Remember that company Google acquired a few months ago, Urchin, was it? Well Google has rolled out new plans for it. They less than an hour ago released Google Analytics — fully based on Urchin’s technology but with a new name — and made it free for everyone. No, I’m not kidding. As long as you have a Google Account and a site and most importantly control over it — congrats, you’re eligible for an Urchin, err Google Analytics account.
I think this means a great deal for bloggers, podcasters, "webmasters" (so Web 1.0?), and any and every type of content publishers alike. They’re basically getting good quality, what-companies-would-pay-for type technology free and at their finger tips. How cool is that?
But if you’re a company-mind reader like me, you would know that Google has a reason for this – exactly what they did to Picasa, which is. Ok, let’s see what we’re getting. We’re getting expensive technology for free. So Google is playing OpenOffice here but with the real Office (imagine Google buying Microsoft and making Office free). But more importantly, Google is getting what they want — a good, cool, positive, excellent brand image and increasing brand value (happy investors?). Just imagine that you’re an avid user of Picasa and Google Analytics — wouldn’t you think Google is a cool company for they’ve done? I would think so.
But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We know what Google is getting, but let’s not forget what we’re getting. Free, solid, good technology which is universally available — the real threat isn’t to us or them, but it’s to these people, who should really be kicking themselves now and hoping the message of Google Analytics, free and solid web analytics software, doesn’t get spread too much.