Google has unveiled a new beta API for marketers that will allow them to easily obtain real-time data about Websites and how they are being used and viewed by customers and visitors.
The Real Time API beta is now available from Google Analytics to increase the amount of useful data that's available about audiences, according to an Aug. 1 post by Linus Chou, Kasem Marifet and Ozan Hafizogullari of the Real Time Team, on the Google Analytics Blog.
"When we first launched Real Time Analytics 2.5 years ago, we set out to enable marketers to take real-time action against their data," according to the post. "Manually taking action and being informed about the immediate performance of your site is fantastic; however, it's not realistic to sit at your computer 24/7 and take advantage of these insights. Also and perhaps more importantly, your reflexes can never be as fast as computers. So the next logical step has always been to programmatically take action using real-time analytics. Towards that end, we're pleased to announce an invitation to join the beta for the Real Time Reporting API."
Using the new API, users will now be able to "make queries about your real-time data and use that information in whatever way you please," the post states. "One of the immediate use cases is to manage the content on your Web page. For example, you can query the API for the top visited URLs to construct a top trending content widget with the number of active readers."
The API can also be employed to show site users a real-time count of other people who are using the Website at that moment, which could help foster a sense of community, according to the post.
Developers for Websites can also use the new API to create a custom executive dashboard to monitor key metrics for a business, the post states.
The new Real Time API will work with the existing Google Analytics superProxy application and with the Google Charts API for the creation of deeper analytics and reports.
The Real Time API is being released by Google in a closed beta that will not include a service-level agreement for data protection during the beta, according to Google. "As such, please be cognizant of this when creating anything that will be customer-facing," the post states. "And as always, we are extremely excited to see all the creative ways that the data will be used."
Users can sign up to try the beta, as well as submit their feedback comments and project details to move the API forward, according to Google. Developer documentation is also available for more details about the API.
In July 2012, Google updated its Google Analytics suite to improve the collection of Website data that helps measure user patterns and responses. Included in the additions were real-time, mobile and social media reports.
Google Analytics is used by Website owners to track the success of their online advertising campaigns, analyze their Web traffic and evaluate what is and isn't working to pull in eyeballs. It also includes multi-channel funnels that allow users to visually see how all the different parts of a marketing campaign add up to customer conversions over a 30-day period, as well as the ability to conduct content experiments so that site owners can see how different versions of a page can affect their audiences.
Google Analytics was launched in November 2005 to give Website owners deeper insights into who was viewing their Web pages. It sounds quaint today, less than seven years after its debut, but it was seen as a way for Google to "keep pace with advertising-related strides made recently by rivals Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN, the two other leading Internet portals, revenue-wise," according to an eWEEK report at the time.
In 2008, Google expanded its analytics efforts to Google Docs and Google Sites, allowing the analytics tools to be used with other popular Google properties to expand their use with customers.