Google Buys Urchin Web Analytics
Urchin is really one of my best friends, I use it daily, laugh with it, cry with it, but more importantly, I depend on it. Ever since Urchin first came out with its first product, I have had a relationship with them (I believe in 97 or 98). They have always built the most user friendly Web analytics packages out there. My clients don’t have to be trained to use it and it gives them the power to say move large advertising budgets from one keyword to the next. As my father would say, it allows you to make “informed decisions.” After all that is what the Web is all about.
I have been talking about Urchin at this site for a really long time and have written an extremely comprehensive review of Urchin 5.5 in early 2004. Since then they have made numerous advancements and improvements to an already outstanding package. I even convinced some of my more tech savvy (also known as “geeky”) colleagues to switch to Urchin.
Last night I was going though Bloglines and saw that John Battelle posted and entry named Google Acquires Urchin. I couldn’t believe it, my first instinct was to email one of the founders and ask him if its true. He said it is and said he would love to tell me more but he was not allowed. But he is so delighted and so excited for the future. Battellemedia heard the price on the purchase was in the ballpark of $30 million. After emailing back and forth a few times with my Urchin contact, I quickly went to post a thread at Search Engine Watch Forums. I see that WebmasterWorld has a thread as well. SEO Chat has a thread also.
The folks at SEW forums seem to be as happy for Urchin as I am. Forum Editor, Elisabeth says “way to go Urchin crew!” Nacho, SEW Moderator, says ” I’m so happy for the folks at Urchin.” But there are some that are skeptical. If Google owns Urchin and Urchin is a vital tool in tracking your success on both the organic and paid search fronts, then Google has access to data – a conflict of interest. It will be interesting how this turns out. But I personally was never a fan of an ASP web analytics solution, that is why I am waiting for Urchin 6 to come out with a server install solution.
To summarize: I am so happy for you guys at Urchin! I wish you all the best and I hope this acquisition lets you build out even better tools.
Barry Schwartz is the Editor of Search Engine Roundtable and President of RustyBrick, Inc., a Web services firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales.