Google Analytics – Powerful Web Stats For FREE

Google today dropped a bombshell by announcing that it is offering its web analytics service absolutely FREE. They had recently bought Urchin, a powerful web statistics software which was being offered for $199 per month.

After improving Urchin much more and adding a tighter Adwords integration (earlier there was a provision for import of the Adwords data), they are now the whole lot of services for FREE. Theoritically there is a limit of 5 million impressions per month (wow!), if you have an Adwords account, you qualify for unlimited impressions. Since there is no minimum Adwords spend stipulated, you can easily get the unlimited impressions package.

There are several rumors on the Internet about the real reason that Google is offering this at no cost. Some claim that Google is trying to take a monopolistic attitude like Microsoft bykilling the competition by the sheer power of its cash reserves.

I feel that Google is looking at the other side of the coin. By integrating all the services like Adwords PPC, Adsense and Analytics, it will be in a position to cross promote one service to users of another. Also it will be easier for Google to catch the people practising black hat SEO and other objectionable methods to get higher rankings and more traffic. The gains in cleaner search results will be much higher than the loss of analytics revenue.