Google Debuts Free Web Stats Service

Google on Monday took the wraps off a new service for tracking Web statistics, which will be offered free to site owners and AdWords customers. Google Analytics is designed to help businesses improve their marketing campaigns by seeing how visitors find them and how they interact with a Web site.

The new offering is based on Urchin, which Google purchased in March. Google has integrated the service with AdWords to enable its online advertisers to easily track the results of any campaign, be it graphic banner, text link, newsletter or paid search.

Like has done with most products it has acquired, including Picasa and Google Earth, Google Analytics will be free for all users. Non-AdWords customers can use the service to track up to 5 million pageviews per month.

But what are analytics? On the Google Blog, product marketing manager Brett Crosby explained that, "The tools and services of the web analytics world give businesses precise information on what customers want, so that they can improve their online marketing and website content."

"These services help provide answers to questions like: Which keywords attract the most visitors? Which email campaigns create more customers? And how to design web page content that holds people’s attention?" Crosby added.

Urchin is currently deployed by a number of Fortune 500 companies, Google says, and it hopes by bringing the technology to the masses at no cost, it can help to "improve the overall Web." Google Analytics has been designed to support sites ranging from a few pageviews a week to millions.

Larger businesses, however, can also obtain more advanced customization of the new service through Google representatives and Google service partners. 16 languages are currently supported, along with three built-in summary reports: executive, marketer and webmaster.

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