Google has renamed its Urchin web analytics unit to be -- yep -- Google Analytics (as Gary predicted), in a move that follows with similar rebranding such as Keyhole being renamed Google Earth. And just like with Keyhole and Google's Picasa photo software, Google is turning Google Analytics into a free product.
The On Demand product is free for anyone. If you don't have an AdWords account, you're limited to five million page views per month (which is a lot). Need more? Make a $5 one time deposit, open an AdWords account, and you're set with unlimited page views.
The software based product remains fee-based. Google said that might change, but there were no immediate plans at the moment.
Google also said a number of new dashboards for different types of customers -- webmasters, advertisers and so on -- are being introduced to spotlight key metrics.
Worried Google will use your data or the data overall to better understand how much you are willing to pay for ads, based on conversions. Google said that's definitely not done, nor are there any plans to do that. Nor are there any plans to tap into the data as a means of improving regular search results or to identify "bad" sites, Google said.
Want to discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forums thread, Urchin Now Google Analytics, Now Free.
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