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Urchin Web Statistics

Website: Defunct, now redirects to www.google.com/analytics

Urchin Stats was a very powerful web analysis package which I used on two servers for about two years. On the downside it was quite expensive and I had some reliability problems with it, but on the upside it offered extremely detailed, flexible and well-designed statistics. I won't bother going into any more detail because this product is now obsolete, having been assimilated by Google in 2005. This page is merely my attempt to explain what happened to Urchin for the hordes of people who were left confused by it's disappearance.

Google acquired Urchin in March 2005 and renamed it Urchin from Google. In November 2005 Google changed the name to Google Analytics and made it free. See Google Analytics for more information.

The acquisition and transformation of Urchin was the subject of much debate, most of it unflattering to Google. Google basically redirected the original Urchin website to google.com/analytics but did little to explain what had happened. Many Urchin users found out the hard way when they tried to find routine support, only to discover that their software no longer existed!

Google effectively dumped Urchin's product suite and incorporated the core technology into Google Analytics which is a completely different approach to web statistics, unlikely to appeal to original Urchin users. Understandably Urchin customers were feeling left out in the cold.

Google assumed responsibility for supporting Urchin but many users complained that this support was unsatisfactory. At best it was confusing — the Urchin support page (www.google.com/support/urchin45) included a modest collection of help files related to Urchin 5, but when you clicked the "Urchin Home" link you were taken to the unrelated Google Analytics page.

All in all this transition was not handled well by Google. Fortunately for them and in typical Google style, the new product was so good that most people eventually forgave them, at least as far as I can tell.

Author: ,  Originally published: 2006-07-06,  Last updated: 2007-12-28