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Google analytics logo

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that a webmaster can optimize his ad campaigns through GA's analysis of where the visitors came from, how long they stayed on the website, and their geographical position.

Google analytics

A screenshot of the main data analysis window

The Psychology Wiki uses this service and details on how to access these reports are available on the Google_Analytics_report page.

Google's service was modeled upon Urchin Software Corporation's analytics system, Urchin on Demand (Google acquired Urchin Software Corp. in April 2005). Google still sells the standalone installable Urchin software through a network of value-added resellers.

The Google-branded version was rolled-out in November 2005 to anyone who wished to sign up. However due to very high demand for the service, new sign-ups were suspended only a few days later. As capacity was added to the system, Google began using a lottery-type invitation-code model. Currently, Google is sending out batches of invitation codes as server availability permits.

Google has been working to improve system performance, and reports now generally update in less than 1 hour. All users can officially add up to 5 site profiles, and "pre-free" customers can add up to 50. Each profile generally corresponds to one URL.

GA's approach is to show basic dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set. There are currently over 80 distinct reports, each customizable to some degree. GA also offers three dashboard views of data, Executive, Marketer, and Webmaster.

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