Google to Acquire Analytics Firm, Urchin

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Source Title:
Google Agrees to Acquire Urchin
Story Text:

Google to acquire Urchin. Perhaps they are trying to make that free conversion tracking more appealing? Or will they make it a premium offering? Either way, this will rock the boat and fuel some conspiracy theories among web dev's already using the tool...

From the press release

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Urchin is a web site analytics solution used by web site owners and marketers to better understand their users' experiences, optimize content and track marketing performance. Urchin tools are available as a hosted service, a software product and through large web hosting providers. These products are used by thousands of popular sites on the Internet.

Google plans to make these tools available to web site owners and marketers to better enable them to increase their advertising return on investment and make their web sites more effective.

"We want to provide web site owners and marketers with the information they need to optimize their users' experience and generate a higher return-on-investment from their advertising spending," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president of product management, Google. "This technology will be a valuable addition to Google's suite of advertising and publishing products."

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Google anticipates that the acquisition will close before the end of April.

Comments

 

Hmmm we've been using Urchin for a few years now and quite impressed by it.. Interesting to see what Google does with it. Anyone know whats going to happen to existing clients of urchin ? Strangely the press release don't shed any light on this

This is cool

Adwords and Urchin combo pretty strong. I expect they did it to get more data for their own database though - lots of insights available by datamining all that traffic info. Expect there will be a few webmasters worried about their dirty washing being exposed at plex?

to be fair

The info they can gather will only be from the people using the free versions of Urchin. The paid solution (which is very good btw) is entirely stand-alone, with no access for anyone but the people who are granted access by the admin. I'm wondering more about the upgrades + support etc for existing customers, and I think it's rather remiss of them not to mention anything about this.

Cautious

Yes we have been using the paid solution for years now and a bit cautious why they havn't mentioned existing clients.

Reservations

I'd be a little concerned about them incorporating a phone home component. If they did they would have a complete 'cradle' to 'grave' set of data.

 

>Expect there will be a few webmasters worried about their dirty washing being exposed at plex?

Will need to cancel all our accounts ASAP

I just do not trust these guys to do the right thing with MY data.

 

What they *can* do with that data is scary. You have a well-ranking site. But the visitors don't stay long on your page. Google sees that and drops your rankings. Just one of many possible scenarios that *could* happen. What they do with the data might be innocuous, but the possibilities are scary. Now and then, conspiracy theories come true, and laundry doesn't have to be dirty to be exposed.

 

They already have your data, Mike.

There wasn't much out there as far as content to really tell, but I do think it says that Google is taking MSN search very seriously. The one thing Google lacked was a decent metrics tool..although I wonder if this be a tool for google users to use or will it be a tool only for google to use?

I've used Urchin a little bit, but was not really impressed with it. It didn't seem much better than webtrends: a lot of data but not easy to put that data into a format that is easy to understand. I have to wonder if Urchin will have improvements put into it by the google engineering team.

 

well any thoughts of moving to Urchin on Demand just went out the door for me ;) Urchin is a good product in a market that is probably expanding faster than the Web overall. I've never used Google's Conversion Tracking for AdWords but that seems like the most natural place for Google to integrate this into their existing products.

Why would G penalize a site for not keeping users on the page long enough? I'm honestly a little stumped about what Google would use Urchin data for that they can't already get. I guess they could look at a set of doorway pages that all point at the same URL and sort of skip the middleman. Or look at networks of sites that all send a lot of traffic to one site (affiliates), and do something with it.
But, I doubt they bought Urchin to spy on SEO's.

What can Urchin's aggregated data tell Google that they can't get from the Toolbar?

The one thing Google lacked

grnidone, i'm sorry but i can't really follow you on that one

I just don't get it - i've been thinking about this since i saw it this morning... Urchin just don't seem to fit in anywhere - the only thing connecting it to the rest of the Google services is the ambiguous word "information"...

Only thing i can think of is something with blogger and the registrar move they made some time ago - do you think they'll enter the hosting biz?

Google need metrics

This is all about helping webmasters find ROI.

Can't see them using it for pagerank

dazzlindonna, if Google mines Urchin data for ways to penalize sites' pagerank, they'll only drive away their Urchin customers. Unless I'm missing something, won't Urchin only give them data for sites using Urchin's services?

I honestly don't see the value of Urchin's data driving Google to buy them, I think they're just looking to add to the services they offer to site owners and advertisers.

Google Cuts Price Of Web Analytics Service

Google Inc. on Tuesday said it has dropped the price of its marketing intelligence and web analytics service by more than half.

The price of Urchin On Demand has been cut to $199 per month from $495 a month, the Mountain View, Calif., search engine said. Google launched the service following the acquisition in March of Urchin Software Corp.

 

Frankly, they couldn't pay me to use that now they own it.

Far to healthily paranoid to trust a web analytics app from GOOG

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