Urchin Founder Reflects On The Impact Of Urchin And Google Analytics

Chris CrumBusiness

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Google acquired Urchin all the way back in 2005. It seems like an eternity ago.

"In 2005 we acquired Urchin, whose online web analytics product became the foundation for Google Analytics, helping businesses of all sizes measure their websites and online marketing," Google said in its big product shut-down announcement. "We’re fully committed to building an industry-leading online analytics product, so we’re saying goodbye to the client-hosted version, known as Urchin Software. New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012."

Paul Muret, Director of Engineering for Google Analytics and co-founder of Urchin, talked about it a bit more on the Google Analytics blog:

When I started Urchin Software with a few colleagues back in 1998, it was hard to imagine the scale and impact that Urchin and Google Analytics would eventually have. And yet, I remember rolling out the first version of Urchin to our customers and being blown away by the response. It was clear that Urchin was filling a fundamental need to understand customer engagement in a new medium. Suddenly, it made the intangible packets of traffic flying invisibly all over the world very tangible.

Within a few short years, we built a successful business based on Urchin and “Urchin on Demand”, an online version of the product. In early 2005, we were acquired by Google because it saw the potential of data to create a better web. By liberating this tool we could empower companies of all sizes to become smarter and more effective online. We assigned considerable resources to our online solution and released it to the public for free. Google Analytics has since grown beyond anything that we could have expected.

The success of Google Analytics has been incredibly rewarding and humbling, and we are very thankful for the support of our early Urchin customers and investors. The Urchin Software product has now been completely overshadowed by its tremendously popular offspring. And so, it is time that we now complete the cycle by officially retiring the Urchin Software product and focus exclusively on online analytics. On behalf of the original Urchin crew and Google, we thank you and hope that we can continue to serve you with amazing products.

New sales of Urchin will stop at the end of March, but current installations will work "for years to come," according to Muret.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.