Anyway, google analytics is based on Urchin, which Google aquired. I’ve only had it running on my site for a few days, so I’m going to wait before more data is collected before I decide if I’m going to want to keep using it. It does seem geared in some ways to sites using google’s adwords program. There are three different views of your data – executive, webmaster, and marketer. The data is presented very nicely though, and it is easy to get a sense of the screen resolution and browsers used by people visiting my site, as well as which percentage of traffic is coming from search engines for particular keywords.
I think it can be tough sometimes for people in libraries to get web statistics packages installed on servers – some people may not want to pay for software which would present the statistics in a more usable format, and the people who maintain library webpages often don’t have full administrative access to the servers. Something like Google Analytics may really come in handy for people who want information they could use to their library’s web site. The service right now is not very stable, but it might be worth checking out if it does stabilize in a few weeks.
On the other hand, google will be getting a bunch of information about how people are interacting with your web site. What will they do with that data? Or the data that people are uploading to google base? I wish I could get an invite to try measure map, because that looks like an interesting statistics program for blogs.