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Why The End Of GWO (Google Website Optimizer) Is The Greatest Thing Ever?

If you haven’t heard, Google is changing “Google Website Optimizer” into “Content Experiments”.

I personally feel that this is the best thing ever because a lot more people are going to move AWAY from using Google’s website optimization tools and move into alternative solutions.

When I talk to people about optimizing their web pages and split-testing tools, they often ask “What do you think of GWO (Google Website Optimizer)”?

Most of the time, my answer goes something like this:

It’s ok if you’re broke and can’t afford a real testing solution.

First of all, the fact that they only use cookies to do the tracking is an instant “deal-killer” for me, because you lose 20% to 30% of the potential data.  (Most computers eliminate cookies due to privacy concerns, anti-spam-ware, anti-mal-ware and anti-virus fears.)

This means that you instantly lose 20% to 30% of the data you should be getting.  In my opinion, DATA = MONEY.  And to lose 20% of valuable data is completely unacceptable.

And now it’s going from “ok” to BAD.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m actually a big fan of many of Google’s tools.  However, I simply do NOT understand these recent changes they’ve made to their testing software.

Why on earth would anyone use Google’s new “Content Experiments”?

Here’s 6 reasons why I don’t think anyone should touch it just yet:

1. They’ve killed multi-variable testing.  What if you want to do a multi-variable test on your landing pages?

2. Content Experiments is now “buried” in Google Analytics. And most people are already intimidated by the overwhelming array of options offered by the Google Analytics tool.  Now Google Analytics will be scarier than ever.

3. You can only test 5 variations at a time.  What if you want to test more things?

4. Content Experiments won’t declare a “winner” for at least 2 weeks – and you can’t run a test beyond 3 months.  What if you have an outright winner before 2 weeks is up? Or what if a site has relatively low amounts of traffic, and needs more than 3 months to acquire sufficient testing data?

5. You have you to create multiple webpages instead of just having 1 url.  This takes more time to set up and will clunk up your server with additional pages.

6. Content Experiments is currently limited to a maximum of 12 tests at a time. Now, this doesn’t mean you can only run twelve tests per account. But if you have 12 tests running, you’ll have to wait for a test to finish before being able to set up another one. (For people just getting started, this is likely to be fine, but it may force more active and experiences split-testers and website optimizers to seek elsewhere for a more suitable solution).

IT’S NOT ALL BAD…

True, Google have stated they intend to improve the features of the “Content Experiments” tool over time – and that the current version is likely to be improved in the future. (However, only time will tell, since it’s forerunner, Google Website Optimizer, remains pretty much unchanged since its introduction more than 5 years ago).

Naturally, on this site we advocate and encourage our readers to use our very own proprietary split-testing software – Extreme Optimizer. And perhaps one of the most edifying pieces of news to come from Google Website Optimizer’s demise is that more people will be actively looking for alternative solutions to meet their needs.

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

Extreme Optimizer is so much easier to use.  And the features eclipse Content Experiments by a few thousand light years.

Written by Matt Gallant, the mad marketing scientist.  To learn more about Extreme Optimizer “the ultimate optimization software” -> click here.  To hire Matt Gallant and the mad marketing crew and have them optimize your business RISK-FREE, please -> click here.