Saturday, November 17, 2007

Visit Stats

All bloggers like visitors to their blogs, unless they are just letting off steam in an online diary and don’t care about anybody but themselves. Some are desperate to get as many visitors as possible because they are advertising stuff for themselves or for others, eager to make money out of their blog. Fair enough, but sometimes the content of the blog is very dubious. Take all these mock-blogs for instance; you know, the ones that are set up just to display links to p**n sites (don’t want to write the word in full to avoid hits by googlers!). They put up a blog with an innocent-looking title and blaaadi…blaaah posts. Every time I click on the “Next Blog” button, I seem to find one of those, more and more often. I suppose they are very difficult to police. But I have also found some good, genuine blogs that way. Otherwise it is much safer and rewarding to find interesting blogs through online friends and contacts. Some of us even sign up to MyBlogLog and show our face, part of it or just a dummy picture. This makes it a little more personal, as personal as it can get on the net. You know who has visited recently.

Most of us, if not all, have some stats provider. I have signed up to Sitemeter, but only the basic version, not wanting to part with money unnecessarily. So I have to accept the limitations in the stats provided. Sometimes I can tell who it actually is from the information. For instance some employers, big companies, institutions etc display their name, making it obvious to you who the visitor is. Then of course there are the ones who keep coming back to your blog, with the company name and location revealed, and you still cannot figure out who it is. Very frustrating! I am intrigued and puzzled sometimes; who is that? And they never leave a comment; it is like being teased!

Other visitors have somehow suppressed the information almost completely. Domain Name and Location display “Unknown”. What have they got to hide, I wonder? But the IP address is always there. Maybe there is a way of tracing that? Who knows.

Then of course there is the issue of the location of the service provider. If the visitor lives in a certain place, it is not necessarily the same place as where the service provider is located, so you cannot tell. Do I sound like an obsessed control freak? I would just like to know; I am inquisitive.

With my basic version of Sitemeter I don’t seem to be able to trust the Visit Length either. In the past I have spoken about a specific visit with a relative and asked how long it was, where Sitemeter told me “0 seconds”. Oh no, it had lasted several minutes. There must be some technical issue here, because even if you get a hit from somebody searching for certain words, surely they must spend a few seconds reading before they realise that you are for instance not an “Old Vinyl Dealer”. How does that work? I have no idea.

Anyway, it is good fun trying to keep up with who is visiting, but I do not spend sleepless nights over it!


Eric Valentine said...

Good blog Swen, all that you say is true of course. I use statcounter at my place, the free version.

I get good stats but like you I get wishing for that extra bit of info. I am amazed however at the numbers I've had since I started blogging in Jan/07. Yesterday was my busiest day so far. :)

Now I have to get on with 'The Meme' hahaha. Cheers. :)

Carol said...

Oh, I totally agree! I have steadfastly refused to advertise on my blog, but know that some people make huge bucks by advertising. And I TRY not to obsess about stats, but I must admit that I check them a few times a day. Great idea for a post, bu y the way! (I might copy you...)


Eric Valentine said...

Completed the meme Swen, have a good weekend. :)

CanadianSwiss said...

I also like to see where my visitors are from, but also I only use the basic version. What I like best however, is to regularly (uhm... once every two weeks) what keywords they used to find me. Now that can be quite funny. Makes a good subject for a post every now and then, too ;)

christina said...

I use my stats as a blog roll sometimes since it's usually the same people coming to visit again and again. The "length of visit" thing only works, I think, if the visitor clicks to another page on your blog changing the number of page views. Otherwise it shows up as 0 even if they stay for hours. :-)

swenglishexpat said...

Thank you all for your visits. I will check search/keywords on my blog. Sounds interesting, as does Christina's idea about clicking another page (or possibly photo?). And can I say, I do enjoy all of your blogs! You are among my favourite blogger friends. :-)

Lynda said...

I loved sitemeter for the first 1000 hits, and then the novelty wore off and I didn't really care anymore. I have enjoyed how it can direct me to blogs that have turned out to be gems. I also started searching out other blogs under the expat labels. It does give me a start when I notice a sudden leap in my numbers, oh and finding out what people have googled to find me is interesting too.