Well the new Google tool “Content Experiments” just came out and replaces the old school “Website Optimizer”. One interesting thing is that the Multivariate or Multivariable split testing has gone away.
This certainly simplifies things, but is it for the best?
Personally I like to have options. Much of the time, simple A/B testing is the way to go anyway, because you need a lot of data to get results.
However, with optin pages, you CAN get a lot of data. Especially if you’re running a lot of traffic.
Heck, if you’re a getting decent flow of visitors, you can easily test a dozen attributes of your web page and set up a new test every week.
So, that’s too bad for Google users…
But, great news for Extreme Optimizer users, because now you’ll have an additional edge to test and optimize your way to success.
Multivariable split testing can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Not really sure why Google would intentionally take away features… Maybe it is because of the development effort since Google Content Experiments is now being integrated into Analytics.
(Don’t get me started on Analytics — it too has its pluses and minuses.)
Anyway, the only thing that really matters is that you’re creating conversion breakthroughs for your sites.
We’re here to help.
Click here to check out our Extreme Optimizer software and see all the powerful ways that you can use it to increase your conversions.
– Claude Johnson
Infinite Profit Solutions – Chief Architect
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.
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.
From August 1 2012, Google Website Optimizer (GWO) will no longer be available to its users. That’s right, Google are taking their free split-testing tool off the market.
Instead, they’ve made a new tool available inside their Google Analytics software, called “Content Experiments”. (It’s available now if you want to give it a try).
Clearly, Google has some very smart cookies working for them – so they’ve no doubt thought this through. But from a user perspective, it does beg the question whether it’s really the wisest move.
True, for those who already have Google Analytics installed, there’s now only one snippet of code to insert on a site for a testing experiment. (Compared to the multiple snippets that Google Website Optimizer requires). So that simplifies things.
Poring through the official Google statements about ending Google Website Optimizer, the emphasis is clearly on simplification as a whole. Their aim is to “simplify website testing”.
And sure, by cutting back on the kinds of tests you can perform on the new “Content Experiments” system – limiting it to A/B testing and eliminating multivariate testing functionality – the idea is evidently to make split-testing even more accessible to the masses, and to make it even easier to get started.
Not only that, their ‘Wizard’ provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up a test for the uninitiated.
But there are two clear challenges in all of this:
1) The existence of this new testing tool is not obvious inside of the Google Analytics interface. It’s not easy to find. So no matter how easy it is to use, it doesn’t really matter if the tool is hard to locate.
2) You’re now required to use Google Analytics if you want to perform a split test (which the old ‘Google Website Optimizer’ did not necessitate).
Google’s recently reported that more than 10 million websites have installed Google Analytics – so there’s clearly a wide user base who can be exposed to the merits of testing and optimizing their sites.
And that’s great for the state of the internet as a whole.
Yet only time will tell whether ‘burying’ this new testing tool inside of Google Analytics encourages more website owners to test and optimize their sites.
There’s also the strong possibility that more advanced users will search elsewhere for more advanced testing functionality than Content Experiments currently offers.
Unless Google adds some additional features like enabling multivariate testing – and broadens its limit of only 12 active tests at a time – in the next few months, heavyweight testers may need to expand their search for something a little more flexible and less limiting.
The Infinite Profit Solutions Team