime: 99%
  • Data Freshness: 98%

Google is putting money where their mouth is – there is a money backed SLA.

5. Terms of Service

The Terms of Service have been changed slightly with the use of Premium. Slight, but really important as more enterprise subject items are being addressed by this change.

“Personally Identifiable Information is information that personally identifies an individual, such as name , email address or billing information, or other data which can be reasonable linked to such information BY GOOGLE.”

Some of the  Q&A during the session:

Will Premium have a 500 hit to visit limit?

this has not been changed

Does the extra processing power mean that the tool will run faster?


Are these Premium services only available as a partner or are they also available with Google directly?

Also available with Google directly. 

Does the organisation own the data?


Can I buy one ‘Premium’ account and use Urchin like profiles to support multiple sites?

Not recommended because you want site owners to have ownership of data.

Now is it really a game changer?

Suffice to say that Google entering the enterprise web analytics business will definitely change the landscape a bit. Some companies now running Google Analytics might be searching for paid vendors – sometimes unable to make a decision on which tool is best –  they might now stick with Google Analytics as transition is said to be ‘a flip of a switch at the backend’.

I definately like the quote of @bosilytics saying that the introduction of GA Premium is more of a competitive equalizer than it is opening a new market.

I would really like to give the floor to our State of Search readers and have their say on this. Please feel free to do so in the comments!


Written By
Martijn Beijk is an SEO & Web Analytics consultant, international speaker and lecturer. He is one of the participants of the Local Search Ranking Factors.
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