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Monday, April 05, 2004

Will NetIQ Acquisition of WebPosition Legitimize Rank Checking Software?

In an e-mail from FirstPlace Software, creator of WebPosition software, this morning, FirsPlace announced that NetIQ, the parent company of WebTrends, has acquired all assets of FirstPlace. Part of the e-mail states:

In the near future, you will be hearing more about exciting WebTrends and WebPosition Gold products and services. We are certain that you will be pleased with WebTrends products and services offered in the future.

NetIQ surely has some strategic plan in mind for the next version of WebTrends related to search engine optimization and marketing, perhaps similar to those offered by ClickTracks, if those are not available in WebTrends already (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they are). Perhaps the acquisition is also a recognition by NetIQ that WebTrends faces tough competition from the latest generation of logfile analyzers and that it needs to beef up its feature set if it hopes to remain competitive.

This press release on the FirstPlace website offers a closer look behind the reason for the acquisition:

"Beyond mere click stream analysis, effective Web site analytics provide a holistic view of the entire site: its content, structure, and flow; how visitors and search engines interact with it; and what opportunities exist to drive greater value," said Matthew Berk, Independent Internet Analyst in New York, NY. "The synergies between site analytics and Search Engine Marketing are only in their infancy."

It will be interesting to see if the combined company can legitimize rank-checking software, which is currently frowned upon by Google and others. I think Google needs to work out some arrangement with third-party software companies to allow this automated rank checking or, at minimum, offer AdWords subscribers the option to do this through the AdWords account manager.

Search engine marketers are overwhelmed with all that we are tasked with, and in my opinion, we need the ability to automatically check search engine rankings. One way or another, it's going to happen.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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