Kay lives here

working with the web

Urchin, Google, and why I’m not thrilled

So Google bought Urchin, that’s old news.

Before the acquistion, PerthWeb bought a licence of Urchin 5, the stand-alone edition, for our hosting service. It’s a nice product, I’ve sung it’s praises here before.

We bought it at the end of a sales quarter, the Urchin rep even rang me from the US to make sure he closed the sale, and his big selling point was that we could get a 20% discount if we bought a one year support package, which incidently cost 20% of the total price. Essentially we paid full price and got the support package free. The attraction of the support package was that we would get a free upgrade to the new version, which was coming out “real soon” and apparently included many of the features of Urchin 6 hosted edition. It was a good deal and we took it. I even used the support service a couple of times, when I was getting my head around custom lookup tables and other cool features.

After Google took over though, things changed. The support email address stopped working, the online form which replaced it ate my email and the support phone number disappeared off the web site. Eventually I did get support by emailing the sales address and whinging – but the online form still doesn’t even send me a confirmation email and my messages don’t get through. The promised update never came.

And now, the hosted version has been rebranded as Google Analytics and is now free. Great, right? Except the standalone version has all but disappeard – a note that I found linked from Google’s “Features” page says that the stand-alone software and support are available through “Google Analytics Partners”. The Australian partner doesn’t even have it mentioned on their site.

So while it’s great that they’re giving it away, I still want actual log file analysis. I mean, a JavaScript bug is not telling you about search engine spiders crawling your site, for starters, and that’s important information.

What’s going to happen to the standalone Urchin? I’m not feeling very optimistic about the whole thing.

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