Ok, everyone and his brother has already posted about this, but I have to comment as well. Google has announced that they are now offering Google Analytics (which is really Urchin – remember they bought them a while back) for FREE. No big surprise really, as we all expected it to happen at some point. Urchin is certainly a great web analytics program and considering people used to pay thousands of dollars per year for it, the deal is incredible. But, c'mon, doesn't it scare you just a bit to give Google access to all your log data?
Matt Cutts, in his blog entry, says Blackhat SEOs may be leery of using Google for analytics, but regular site owners should be reassured and that Theyve done a very nice job of emphasizing that conversion data is well-protected. I am not a blackhat SEO, but I have enough cynicism and healthy respect for the power that Google wields, to still be a tad bit nervous about this. Unlike many, I DO NOT hold complete trust and faith in Google's "do no evil" philosophy. These are humans we are talking about – humans whose goal is to make more money.
Being the incredibly cheap person that I am, I may end up using it. It is awfully hard for me to pass up such a deal. But I think I will try to wait a bit and see what horror stories might crop up in the meantime. If Nick at Threadwatch doesn't start screaming about it, I may take the chance. We'll see.