WebSideStory Ups the Search Solution Ante
WebSideStory raised the bar in the Web-analytics space with its announcement on Tuesday of Search 4.0, the industry's first site search solution to automatically integrate site search and Web-site behavioral data. The key enhancement in version 4 will be Active Ranking, a patent-pending technology that will enable marketers to rank their search results based on visitor metrics, such as conversion rate, entry pages, and most-requested pages.
Search 4.0 will integrate with WebSideStory's HBX Analytics solution to leverage the analytics data via the company's Stream Reporting API (application programming interface). According to the company, using Active Ranking with HBX Analytics will let marketers optimize site search relevancy, or the ability to provide site visitors exactly what they are looking for, based on Web-site behavioral data like e-commerce metrics, and content and traffic information. Marketers can also upload other information to include data such as profitability and user ratings.
"The important thing is, they're leveraging all of the Web analytics behavioral data that they're gathering as opposed to just focusing on search analytics," says Greg Dowling, senior analyst at Jupiter Research. "As far as I know, this is the industry's first application to leverage Web analytics across all boundaries. Realistically, none of the other Web search vendors has access to Web-analytics information."
Search 4.0 comes with other enhancements as well, including site navigation, increased search capabilities, and automated site map, and shopping engine feeds. Active Navigation's site search capabilities guide customers to the products or data they seek by adding power to a site's navigation engine. Steve Kusmer, senior vice president and general manager of WebSideStory's search and content solutions division, refers to this as using the "wisdom of the crowds." He sees Search 4.0 having the biggest impact in the e-commerce and Web self-service areas, thanks in large part to its on-demand delivery model. "That will enable us to integrate with external services, such as shopping search engines, site maps, and other applications like HBX analytics faster than the competition," he says.
Dowling says Search 4.0 giving WebSideStory a leg-up on some of its other competitors, such as Endeca. "This increases the breadth of their offerings and boosts their ability to sell against the competition in the e-commerce space specifically."
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