The recent Yahoo acquisition of IndexTools is not unlike the Google/Urchin partnership that happened several years ago. And the cat is out of the bag that Yahoo will be offering IndexTools free to clients:
"Yahoo! currently intends to provide the IndexTools Web Analytics service FREE of charge to clients and partners who accept the standard Yahoo! agreement."
Search giant buys analytics company, search engine offers analytics free to clients as a value add, search engine hopes free analytics lead to use of more paid services (i.e. search). Not a new story.
Google has to be a bit sweaty over this one. I have had the chance to use both and must say that the real-time, enterprise level features of IndexTools are quite snazzy. Whether or not all these features will remain gratis remains to be seen. However, this does put an interesting wrinkle in the Google world domination plan given the extreme importance that a robust analytics package plays in an online marketing program. Yahoo ain't dead yet, folks. Let's watch this one unfold.