If you’re like us, one of the things you may recall from high school physics is the phrase “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” You may also recall that this is Newton’s third law of motion. Newton’s genius was in taking the natural universe and all the behaviors and elements in it and managing their complexity through some simple laws. Today, we’re all struggling with ways to explain an increasingly complex universe of our own creation: the Internet. Interestingly enough, Newton’s law still has something to teach us.

We want to propose the first law of web analytics: “For every action, there is an opportunity for an intelligent reaction.” In physics, we know that if we push on a door, the door must push back ...

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