The Portent Blog


9 Nov, 2010

Why Toolbar PageRank is Worthless

By Ian Lurie

Soooo, a few readers asked me why I don’t use PageRank as a statistic. I thought about writing a long, angry, ranty post about Toolbar PageRank, bank bailouts and the moron on NPR today who said the USA has reduced its carbon emissions since 2000, etc. etc. but stopped myself. Instead, I’ve got a nice… Read More


8 Nov, 2010

In web analytics, everything is relative

By Ian Lurie

What’s a good bounce rate for my web site? I get that kind of question a lot. What’s a ‘good’ bounce rate? A ‘good’ time on site? The answer, I’m afraid, is: Better than your current bounce rate. Better than your current time on site. In web analytics, it’s best to focus on your own… Read More

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4 Nov, 2010

5 SEO metrics I gotta have

By Ian Lurie

I’m on #seochat tonight. I’m super-excited about it, so I’ve been scribbling notes for anticipated questions. The topic, which I’ve actually talked about before, is SEO analytics. For me, there are five crucial SEO metrics. If you don’t have these, hang it up: Key phrase diversity. The number of unique phrases driving traffic to your… Read More


8 Oct, 2010

New ebook: The Fat Free Guide to Google Analytics

By Ian Lurie

I just finished writing The Fat Free Guide to Google Analytics. You should buy it. Now would be good. It’s chock-full of analytical goodness, including info on: Calculating the value of one visitor to your web site; Setting up goals in Google Analytics; Interpreting analytics data. I worked hard to make this a super-practical, easy-to-apply… Read More

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30 Jun, 2010

SEO Analytics 101

By Ian Lurie

I’m scrambling to complete the SEO training portion of the Fat Free Guide for release tomorrow. In the mean time, here’s a video that’s going to be attached to the ‘Analytics 101’ lesson: An overview of four basic SEO metrics, what they mean, and how to track them in Google Analytics. Related stuff Sign up… Read More

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7 May, 2010

Google Analytics Tutorial: Basic Stats (version 2)

By Ian Lurie

This is an updated version of a Google Analytics Tutorial I did waaaay back in 2007 or so. You know, back in the days when the American Dollar could still buy a loaf of bread in Canada. I cover unique visitors, pageviews and engagement stats, as well as referring traffic data. This new version uses… Read More


28 Apr, 2010

Measuring social media response with

By Ian Lurie

Social media leads to dispersed messaging. In as little as an hour, you can end up sending out a few Tweets, hitting Facebook with updates, writing a blog post and submitting to Behance. Plus, as folks pass those links around, they may use their own URL shorteners, removing any tracking codes you’ve added. The bastards.… Read More

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25 Mar, 2010

How to: Read a web site log file

By Ian Lurie

Sooner or later, if you’re a real internet marketing nerd, you’re going to have to learn to read a web server log file. Sorry, but it’s true. There’s data in there that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Earlier this week, I wrote about using grep to survey web server log files for SEO-related data.… Read More


24 Mar, 2010

Google Analytics on the fritz

By Ian Lurie

It’s not just you. Google Analytics is timing out, running slowly and generally being a nightmare this morning. There are widespread reports from Europe to the US that Google Analytics’ reporting interface is loading slowly. I haven’t even been able to load a report. Just making sure you know you’re not going crazy. It doesn’t… Read More

stoneage Analytics

10 Mar, 2010

How to: Get SEO analytics beyond the stone age

By Ian Lurie

The biggest mistake I see SEO’s make: They focus on keywords first and foremost, ignoring opportunities that exist right in their own analytics data. This is my presentation from SMX West 2010, where I talk about analytics strategies for SEO. It’ll help you get out of the keyword abyss. I added text so that it… Read More

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3 Mar, 2010

Attribution: Part 2 – Connecting the dots

By Ian Lurie

This post is somewhat advanced – I geek out quite a bit. If you don’t know what a server log file is, read about that, first, then come back. Yesterday I explained why, in internet marketing, attribution is a mind-sucking pain in the ass. Not very satisfying, I know, because all I said was “This… Read More

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2 Mar, 2010

Attribution: Part 1 – why it sucks to be President

By Ian Lurie

The worst job in the world? President. I’d rather be a telemarketer (been there, done that). It’s not the assassination threats, or the constant hounding by the press, or the fact that you can blow up the earth about 40 times over. It’s about attribution. You get ‘credit’ for things that go wrong, and no… Read More

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26 Feb, 2010

Google Analytics Tutorial Redux: Installation (with commentary)

By Ian Lurie

This video is now out of date. See the latest GA install tutorial here. Soooooo, I started this tutorial with every intention of being serious. But it’s been a long week, I was up at 4:30 AM and I had Evan in the tutorial. Things went downhill fast. Regardless, it still shows you how to… Read More

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17 Jan, 2010

The Google Analytics Cheatsheet

By Ian Lurie

I’m an idiot. Last week, someone commented on a post I wrote for SEOMOZ’s YouMOZ service that they’d like a Google Analytics Cheatsheet. I wrote back “OK, I’ll do it.” Guess what? Google Analytics has a ton of features. And even more tricks and hacks that folks have developed over the years. So this 2-page… Read More

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13 Jan, 2010

Find the pages search engines can’t with Google Analytics

By Ian Lurie

I just published a new post up on SEOMOZ’s YouMOZ. It’s worth a read if you’re looking for a way to find pages on your site that have not received any clicks from organic search. Find Invisible Pages Using Google Analytics