Google releases Urchin Beta – 3 months free!

Posted by bkloss | Google Analytics | Saturday 2 February 2008 4:31 am

Today the Google Analytics blog announced the release of it’s Urchin software beta to the public. Urchin offers a three month trial free of charge to evaluate this installable analytics product hosted on your own server. Google cautions users against using the trial with production on sites. They do state that once Urchin is brought out of beta, it can be purchased for 2995$ from a Google Authorized consultant.

Take a gander at the new flash supported interface:

Urchin differs from Google Analytics in that it is hosted on your own server and keeps track of log files. Google analytics does not keep track of your log files because it would take up too much server space. Even further, the savvy GA user will notice that GA only keeps track of aggregates of historical data so the chance for in-depth analysis is lost over time. Not so with Urchin, you can keep all your historical data on your own servers.
The mining of log files along with the rest of Urchin’s functionality offers incredibly mailable reporting.

Here’s a call out of the newest features taken directly from Urchin’s feature page:

  • In-house Flexibility: Configure Urchin according to your specific requirements and run it as frequently as you wish on your own Linux, Windows, or FreeBSD servers.
  • Pagetags or IP+User Agent: Choose which methodology works best for you. You can even have the pagetags make a call to your Google Analytics account and run both products together allowing you to audit the pre and post processed data.
  • Advanced Visitor Segmentation: Cross segment visitor behavior by language, geographic location, and other factors.
  • Geo-targeting: Find out where your visitors come from and which markets have the greatest profit potential.
  • Funnel Optimization: Eliminate conversion bottlenecks and reduce the numbers of prospects who drift away unconverted.
  • Complete Conversion Metrics: See ROI, revenue per click, average visitor value and more.
  • Keyword Analysis: Compare conversion metrics across search engines and keywords.
  • A/B Testing: Test banner ads, emails, and keywords and fine-tune your creative content for better results.
  • Ecommerce Analytics: Trace transactions to campaigns and keywords, get loyalty and latency metrics, and see product merchandising reports.
  • Search engine robots, server errors and file type reports: Get the stuff that only log data can report on.

Urchin offers real time reporting as opposed to the 6-18 hour lag experienced with Google Analytics. I find that this is crucial for reactive marketing campaigns where messaging should change according to real-time feedback.

The new urchin will require some heavy server configuration that may dissuade many current GA users. If you do have the installation know-how, take the three month free ride and enjoy what should be one of the finest analytics products to date.

You may also enjoy my post about Google Benchmarking

1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Yankele — February 3, 2008 @ 11:51 am

    It seem that google finaly realized that they can’t compete with the “real web analytics tools” such as Clicktracks,HBX,Omniture etc.

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