Google Analytics subscriptions suspended

Google Inc. has temporarily shut the door of its Google Analytics hosted service to new users because the company has been unable to keep up with demand after it began offering service free last week.

Visitors to the Google Analytics sign-up page (http://www.google.com/analytics/sign_up.html) are met with the following message: "Thank you for your interest in Google Analytics! Google Analytics has experienced extremely strong demand, and as a result, we have temporarily limited the number of new signups as we increase capacity." The company had previously charged a fee for the service.

Users are asked to submit their name and e-mail address so that the Mountain View, California, company can notify them once it begins accepting new accounts again.

Google didn't immediately reply to a call seeking comment.

This is the latest snafu to hit Google Analytics since last Monday, when Google began to offer it for free. That same day, Google Analytics, which used to cost US$199 per month, began to experience serious performance problems as new and existing users alike struggled to access the service.

The availability problems lasted through Tuesday, but things seemed to stabilize on Wednesday, according to several users contacted at the time by IDG News Service. "The demand for Google Analytics was much higher than we expected. The service is now completely restored and full service is available to everyone," a Google spokesman wrote via e-mail when asked for comment on Wednesday. But at some point between then and today, Google decided to stop accepting new users for the service.

Formerly known as Urchin on Demand, Google Analytics lets users monitor visits to their Web sites to track, for example, the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns and to determine how to modify Web pages to improve sales conversions.

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