Monday, 12 December 2011


Someone is still hacking my computer.

My security settings have been disabled, and my files are being broken into, and changed.

Things are appearing on my computer that I never put there. For example, in one of the files I had about the Jersey senator Stuart Syvret, the contents of the files have been mucked about with, something called URCHIN has been placed there, and I looke up Urchin files, this is what Wiki has to say about it

Urchin is a web statistics analysis program developed by Urchin Software Corporation. Urchin is used to analyze web server log file content and display the traffic information on that website based upon the log data.

Urchin software can be run in two different data collection modes; log file analyser or hybrid. As a log file analyser, Urchin processes web server log files in a variety of log file formats. Custom file formats can also be defined. As a hybrid, Urchin combines page tags with log file data to eradicate the limitations of each data collection method in isolation.[1] The result is more accurate web visitor data.[2]

Urchin has become one of the more popular solutions for website traffic analysis, particularly with ISPs and web hosting providers. This is largely due to its scalability in performance and pricing model.[citation needed]

While Urchin Software Corp. was acquired by Google in April 2005, the Urchin 5 and prior analysis programs are still widely used and available today. In April 2008, Google released the next version called Urchin 6.[3] In February 2009, Google released Urchin 6.5, integrating AdWords.[4] Urchin 7 was released in September 2010 and includes 64-bit support, new UI and event tracking among other features.[5][6]

[edit] See also
Google Analytics, derived from Urchin 6
List of web analytics software


Zoompad said...

Someone called Brian Clifton has made this blog entry about it:

Measuring Success

Official blog for the book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton

Hosted v Software v Hybrid tools
Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding, Urchin software specific October 7th, 2007

(12 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5)

My colleague Avinash recently presented at SES San Jose his thoughts on the current vendor space including: Visual Sciences, Omniture, IndexTools, Clicktracks, WebTrends and Google Analytics. As always, his talks are very engaging and thought provoking. For me though, one slide really stood out – the idea that a HYBRID web analytics tool can’t hunt – you need to view his presentation to follow that, but essentially the analogy is that HYBRIDs are not good as a web analytics tool. As Avinash knows, I disagree with this point of view, so I wanted to explain why here.

By HYBRID tool, what is generally meant is the combination of the page tagging technique combined with logfile data to produce cookie fortified logfiles. This was discussed in a white paper before I joined Google – Web Analytics Data Sources . There are significant advantages to doing this as shown in the diagram below. Essentially a hybrid allows you combine the benefits of both techniques to give you the most complete picture of visitor activity on your web site.

Key HYBRID benefits over and above a page tag only system include:
•You own the collected data in the most direct sense of the word and can therefore reprocess it at will
•Being able to track search engine robot activity
•All downloaded files are tracked automatically without any modification of page html content
•Partial file downloads can be tracked e.g. partial views of PDF files
•Error pages can be tracked automatically without any modification of page html content

So a HYBRID technique offers real benefits. However, "with such great power comes great responsibility" (Spiderman!) which for a HYBRID web analytics tool means you take responsibility for:
•Applying HYBRID software updates
•Archiving and compressing your logfiles (which get very large very quickly)
•Protecting end-user privacy – you have a legal responsibility to protect the privacy of your visitors and store logfile data securely.

HYBRIDS require a significant IT investment to run smoothly, which many organisations struggle to justify – hence the proliferation of page tag technique adoptions . Nonetheless, a HYBRID method remains an effective technique for improving the accuracy of either a page tag or logfile solution.

Are you using (or have used) a HYBRID method or perhaps some other technique to improve accuracy? Share your thoughts with a comment.

Zoompad said...

What is Urchin 5?
Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding, Urchin software specific October 16th, 2007

(12 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Urchin is the software company and technology that Google acquired in April 2005 that went on to become Google Analytics. Urchin software remains a product in its own right and is a downloadable software tool that runs on a local server (Unix and Windows) providing web analytics reports by processing web server logfiles – including HYBRID logfiles – which are the most accurate.

Although not as feature rich as Google Analytics, Urchin is essentially the same technology that allows you to view historical data over any time period you have data for, as well as providing complimentary information not available in Google Analytics.

Data available in the latest Urchin beta release that Google Analytics does not have:
(click for screenshots – opens new window)
• Error page/Status code reports
• Bandwidth reports
• Login name reports – standard Apache .htaccess or any authentication that logs usernames in the logfile
• Visitor history report – tracking individual visitors (anonymously)
•Greater customisation – show as much or as little data as you want
•Data is stored locally on your server in a mysql database – allows for ad-hoc data queries

Reporting differences between Google Analytics and Urchin beta software:
•GA imports AdWords cost data with little fuss
Just just two tick boxes to click and the data is collected daily. For Urchin, this is a manual process
•The GA dashboard is fully customisable
With up to 12 different reports that can be changed and re-ordered on a per user basis. Urchin summary dashboards are fixed
•GA geographic overlay is best in class
With zoom and continent/subcontinent breakdown, this GA report is one of the best out there. Urchin geographic overlay is a little more basic (same as GA v1.0), though still very good
•GA is available in 25 languages, Urchin is available in 12
•GA has internal site search reports, Urchin does not
•GA has event tracking (beta), Urchin does not

Zoompad said...

Should I use Urchin or Google Analytics?

Historically I am very attached to the Urchin product. After ‘discovering’ it by chance in 2003, I have never looked back – following the writing of an article at the time evangelising what a breath of fresh air Urchin was compared to WebTrends and Sawmill products, my former company became the first UK Partner for Urchin which later led to my recruitment by Google. So believe me when I say, I love the product. And with the announcement at e-Metrics in Washington of the upgraded Urchin software, the product just got a whole lot better.

Google Analytics is free – Urchin software is not. However Urchin has some real advantages over GA. For example, data is recorded and stored by your web server rather than streamed to Google, which means that you can:
•Keep and view data for as long as you wish
- Google Analytics currently commits to keeping data for a minimum 25 months*
•Have your data audited by an independent third party such as ABCE
- Google Analytics does not pass data to any third party
•Reprocess data when you wish – for example, to apply a filter retroactively
- Google Analytics currently does not reprocess data retroactively
•Works behind the firewall i.e. suitable for Intranets
- Google Analytics can not run behind a closed firewall

Of course Urchin’s functionality comes at a price – not just in purchasing the software (which is actually inexpensive though the latest Urchin pricing has yet to be announced), but more in terms of the IT overhead required to maintain and archive logfile data that can become very large, very quickly – as a guide, every 1,000 visitors produces approximately 4Mb of log info.

Criteria to select GA or Urchin:
•If you have an Intranet site – use Urchin software. GA is a hosted solution and needs access to the Internet in order to work
•If you measuring a web site – use GA. Google Analytics is much easier to implement and maintain and is virtually maintenance free
•Use BOTH – if you need the flexibility of maintaining your own web visitor data (and have the resource to manage it). Combining GA with Urchin gives you the best of both worlds – the advanced features of GA (for free) and the flexibility of Urchin. The following article describes how you can run products side by side – Backup your GA data locally .

[*Google have made no attempt to remove data older than 25 months old.
**Urchin is sold and supported exclusively via Google Analytics Authorised Consultants (GAACs).]

Are you currently using Urchin 5.7, have you tried the new beta? Would you like to see more GA features incorporated into Urchin and if so, which ones? Please add your feedback via a comment.

Zoompad said...

7 Responses to “What is Urchin 5?”
1.Ernesto Gluecksmann Says:
November 19th, 2007 at 5:54 am
Aaah! Thank you! That’s exactly the information that I was looking for.


2.Alex Ortiz Says:
November 19th, 2007 at 6:00 pm
Excellent post, Brian! I agree that having both technologies: Google Analytics and Urchin gives you the most amount of flexibility for analyzing your web preference and I often get questions about the differences, strengths and weaknesses… Glad to see it all laid on the table

I notice only one flaw: Urchin doesn’t store data in a MySQL database. As much as I (and many other Urchin users) would love this to be true, Urchin (v. 5 and Beta v. 6) both still use a proprietary database to store reporting data, which makes ad-hoc queries a bit more limited, since you have to use Urchin-developed tools rather than the more flexible SQL tools.

3.Kiran BM Says:
September 13th, 2008 at 8:09 pm
Hi Brian! Great article! I have a special requirement that I’m afraid neither GA nor Urchin would be able to solve. Also some of the paid leading tools like Omni don’t have a direct solution for this. I need your help!

My requirement: I run a brand marketing campaign say for 1 month. This campaign ran across display advertising, PPC search and also Email. With the current tools I can find out exactly how many visitors came thro these campaigns and how many are first-time visitors among those.
Now, I want to track the future interaction of this specific set of visitors with my site. How many of them came back and when. How many purchased my products in their subsequent visits. This helps me assess the true impact of my campaign.

Is there any way to do this using Urchin?


Zoompad said...

4.Brian Clifton Says:
September 15th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Kiran: I think what you are referring to is the overwriting of referral sources that GA/Urchin does by default i.e. the last referrer overwrites the previous one unless it is “direct” – direct typing of a URL, bookmark, or even a non-tagged email campaign.

The parameter you need to set in your campaigns is utm_nooverride. Have a look at Chapter 9 of the book for a fuller description – Changing the Referrer Credited for a Converison.

5.Kiran BM Says:
September 15th, 2008 at 1:03 pm
Agreed. utm_override solves my problem partially – it tells how many of those campaign visitors eventually converted. I’d also like to know if they visited the site again.

I can think of using session labeling (utmv) to accomplish this. On the landing page (assuming it is dedicated to that campaign) I can label the cookies appropriately and see their behavior there on. But there is a limitation in using this facility as you agree. Improper or too much usage of labeling might mess up the data. Are there any better/smarter ways of doing this in GA?

I’m referring to Visual Sciences in my earlier organization that allowed me to do this. I could segment the visitors (essentially cookies) and study their behavior over a period of time.

Thanks Brian!

6.Matt Says:
September 15th, 2008 at 6:16 pm
Hi Brian.

Another question for your goodself on the subject of Google Anayltics vs Urchin.

I see that this blog piece is a summary of the points you cover off in Chapter 3 of your (excellent) book. However, I wonder if you could add a bit more clarity in terms of whether Urchin and/or Google Analytics can cross-tabulate site activity metrics with a visitor’s personal details – by which I mean data capture that’s volunteered on registering to the site.

Say for instance, we have a file download as a site goal, could Urchin and Google Anayltics both support a breadout of this measure by, for instance, the registered user’s employment category?

Is it this sort of functionality that you speak to when referencing “Login name reports”?

A bit uncertain as to what extent the registered user info that’s been captured can be utilised to better understand precisely what audience (as defined by the site’s own reg user data capture) is looking at what content/achieving what goals. And whether this sort of functionality is supported by just Urchin, or by Google Anayltics too, or only by a combination of the two.

Many thanks.

7.pearl Says:
January 29th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
We use urchin in all of our pages, however it makes it difficult if you have some sites in a non-template format which adding it to every individual page for tracking. With templat sites you add it on to 1 page and it goes on the footer of them all. Use footers people! Good for tracking campaigns. Example of a template and non-template site:

Zoompad said...

About Brian Clifton

Bio Summary

Brian Clifton (PhD), is an independent author, consultant and trainer who specialises in performance optimisation using Google Analytics. Recognised internationally as a Google Analytics expert, his latest book, the second edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics is used by students and professionals world-wide.

Brian has been involved in web design and SEO since as far back as 1997, when he built his first website and started defining best practise to advise clients. From 2005-8 he was Head of Web Analytics for Google EMEA (Xoogler*), defining the adoption strategy and building a team of pan-European product specialists from scratch. A legacy of his work is the online learning centre for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification.

Brian is the Founder, CEO and Senior Strategist for – a company specialising in performance optimisation using Google Analytics and Urchin Software for global clients. He is also a Director at Search Integration AB, a company specialising in strategic search and social marketing. @brianclifton

Zoompad said...

Well, I am frigging sick of people hacking into my computer, mucking about with my files, stopping me getting online ect ect ect IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!

Zoompad said...

So basically, I am a goldfish in a bowl, in fact, a goldfish seems to have more protection by law than I have. I can be spied on, have my social networking mucked about with, blocked from speaking to whoever I want to speak to, have people pretending to be me hacking into my email account and sending messages to other people pretending to be me, have my files taken, destroyed and weird things put onto my computer, without my consent and knowledge.

I told Stafford Police I was being hacked, but they have "drawn a line" under it, so what can I do?

I appear to be an outlaw, in as much as although I have the obligation to obey the law myself, I appear to have little or no protection from anyone who wants to break the law and persecute me.

But I do have divine protection. The Lord loves me.