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Google buying Urchin
no price disclosed

 3:39 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - March 28, 2005 - Google Inc. today announced it has agreed to acquire Urchin Software Corporation, a San Diego, California based web analytics company.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


They'll get a lot of user/website data. Pretty clever move.

[edited by: ThomasB at 3:48 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2005]



 3:43 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Given that Google prefers to indirectly charge for products via advertising, my guess is that it will be freely available to anyone very soon.

1. Free until they work out what to do with it.
2. Free, but with embedded advertising.
3. Free for Blogger users
4. Free, and they will combine it with an upcoming free hosting service, a GeoCities with steroids, a less structured version of Blogger.


 3:48 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do you have a link for that? I can't find it anywhere.

[edited: thanks :)]


 7:45 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Urchin with it's ads never made sense to me in the first place.

Who in the heck expects webmasters to click on banners in their stats page?

Just what AdWords advertisers want, give me a break.


 8:11 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've never heard of ads in Urchin reports before. Perhaps your service provider is adding some in for you - the option is there for customised headers...


 8:24 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like Urchin, but it could use a few tweaks. Here's to a new free and better version!


 8:55 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

The new Urchin 6.X is definitally the best system for the money. WebsideStory is nice, but has minimum contract requirements.

creative craig

 9:56 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Urchin with it's ads never made sense to me in the first place. Who in the heck expects webmasters to click on banners in their stats page?

No ads on what we use as well, must be the hosting company!


 10:25 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wonder what this move was for and what they plan to do with it... I see NBC, NASA, Qualcomm, NHL, BT and other big names using Urchin. Maybe they want to see what is going on behind the scenes to compete with yahoo-overture/msn customers?


 10:47 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I see NBC, NASA, Qualcomm, NHL, BT and other big names using Urchin. Maybe they want to see what is going on behind the scenes to compete with yahoo-overture/msn customers?

Urchin is installed on my server and only I have access to it. I wonder how will guys at Urchin know about my website stats. AFAIK.

Urchin is a very robust software, easy to use and very cheap - Rackspace provides it for $50 a month. Compared to other softwares, which cost a bomb and cannot work as good as Urchin on Linux.

IMHO, this buyout is to purely to diversify in web services, related to search and information retrieval - where Google can use search technology know-how. Acquisition such as Keyhole, Urchin are purely to have more stand alone products to sell.


 12:59 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great now I have to find a new software


 1:57 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

never 2 munch info strategy continues... ;(


 2:21 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it just my imagination, or has Google gone on a buying spree since they got Blogger?

Looks like we all might have to learn a new protocol before long...



 2:27 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like Google is trying to catch up with some of the tools provided by Overture (i.e. the Marketing Console [content.overture.com]).

A lot of advertisers use the tools provided by Google and/or Overture, and G has fallen behind in the race. Considering Blowsearch offers IP blocking, MSN to offer behavioral targeting, others offering dayparting, etc.

With the acquisition of Ask by IAB (an Overture partner), Google has the possibility of losing one of it's distribution partners. Having additional tools will help bring them more advertisers, and will give them some leveraging power when they goto make new distribution deals.

This is a step Google needs to take (if it's free or subscription based is yet to be seen) to continue being one of the larger players in a very competitive arena.

[edited by: eWhisper at 2:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2005]


 2:35 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)


I'm sure shareholders would be happy to see an increase to TWO methods of generating revenue.


 4:30 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

This scares me. not that I'm a bit on the fancy side or anything, but just how much freaking raw statistical data will they have access to?

have googlebot and will travel. sure, they get around by spidering, and they have toolbar data from at least half the webmasters in the business, but just how much raw webstat usage data have they had their hands on before?

How much of the market share does Urchin have? They are going to see a whole 'nother ballgame here! The picture they get by the numbers is going to be astounding.

What by God can the sheer history and live data collections of such stats mean to a search engine bent on deliverying the best results for its users?

It may take a year or more for google to implement ideas gained from inspecting this plethora of data, but how would it effect the SERPs? This could be rolled out in some future update and we'll all be scrathing our heads for years to come...not to mention the effect it could have on adwords/sense.


 4:53 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is growing up to be a BIG BROTHER.

Big Brother can be a govt, a person, an employer, or a faceless computer database containing all the private bits & pieces of individuals’ lives, with impersonal & uncontrollable power to dictate their fates, directly or indirectly.



 5:03 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

eWhisper has nailed it.

Urchin has some pretty decent technology for tracking campaigns -- which can be used pretty effectively as value added services for adwords customers who do not want to go out and buy third party click trackers.

With that technology, google can even offer to track your overture clicks for you. ;)


 5:05 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wel, I'm evaluating Urchin right now, and was going to buy it, but $900, if I Can have it free in a month....well, I doubt they will offer it for free. I would imagine they'll sell it, keying in on adwords users, and have the Urchin software preconfigured to track adword clicks and conversion rates.



 5:10 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> I doubt they will offer it for free

If you're a adwords customer spending more than $1000/month, why not offer a hosted account or a license to install the software to track your adwords related domains, for free?

Very proactive move if they're going to use this to enhance the value for adwords customers.


 5:36 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am told, licenses will remain the same for at least 6 months.

I am told, there will be no "Big Brother" going on.

I am told, new features might begin rolling out in 6 months +.

I am told, Google did not only buy them for the software.

I am told, the deal is not sealed.

And, Urchin & Google are reading. So express your concerns.


 5:36 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good move by Google. They need to take their ridiculously overvalued stock and put it into companies with normal PE ratios.


 5:41 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hope google changes the name of urchin. :D
Anyone know what urchin is? Think Sushi then find out what kinda sushi it is ;)


 6:10 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Urchin is a wonderful stats program - once you configure it properly.

I like Google, but REALLY hope Google doesn't take an excellent stats program and "mess it up" by doing something silly or stupid in one way or another.

Still, I guess being part of Google now more or less insures the survival of Urchin for many years to come, so I guess there are some positives about the deal.


 7:15 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Our company just finished purchasing and implementing the URCHIN 5.7 Software version in early March and are very very pleased.(@$6000 for full ecommerce and campaign modules)

As soon as I heard the news I got on the phone with my URCHIN rep and he assured me that because of such a huge install base that URCHIN/Google are not likely to do anything to drastic.

He also mentioned that the software version 6 should be available at the end of May or early July with even more bells and whistles. Dollar for dollar its a very good value in a metrics solution and Google was smart in adding it to their arsenal of web services.


 8:19 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great now I have to find a new software.

Yes, just what we want = Google providing log application. Not!

Could be a nice free tool for those bloggers out there.

michael heraghty

 1:57 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

In my experience, Urchin is the best web analytics tool out there. There have been various "which stats tool do you use" threads here and, while Urchin tends not to get mentioned as much as others, its users rarely have anything but praise for it.

For me, it is not just Urchin's functionality, but its intuitive UI that puts it ahead of the pack.

I can only guess that the reason it is not more popular among posters here is because its price is prohibitive for the individual web professional, who (I think?) make up the bulk of contributors on ww. (Hence free tools such as AWstats are more popular here.)

I am hugely impressed that Google has picked a clear winner, although one not yet recognised as such.


 5:01 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google picked a clear winner here.

While I may be biased (my firm uses Urchin 6 for our properties and we provide Urchin 5 for 1000's of our clients) the product has proven robust, Urchin has built a solid team and a solid brand. I believe the synergies between Google and Urchin are vast- more so than we can begin to speculate or imagine.

From my point of view, this is an excellent strategic investment for Google. I see uses in their Appliance division, the Awords division, the Adsense division and future commerce based solutions Google is certain to offer in the near future and more.

Google will exceed projected revenue for the next 5 years so long as they prioritize building the back office toolsets for Publishers (AdSense) and Merchants (Adwords) to build profitable businesses. This mission starts with empowering both groups to accurately calculate their growth and margins (via analytics)... while also scaling / improvong the Adsense / Adwords suite to drive industry leading ROI's. For the next year or two the low hanging fruit (advertisers that do not have a grasp of their ad spend versus conversions / sales (ROI) will drive PPC prices... eventually, market forces will eliminate merchants unable to grasp analytics, PPC pricing will be based on calculated ROI. Enter Urchin.

Google has just begun flexing her Internet muscle and I am excited to build my business around their infrastructure.

I congratulate the Urchin group. They are living the Internet dream... they built a solid company that has been absorbed by the industry's best. Now they have the infrastructure and channels to take their vision to the next level. Must be an amazing feeling. Back to work.


 12:59 am on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I am told, there will be no "Big Brother" going on. "

sorry to pick on this, but what else did you expect them to say?

Personally, I wouldn't use it if Google can technically have access to the logs. Too many unknowns


 11:55 am on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

The Big Brother threat only extends so far. Google is no different than any other media company: it wants to sell targeted-market ads. Given Google's extraordinary success so far, I'd probably subscribe to/purchase anything they did with Urchin. I want my clients to be able to effectively target their consumer base.

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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