Google Sends Urchin out to Pasture

When Google acquired the Urchin analytics software in 2005 it was one of the most preferred tools among web host providers and website owners. It made day-to-day statistical tracking and analysis of site performance fairly easy. Unfortunately, Google has decided to discontinue the software in favour of its own Google Analytics package.

In a blog post appearing on the Urchin website, Google Analytics director of engineering Paul Muret divulged the sad news to plenty of disappointed users. It probably was not completely unexpected, given the fact that the Urchin technology is the underlying structure on which Google built its own analytics software. It’s not reasonable for them to continue offering a competing piece of software in a market that favours consolidation. In all likelihood Google purchased Urchin seven years ago fully intending to see this day come.

Developers and web hosting companies not keen on switching to Google Analytics might have other options. One of those options comes from a company already acting as an Urchin reseller: Actual Metrics. The company’s Angelfish package will fit the bill for some Urchin users with specific requirements. Actual Metrics will begin offering a migration service to Angelfish in the near future. On its own website, Actual Metrics address to the Urchin sunset directly.

“During the past six years our team has provided Urchin and Google Analytics expertise to hundreds of companies,” says a recent blog post. “We’ve also created add-ons for Urchin like the Toolbelt, the v5 Search Module, administration utilities, and a bunch of API and management scripts. With Angelfish, we’re bundling all of our experience, best practices, overlooked feature requests, and homegrown utilities into a standalone software product.”

Urchin will be available for sale until late March (2012), after which it will no longer be supported.

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