Google Analytics has only been available for about two years, but is already used by one third of the top 500 websites in the world.
We here at Pingdom use Google Analytics ourselves and were curious to see how many of the top web properties out there use it. We put the Alexa global top 500 websites under the microscope and found that 161 out of these 500 websites are using Google Analytics, which is 32.2%.
Google Analytics was released in November 2005, but the initial storm of signups forced Google to restrict signups until August of 2006, when the service was made generally available.
Before Google purchased Urchin (which Google Analytics is based on), it was just another statistics package on the market. Google has basically taken a commercial service, rebranded it and released it for free, giving it a significant competitive advantage. Why pay for other, similar services when you can use Google Analytics for free?
Much due to this competitive advantage, and probably also helped by its strong brand, Google has come to dominate the website statistics market in very little time. (We hope they never try to do the same with uptime monitoring…)
Even though website statistics is only a secondary market to Google, the free availability of Google Analytics must have had a profound effect on the bottom line for competing, commercial products from companies who cannot afford to offer their services for free.
About the survey: We only accessed the initial page, for example www.cnn.com, and checked if the HTML code contained a reference to either “google-analytics.com/urchin.js” or “google-analytics.com/ga.js”.