Free Service Overwhelmed By Response in First Week

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NEW YORK ( -- Due to an overwhelming response, Google has temporarily ceased signing up new customers for its new Web Analytics tool, unveiled last week.

Analytics is a free service introduced by Google on Nov. 15 to help marketers measure and report on the performance of all their online marketing and their Web sites. The service measures not only keyword performance, but also e-mail campaigns, display ads, Web-site-link-exchange programs and direct-response print ads.

The temporary shutdown signals the incredible popularity of a tool that measures online performance (and, of course, the popularity of anything that is free). But it also could bode ill for a service that even the technically brilliant Google could not keep operational.

Rumors in the blogosphere claim Analytics was inundated with nearly 300,000 account signups. Google won’t confirm that number. A statement Google released said: “Google Analytics has experienced extremely strong demand, and as a result, we have temporarily limited the number of new signups as we increase capacity. We hope to make new signups available very shortly.”

The $460 million Web analytics market is dominated by companies such as Web Trends, Omniture and Web Side Story. By offering Google Analytics for free, the search giant hopes to entice small businesses to do more online marketing, the company said.

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