Breaking News: Free Google Optimize Announced

Breaking News: Free Google Optimize Announced

Dennis van der Heijden
September 28, 2016
Google Optimize

Today Babak Pahlavan, Senior Director of Measurement and Analytics of Google announced Google Optimize during the SMX keynote. This free version of Google’s Optimize 360 will come in October this year and will roll out globally before the end of the year.

Update: March 1, 2018

  • Max. 5 concurrent experiments or personalizations

Update: September 30th – updated comparison with known limits of Google Optimize

  • Max. 3 concurrent experiments or personalizations
  • Max. 16 variations in a multivariate experiment
  • No Google Analytics Audience Targeting
  • Max. 3 metrics per experiment

Pahlavan shared that this free web and mobile-web testing and personalization tool helps businesses improve their customer experiences and business metrics is connected to Google Analytics and all it’s audience segments as well with the new session quality score. The announcement can be seen at minute 27 of the SMX video of Search Engine Land below.

The Good

Wow, it’s all integrated and free! It will be really easy to setup advanced audiences that perform well in Google Analytics. The visual editor is good and A/B testing, Multivariate and split URL testing is all available in Google Optimize. Martijn Scheijbeler, Director of Marketing – The Next Web uses Google Optimize 360 and shares his feedback:

The direct connection with data from Google Analytics makes it very useful. Google Optimize 360 has out of the box support for Google Analytics. As you should already be tracking all your website metrics + goals in there, it will provide you with these reports automatically. It mostly saved for us, even more, time in running a specific test. You just pick the primary + secondary metrics for a specific A/B or MVT test, and you’ll be immediately able to track all other relevant metrics, also at a later date. Which makes it in my opinion very useful for bigger companies already using Google Analytics 360.

The Bad

The free Google Optimize will use the controversial Bayesian methodology to help get the variation performance based on session statistics. Default Google Analytics considers a visit by setting a default 30-minute cookie. You can change the session to maximum four hours. If a visitor arrives after 30 minutes (or after session expires), the visitor is not counted as converted. Since the infrastructure of Google Analytics is based entirely on sessions the A/B testing stats will show significantly lower conversions compared to long term first and third party cookies set by for example Convert Experiences.

Compare Them All

I took the table from the great Blastam article and expanded it for you to compare Google Optimize 360, Optimizely, Google Optimize and Convert Experiences. Since we have recently seen new clients coming from Optimizely after they have cut the free plans and we got the news that they are moving everyone to a year plan it seems only fair to add them to the comparison since our tool is mostly compared to them and soon Google Optimize. I hope it helps you find the best experience tool.

Interested in trying Convert Experiences A/B Testing and Personalization tool for free. Try it our 15-days and decide if it’s helping you as much as the other 4000+ sites. Click Here.

Originally published September 28, 2016 - Updated March 12, 2018
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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