Monday, 14 November 2005

Google_anIf you've used Urchin's web site analytics package in the past, you're familiar with the detailed reporting it can do from a web site marketing and usability standpoint. It's been considered one of the luxury stats packages for some time. Well, Google bought Urchin recently, and today announced that they have now morphed the Urchin software into the Google Analytics service, and that it's available for free. Yes - that's right - free:

"Google Analytics is absolutely free! We're very pleased to be able to offer this web analytics solution for no charge, allowing anyone with a website to track conversion data, analyze the flow of visitors through their site, and identify elements of their site that could be changed to improve visitor retention.

"This free version is limited to 5 million pageviews a month - however, users with an active Google AdWords account are given unlimited pageview tracking. In addition, Google Analytics is completely integrated into the AdWords front-end and with your AdWords campaign, making it easy to track your AdWords ROI."

Well, I won't be risking five million page views a month anytime soon, so I figured I'd sign up and check it out. And for those who are interested in running the software in-house, it's still available for purchase, don't worry.

Understandably, the service is up and down a bit this morning. Things were going well for me til about 5:30am Pacific time today, when everything on the Google Analytics site suddenly went into the ether. After a few minutes of hung browsers and dead pages, a "maintenance" page appeared. Well, that makes sense - it's a brand new service at launch, so I am sure there are several kinks to work out.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday at about noon, I am more than 30 hours into my 12-hour wait period to start seeing stats from my web site, which checks out okay by the service (meaning the code if there and working). Still no data to view. Hmmm...

No worries - By the time the maintenance started, I'd already received my code from Google that has to be entered into every web page. The code consists of a few lines to be added to the <head> section of each web page on your site, which loads a .js (JavaScript) file from their Urchin servers. That's how they do the tracking work. So, you'll get information about page views and routes taken through the site, how people found your site, visitor geographic locations, etc. But you won't get information about files like images that are directly loaded from your server without accessing web pages containing the code (so it's a marketing and web site tracking.usability tool, as opposed to a complete traffic and monitoring tool like one would want to use for security monitoring - worth noting).

On top of the free stats service, anyone who uses Google's AdWords services on their sites gets the added benefit of AdWords integration into the Analytics services:

"If you have an AdWords account, you can use Google Analytics directly from the AdWords interface. Google Analytics is the only product that can automatically provide AdWords ROI metrics, without you having to import cost data or add tracking information to keywords. Of course, Google Analytics tracks all of your non-AdWords initiatives as well."

Google's hard at work for sure, spending that cash in some smart ways. Makes me wonder how many new things we should expect to see from the company next year - I bet it's a lot.

Add/Read: Comments [4]
Blogging | Tech
Monday, 14 November 2005 04:59:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Referred by: [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral] [Referral]

Monday, 14 November 2005 21:15:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"Understandably, the service is up and down a bit this morning. Things were going well for me til about 5:30am Pacific time today, when everything on the Google Analytics site suddenly went into the ether."

Site was down and up for me, too. I found it a bit strange for Google but still understandable. I'm still waiting for my stats to get updated, looks like I'll have to wait the full 12 hours.

Saturday, 19 November 2005 14:53:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I've been signed up for a week and it is still telling me my reports will be ready in 12 hours. But if you click on the link for the reports, they are there. I don't know why it still says they aren't ready.
Saturday, 19 November 2005 17:59:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My stats started showing up after a couple of days, and it's pretty nifty but sluggish. Hey, everyone's become used to a Google "beta" being a near-release-quality experience. In this case, it's acting like a beta. It's free. Can't complain. :)

Friday, 09 December 2005 15:53:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
This is some great information! Is Google Analytic still having problems?
Comments are closed.