Based on its acquisition of Urchin, Google launched a new service offering called simply Google Analytics which will address the basic web analytics needs for the majority of small business and in particular those who depend on Google AdWords for generating qualified traffic. The value of web analytics is in bringing measurement to the field of web marketing — what is not measured is not managed. The value of a “Sophisticated, yet easy to use and free” web analytics solution is in bringing the power of web analytics to the majority of web sites. The fact that Google’s own infrastructure had gliches along the launch is only a proof of the success of Google’s Web 2.0 approach of offering open, whenever possible as free, applications distributed as a web service.
These are exciting times for website publishers, small business owners, and web marketers. These are also relatively bad news for the existing vendors in the crowded web analytics market place. I would not be surprised if Google Analytics soon overcomes as the most downloaded web analytics solution overcoming the claims of WebTrends (for paid software and services) and Analog (for free but very rudimentary web analytics) as the most popular web analysis platforms. Interestingly, the design of http://www.google.com/analytics/ sports a bright orange banner surprisingly similar to the one of WebTrends.
I will be offering my own detailed report comparing Google Analytics to other web analytics solutions in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!