Google's popular Analytics web traffic reporting tool got a major upgrade this week when the company launched a new real time version for some users. The search giant's basic analytics tool, available for free, offers website operators a fairly comprehensive view of the traffic on their sites, but there is a lag time of about an hour for some data and a 24-hour lag for complete data reporting. The all-new Google Analytics Real Time tool changes that by offering instant access to visit counts. The tool was rolled out to some users Thursday and will become available to all users over the next few weeks.
The tool's updated look and instant update ability are similar to those of another analytics service that has been gaining in popularity, Chartbeat. Marketing to heavy-traffic websites, Chartbeat has lured in major customers like Starbucks, Groupon, Billboard and CNN. Unlike Google Analytics, Chartbeat is a paid service, with monthly fees starting at $10 per month for smaller websites. Google Analytics is a free service that counts Costco, Yelp, and AOL's Huffington Post among its largest clients.
Last week, Google announced the launch of Google Analytics Premium, its first paid tracking service for larger websites. While the free version only collects data through the first ten million visits per month, the premium offering has no limit, and offers more modeling tools and service support. Pricing for the service has not yet been disclosed.