Depending on who you ask, the announcement that Google made last friday– that after 5+ years, Google Website Optimizer would be no longer– was no big surprise. While GWO made a nice little free app for those looking to jump into site optimization and testing, the support that Google put towards it seemed to quickly fade to non-existent these last couple of years. Another no-brainer was that Google has moved the GWO functionality under the Google Analytics product and is now calling it Content Experiments. Here is an intro video for Google Content Experiments:
While Google Website Optimizer was a free tool, the move to be included under Google Analytics brings true democratization of the optimization tool. After all, in a Google earnings call in April of 2012, Google mentioned that Google Analytics is installed on over 10 million websites.
Now 10 million websites have access to conduct site experiments. So is this a good thing for the optimization industry? Sure, it means that more people will get exposed to the benefits of optimizing content and conversion paths. Yes, with the Content Experiments Wizard and the single line of additional code needed, many will launch their first tests using this tool. Is this a good thing?
In Google’s Analytics Blog, they wrote, “This is just the first step we’re taking to simplify website testing, and we look forward to integrating more features into the experimentation framework of Google Analytics.” This brings up many interesting questions:
Do more experiments mean better experiments?
Will the widespread access to this free tool justify bigger budgets for the testing advocate within organizations?
Will “site optimization for all” create an industry where everyone thinks they are experts?
Let us know what you think in the comments.