Analytics Enhancements Using Rankings


Recent MSc Computing (Internet Technology and Security) dissertation work within the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK by  Filiz Camci.





Enhancement Of Web Analytics Using Rankings In Search Engines



Abstract
Today, Internet has become an indispensable tool for people. The demand for Internet marketing has been increasing in the last decade. Web analytics tools are used to understand the needs of the customers, define the gaps of the websites and track effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Search engines are great tools to help internet users to find what they are looking for among billions of websites. Search engines aim to guide people to find the information and products they need in a short time. Companies aim to be appear in the search engine results to reach the customers and increase their profits. In addition, search engine results are great source to identify potential competitors and their strategies. This thesis aims to explore the enhancement of the web analytics by using rankings in search engine results.

The thesis involves three major parts: manual search, search engine simulation, rank tracking with web analytics tools. In each part, the trend in search engine results are analyzed and slope value of trend line representing the trend is calculated. The slope is identified to decide if there is fluctuation or trend in the search engine ranking positions. Two websites have been used to implement these steps. Google Analytics, Statcounter and Market Samurai are used as web analytics tools.

The following statements summarize the outcome of this study: 
1. Ranking positions in search engine results are crucial information for companies.
2. Web analytics tools are able to collect sufficient data to perform website analysis (including trend analysis). 
3. Currently web analytics tools generally are not flexible enough to provide sufficient analysis using the collected data. 
4. Simple trend analysis methods such as slope analysis have potential to be used for trend analysis of ranking positions in search engine results.