Keynote Acquires NetRakers Web Analysis Tools

NetRaker brings tools that measure and analyze customers' browsing and clicking activity to help optimize Web site design and customer service.

Keynote Systems Inc. on Tuesday disclosed that it has acquired privately held NetRaker Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., to fill out its product line with more measurement and analysis tools for customer-experience management.

Keynote officials declined to disclose the terms of the NetRaker acquisition. NetRaker specializes in tools that measure and analyze customers browsing and clicking activity to help optimize Web site design and customer service.

A majority of NetRakers employees have joined Keynote, including Douglas van Duyne, NetRaker president and CEO, and George Papazian, the companys chief operating officer.

With the buyout, Keynote acquires NetRakers two principal products: Research Manager and the Customer Experience Benchmark, which was known as the NetRaker Index before the acquisition.

Research Manager is an opt-in tracking service that combines market research surveys and Web site usability studies with a selected panel of customers. The service is used primarily to test and evaluate the usability of a new Web site before launch and to test new online marketing campaigns.

The Customer Experience Benchmark examines a Web sites content quality, ease of use, perceived performance, bandwidth value and customer satisfaction based on customer experience surveys. The tool is used to find and correct customer-satisfaction problems and to compare one sites usability with that of similar competing sites on the Web.

The NetRaker acquisition will add about $500,000 in revenue to the companys fiscal third quarter ending June 30, said Paul Lipman, general manager of Keynotes WebEffective division. It will add as much as $3 million in revenue in fiscal year 2005, Lipman said.

NetRaker is Keynotes ninth corporate acquisition since the San Mateo, Calif., company went public in 1999.

"Its not a huge acquisition in financial terms. But I think it is an important step in the development of the [Web] analytics marketplace," said Bob Chatham, principal analyst with Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.

The significance stems from combining Web site performance and traffic studies with analyses of customer behavior and experience, he said. The acquisition will allow Keynote "to keep moving up the food chain in the quality of the analytics that are being made available to people," he said.

The NetRaker tools are valuable because they correlate what people do on a Web site with "what they are thinking and what they believe" in terms of their online shopping and browsing experiences, Chatham said.

The acquisition will enable Keynote to offer a set of services that is distinct from those of other players in the Web analytics market, such as Mercury Interactive Inc., NetIQ Corp.s WebTrends, Omniture Inc. and Gomez Inc.

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John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...