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Google is now giving away Urchin. They'll track your stats for free

all your figures are belong to us...

     
9:15 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Analytics [webmasterworld.com]: Put the javascript code on your pages and Google will give you a stats analysis that people are now paying hundreds/thousands for. And they'll charge you zilch.

Who wants to be the first turkey? :)

It's good that it's free but is this giving Google a bit too much of information? Is the giveaway purely out of the goodness of their heart... or do they have something very valuable to gain in return?

Does having Adsense on the site (with smartpricing) impact on your decision?

10:23 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am going to test this. Just added the code to my website
11:02 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Why an extra javascript?

The AdSense code transmit all the necessary tracking information already.

11:12 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's good that it's free but is this giving Google a bit too much of information?

Heck, surely they already hold an enormous volume of information which we already give them for free?

Is the giveaway purely out of the goodness of their heart...

It make a lot of commercial sense when you have their kind of financial clout. Offer one's publishing clients an extremely valuable set of data for free and also possibly offer them free advice on how best to use it.

or do they have something very valuable to gain in return?

Of course they do and, me being a Google fan this morning after my best-ever Sunday, assumes what Google learns from it they will pass to us.

Think of this. Many of us had practised a lot with ad placements and knew that the heat map was correct when it was introduced, it merely confirmed our experiments.

What may Google learn through tracking which could help us? After all, whatever benefits them "usually" comes through to benefit us...

I'll have a read through the offer and see what gains I may possibly make. I already have a lot of tracking however have never used Urchin since I could not see the justification for it.

Maybe I'll learn something, maybe not. If it's not any good I can always remove it, just like the Adsense code...

11:28 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Problems:

1. I have Adsense and Adwords Account (same user & pass), but my user is not @gmail.com, but on domanin server.
2. I have 1 mil views/day and I have a unused Adwords ac#*$!, but with same login informations I cannot login into the analyzer system.

3. How will they know that I have an Adword Account?

11:29 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's good that it's free but is this giving Google a bit too much of information?

Heck, surely they already hold an enormous volume of information which we already give them for free?

I was going to say, for me this would be a case of "thanks, but no thanks". It's not that I don't trust Google, but I do prefer not to hand over more data than is strictly necessary.

On the other hand, would using this only on the same pages where I have AdSense give Google any more information than they collect anyway? If not, then it's a very nice freebie.

11:57 am on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmm :)

Dont do an adwords account just for fun...

From the Agreement :

2. FEES AND SERVICES . Subject to Section 15 herein, the Service is provided without charge to You for up to 5 million pageviews per month per account, and if You have an active Adwords campaign in good standing, the Service is provided without charge to You without a pageview limitation

12:24 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow - that's an INCREDIBLE offer!

I fancied implementing Urchin - but it was going to cost me at least $1000 / month - so I didn't.

I will now though!

Sure - Google's doing this for commercial reasons - and they're going to get some useful data - but between AdWords and AdSense they've got most of it anyway.

Whichever way you look at it - it's a GREAT deal!

Thanks Google! (and not for the first time either!).

12:43 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Does Urchin provide anything useful for non-ecommerce websites? (The google pages on what it provides aren't terribly helpful.)
1:05 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If using Urchin would get my pages spidered more often, then I would use it. :)
1:23 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Serbia & Montenegro is not on the list :-(
1:24 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is just too good an offer to pass up.

I just added the code to two of my websites as a test.
I have been stuck with lousy reporting from the hosting supplied Webtrends which is next to useless.

I don't have the concerns that some of you do.

So what if they know where my traffic comes from?

According to their privacy policy there is nothing that I feel I have to worry about.

Safe.
Google takes the trust people place in us very seriously, and is pledged to safeguard the privacy of your corporate data. We understand that web analytics data is sensitive information, so we accord it the ironclad protection it deserves. Read our industry leading privacy policy.
1:26 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has Google bought the company that owns Urchin because the Urchin site has redirects to Google all over it...
1:29 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tropical Island, do you have a link to that privacy policy? Or is the stats privacy policy, ironically, accessible only after you've provided them a whole load of personal data?

Angelis, yes, a long time ago

1:51 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Privacy policy:

[google.com...]

Reachable from Analytics home page under benefits:

[google.com...]

2:30 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes - Google bought Urchin a while ago.
2:31 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Is it just me that wonders why there are no <no script> tags in the code they provide or shouldnt we care about visitors without JS enabled?
3:06 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been using Urchin since April of 2005 and it gives amazing stats. In fact, there is too much information if you ask me. One of the best features is that it tracks click paths indepth so you can get a good idea of how visitors negotiate your site. This is a must have if your site is large. I would definitely recommend site owners to give it a try, even if Google has access to the info.
3:08 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know how I sign up?!?

I'm in the UK and it's not in my AdSense account....

3:13 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Is it just me that wonders why there are no <no script> tags in the code they provide or shouldnt we care about visitors without JS enabled?

Good point, they should have something like: "If you don't have javascript enabled, and you have got images turned off, please click this link each time you view this page in order to keep our stats up to date"

3:22 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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On signing up, I'm getting a "currently undergoing maintenance" message.

Perhaps this offer's proving very popular today!

3:31 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes, they seem to be having some "issues"

Sign-up is here:

[google.com...]

3:37 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hmm, I applied i still wished they wouldn't always only mention adwords and ignore the adsense publishers :\.
3:56 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Neat service... but part of the google privacy policy...

We may also use personal information for auditing, research and analysis to operate and improve Google technologies and services.

so presumably, if they wanted to use your conversion stats to improve their search results they would be perfectly entitled to do so?

3:57 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i am not suggesting that you shouldn't give this a try, but for those that are blindly jumping in... here is some food for thought.

when a web user clicks on one of the results in the SERPs and visits a page, google has 'lost' them, that is, they can no longer track their behavior. if the user has the toolbar, then they have the data. if the pages have adsense code, then they could in theory google could track the user, but i am skeptical that the data from adsense is being sent to the search division at google, but i could be wrong.

in any case, with the urchin javascript on your pages, google certainly will be tracking user behavior - thats precisely why they are giving this away for free.

what happens if google discovers that the average visitor to your pages only stay for 25 seconds, and then they use this data to integrate into their search algorithm. so, instead of being first for a particular search term you drop down to second, because your competitors pages are more sticky.

just speculating here, but for those that think this is completely harmless, you may want to research it a bit more.

4:07 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess none of the scraper sites will be jumping to implement Urchin into their sites ;)

If the visitor behavior data gives Google a better sense into the "quality" and "relevancy" of a particular site, I'm all for it. I've already implemented it.

4:13 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I agree. If better sites get a boost from this data it can only be a good thing.

And if poor sites don't use it, to avoid a potential penalty, that's even better, it means that those who are confident of their sites' quality have access to great free analytics, giving them a further edge.

I would not like to be in the offices of any of the other web analytics companies this morning though. Not happy bunnies I imagine.

4:13 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Tropical Island, thanks for your links. I was able to find the general privacy page but not one for Urchin and couldn't tell which privacy policy you got the "Google takes the trust people place in us very seriously..." quote from. Now I see that it's not part of their privacy policy at all and that while they have 10 privacy policies for GMail, Toolbar, etc. they don't have one for the stats tracking. As yet.
11:58 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone think Yahoo and MSN would send traffic your way giving Google full access to their bot and search results patterns?
I will be testing it on a small site and will monitor Y & MSN's changes.
12:12 am on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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what happens if google discovers that the average visitor to your pages only stay for 25 seconds, and then they use this data to integrate into their search algorithm. so, instead of being first for a particular search term you drop down to second, because your competitors pages are more sticky.

I would say good for google, because it means they are doing things to make a better product. Just because I might drop down because of it doesn't scare me. I know the better information they have in the long-run the better my business will be.

I predict this availability will help me better manage my sites and my visitors, and also allow Google to assist me in making more money.

I see a lot of upside here, for myself. More accurate data means more accurate serps.. I want things to be as accurate as possible so those who are offering the most relevant information are the ones with the most traffic.

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