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Higher Education Marketing

Google Shutters Urchin

Date posted: January 24, 2012

Spring cleaning is coming early at Google, with the search engine giant announcing that they will be shutting down numerous products, including Urchin Software. The writing may have been on the wall for Urchin the moment Google launched Google Analytics in 2005 (and quickly turned it into one of its primary products – with a host of new features and integrations), but it’s managed to survive…until now.

Here is the official announcement from Paul Muret, the Director of Engineering at Google Analytics (and one of the founders of Urchin Software):

“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.” Read the rest of Paul Muret’s Urchin Software post here.

“Offspring” is a good way to describe the relationship between Google Analytics and Urchin. After all, the products were not exactly the same, and if anything, Urchin really set the stage for Google Analytics (or at least made it clear how important a tool like this could be). The major differences between the two came down to data collection, data storage and maintenance. Urchin analyzed log files, which actually tracks a few things missed by Google Analytics’ JavaScript, but it kept data in-house, requiring more technical maintenance.

New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March this year.

Google will also be dropping Picnik photo editor, Google Sky Maps and Google Message Continuity, all of which would be considered major successes for other companies. Nevertheless, the cuts fit into Google CEO Larry Page’s new “more wood behind fewer arrows” strategy.

What do you think about Google shutting down Urchin Software?