Graduation Day for Website Optimizer and Urchin Software!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | 9:42 AM

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Today at the ad:tech conference in San Francisco, we very happily announced two launches. If we could have shouted them from the rooftops, we would have. Enjoy!

Website Optimizer now available as a standalone product!

Google Website Optimizer is all grown up. Formerly a feature within Google AdWords only, this free website-testing tool is now accessible to anyone worldwide through its own website. You can now use your Google Analytics login to access Website Optimizer and test which designs, headlines, and graphics lead to the highest conversion rates on your site. Also, we've officially dropped the Beta label. They grow up so quickly these days. :-) Take it for a spin!

The Website Optimizer team has also launched a product blog where you can get the latest product news, industry insights, and testing recipes straight from team members. Head over there now for more details about the launch, but not before toasting another launch....

Urchin now out of beta!

Also announced at ad:tech -- Urchin Software from Google, aka Urchin 6, has graduated from Beta and is available to everyone as of today, April 16th.

For the moment, Urchin is only available in English. That will change though, so stay tuned for info on soon-to-be released international versions.

Urchin formed the basis of Google Analytics, released in 2005. But, while Google Analytics is a Google-hosted service, Urchin is software that you run on your own servers. This makes Urchin ideal for certain applications. You might use it if you:

  • want to analyze your firewall-protected content, such as an intranet
  • have 5 years' worth of old server log data to analyze
  • need to know if your site's visitors are getting "Page Not Found" (404) errors
  • need to have your site's traffic data audited by a third party
  • need to create custom reports or integrate with other tools, like a CRM system
  • need to integrate your e-commerce logs directly with Urchin
That said, we continue to recommend Google Analytics for most users and most circumstances, as its marketing-oriented reports are more advanced than Urchin's. You can even use Google Analytics and Urchin together at the same time and have the best of both worlds.

Urchin is available exclusively through Urchin Software Authorized Consultants, a subset of our Google Analytics Authorized Consultants professional services network. These partners can implement Urchin on anything from a Fortune-500 e-commerce site to a million-site web-hosting operation (and they have!). Authorized Consultants offer not just the software itself, but also an armada of support and consulting service options to suit every type of customer. But you can try out Urchin for 30 days by going to urchin.com and downloading the demo.

An Urchin license is $2995. If you purchased Urchin 5, you can apply all of your purchase price towards your Urchin 6 purchase. The license allows you to analyze traffic for up to 1000 domains, any number of load-balanced servers, and any number of log files (including access, e-commerce, cost-per-click, and other types of logs). Urchin 5 users used to purchase each of these things separately, but with Urchin 6, we're bundling everything together for one price.

Urchin 6 runs on Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD and supports Apache (all platforms) and IIS (Windows only). Here are the technical specifics.