While some Web analytics vendors may be wary of Google's decision to release a free Web analytics product to AdWords users, most are putting on a brave face.

"Google is the rising tide that raises all the Web analytics ships. The announcement to offer free analytics is a great validation of our market," said Michael Stebbins, VP of marketing at ClickTracks. "We're thrilled they are opening the market's eyes to what Web analytics can do today. At the same time, we need to put it in perspective: when Google offered Blogger it did not put other blogging platforms out of business."

Other industry watchers were less than accepting of the "rising tide" theory. Jim Sterne, principal at Target Marketing and president of the Web Analytics Association, sees a much more dire result, at least for a large portion of the Web analytics market.

"The Google Analytics announcement is a tsunami that will wipe out the lower-end tools and lift all higher-end tools after a short flood of delayed sales cycles," Sterne told ClickZ News.

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