Brandt Dainow over at Imediaconnection wrote an interesting post critizing the WAA standards and the incaccuracy of Google Analytics. It's interesting how he arguments about Visits and bounces, Conversion rates, exit rates and other key metrics, which the WAA defined with their standards committee.
I don't want to comment on whether his statements are 100% correct or not, but I fully agree with Brandt that the Web Analytics industy and especially the WAA needs to step up.
I've written about this some time ago (cannot find post now), but as long as the industry or WAA standards are not accredited or at least backed up by some major university ...it always will be hard to gain credibility in the market and posts like Brandt's will come up again and again.
However, I don't want to go further in details and bashing the WAA or G Analytics is something I defintely don't want to do
(I left my complaining mood when I left Europe a few years ago). I'd rather waste my time to look at what should be done to fix this. I mainly see four steps, that the WAA should take:
1. Get some independant(!) scientific research involved to back up the standards.
2. Open up the WAA and finally let the members really participate in the organization. E.g. the Yahoo WW group certainly works for veterans, but not for the new Web 2.0 generation.
3. Work with all vendors in order to come to an acceptable solution for all tools. Include in the discussion all kinds of vendors (e.g also massive distributed tools like Sitemeter... or innovative niche tools like Alenty).
4. Accredit vendors, which accept and follow the WAA standard rules in their analytics software.