Google Analytics has been around since November 2005 offering free analysis of traffic for website owners.  As well as basic page visits it will also track search terms, referrers and pay-per-click advertising.

Although a very complete service, one constant criticism is the reporting delays.  Typically GA reports on site traffic several hours, and in some cases, 24 hours behind. In the fast moving world of the internet, and especially in social networking where stories break in an instant, this delay was considered a hindrance.

Google have announced a change to GA allowing site owners to see "what is happening right now", in real time.

Users now get a snapshot in their Dashboard of site visits every few seconds, with an activity bar move along the screen from right to left, aggregating the user count.  In addition the pages being visited, along with general location information is updated.

This is a huge step forward for website owners -- as an example, when I Tweet a new blog entry I can watch in real time as the page is read, or not.

'Real-time' is being rolled out to all in the next few weeks, however you can request early access via this link  I was given access within an hour.

site by DAJ