Google Renames Urchin Google Analytics, Makes It Free

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.

Google
acquired
Urchin in March of this year and
lowered pricing
for it in May.

Want to discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forums thread, Urchin Now Google Analytics, Now Free.