Saturday, September 29, 2007

[strange stats] referrals breakdowns

I wasn't going to post again tonight but something came up to make me question the essence of what I'm doing with my blog.

First of all, the chart you see on percentage breakdown of country visits is interesting because in the morning, these are roughly the percentages, with the U.S. N1 and the UK N2. However, in the evening, that is reversed.

That's not the really intriguing thing though.

Have you ever stopped and analysed your referrals, i.e. the sites each visitor has just come from, as distinct from the visitor him/herself?

I just did it for the first time and it is both intriguing and disappointing. Given that these are referrals only, it's possible to guestimate that within the last 100 uniques, only about 20 are from visiting fellow bloggers. A quick check of MyBlogLog, dividing the total faces by the number of hundred visitors in the day, shows that it's a fair figure.

So, extrapolating over the day, only about 30% of my blogroll is actually visiting me, which gives the lie to the notion that bloggers simply visit each other in some sort of incestuous society. This has implications for Blogpower.

If it's true, then most bloggers are not reciprocating visits, i.e. they're welcoming them but not returning themselves.

So if we say that 30 visits in each 100 come from fellow bloggers, where do the other 70 come from? An analysis shows that many come from Google searches, Technorati, Bloglines and the like - about 35%, which leaves 35% unaccounted for.

This evening I've noticed Google Images as a constant referrer - i.e. someone is following a keyword, then hitting an image which is heading a page on which my site appears. But here's the thing - one or two of those images are mine, from my own private stock, used in the post but not linked back to Google.

This suggests that Google is trawling through posts and then using images from that post to display on its front page. Not that I'm complaining, of course, Mr. Google.

Is that sort of thing happening to you?


Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Do you ever google your blog?

I do every few days, it can be interesting.

Yes, I do check referals. Some are very interesting indeed.

IanP said...

The stats reflect pretty much the same as my own.

Depending on time of day, the primary readers are from the US or UK.

I am find however more and more coming in from Europe, Australia and NZ.

As for the source, the majority has always been via google rather than the blog roll, but as people (and I do this myself) tend to use a feed burner such as Google feeds or bloglines many people will read the headline and not necessarily come to the blog itself to read the full article, so you may find that you are very much more widely read than your stats will show.

The Morningstar said...

Looking at my stats I'd say that less than a quarter of the blogpower members visit my blog each day, probably about 40% come from google and the rest come from non blogpower members who must have me bookmarked somewhere.

I would say that around 65% of hits come from the UK, 25% the USA and the rest from around the world.

It does make me wonder how many of the Blogpower Blogroll are making an effort to visit other blogs on a regular basis. I know I visit them all twice a day and some of them more often.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Morningstar- I had noticed you are a regular visitor, I wish I could be a regular visitor to more blogs than I am, but it is a balancing act.

Fact is, I'm up at 6AM most days, just to get some blog reading in before I go to work- I'm rarely back home before 6.30PM.

I do try visit every BP blog regularly- as I do any blog I blogroll, but obviously, I give priority to the blogs which post often and visit often.

Gracchi said...

James interesting can I rasie some points

I visit your blog daily but I never do it from the link at WW, because I've memorised the blogs I visit a lot. Its more frequent that I use my blogroll to visit Blogs I don't know that well than Blogs I do.

I'd remember that lots of people have readers which don't show up in the referral stats. It is more likely that other bloggers use those than casual readers use them. I know several who do- Dave Cole would be one who uses a reader therefore you might not see him as a stat.

Its worth bearing in mind both of those things.

Grendel said...

Somewhere between Morningstar and Crushed on this one. I try visit everyone on my blogroll on pretty much a daily basis, although reality will intercede on occasions.

Which is why my roll is probably shorter than many, so I can give due attention to my favorite reads.

There are a lot of BP blogs on my roll but I don't go through the entire BP roll on a regular basis, basically because it's really long.

I usually have a couple of hours a day to devote to 'the project' and the trouble is that if I were to spend all my time reading there wouldn't be any time left to post my own parochial and insignificant contributions at my place.

So a balance has to be struck.

Regarding referrals, I do get a lot of visitors resulting from searches. This seems to be down to inquiries about my 'nom de guerre'.

Visits from other BP'rs are light but very gradually increasing. I'm am a new member so this is perfectly reasonable.

Also, I'm delighted if I get 40 - 45 views a day but this also means I have a rather narrow base on which to draw conclusions.

Swearing Mother said...

Blimey, I don't think I'm doing this blogging lark right at all! The only thing I've noticed is that odd quotes from my blog are starting to pop up in all sorts of unexpected places, how does that happen?

Although I've been blogging for a while, I don't really have a handle on statistics as such - I just notice that in the morning I have comments from the US, by the evening it's usually the UK, or elsewhere, but I've no idea how any new visitors find me.

Am I doing it wrong? Form an orderly queue to tell me, please!

CalumCarr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jmb said...

For ages most of my referrals came from people looking for westie images, so I am very familiar with the referral from a google image search.
Recently almost half my referrals come to my post, Australia - Some Thoughts and Introductions. Nobody ever comments on it though. Too bad I thought it was an OK post for me but I guess they are looking for tourist information.

I use pageflakes for an overall gander and bloglines too for a full read but I don't always click over if I'm in a hurry, only read on the feeder.

I guess it registers as coming from pageflakes or bloglines if you click from there. That's why mybloglog is good. I see who comes by that way at least.

CalumCarr said...

I don't give a shit where my visitors come from.

I think my blog has foot and mouth disease because there, sure as hell, seems to be an exclusion zone around it.

If it's not foot and mouth then my blog must be shit.

Couldn't be that could it? Months I've been blogging and all I have to show for it is a huge pile of shit.

There must be a message in this somewhere.

Lord Higham- Murray said...

Just got up on Sunday morning, folks.

Crushed - somehow I don't like seeing who visits. It's just me and there's something a little bit not-respectable about it, like prying into others' affairs. However, macro-trends are very interesting and maybe give us new direstions.

Ian - this is the thing, isn't it? There may be far more people than Sitemeter is saying.

Morningstar - this is really worrying me too and I intend really pushing that "visiting" become a condition of entry. Otherwise, what's the point?

Crushed - you also make a good point here but there must be some balance somewhere. People joined BP essentially to up stats and be part of a community of bloggers. But they really must visit physically [by coming to the site, as you do]at least once or twice with maybe a third of the roll.

Tiberius - yes, that's true but Dave does show up on MyBlogLog.

Grendel - you said: "I usually have a couple of hours a day to devote to 'the project' and the trouble is that if I were to spend all my time reading there wouldn't be any time left to post my own parochial and insignificant contributions at my place."

Therein lies the problem, methinks - being quite ruthless about apportioning time.

Swearing mother - at your stage your doing it just right - gradually building readership. This visit for a start is a good move and if you multiply that to others, it all helps.

JMB - yes I'm a great fan of MyBlogLog and fully admnit that when time presses, I quickly check who's been from this and visit them first, intending to go to the others later. But sometimes something gets in the way and I don't.

Calum - maybe the attitude itself? I felt this and even feel it now - that people are visiting others and not me. We ahve to stop this destructive thinking and just blog, I truly believe. Otherwise it loses all fun.

Also, your appearing here means you'll be visited by me now and then I'll see something interesting and come back again later. That's the way it works.


1. I think you're right in surmising that images attract visits.

2. I have emailed Blogpower to suggest that someone more technical than myself devise a sidebar widget that searches for new BP posts (perhaps using Pings) and shows their titles for us to click onto. Bit like the Google/Blogger newsreel feature.

Lord Higham- Murray said...

Yes, we need that - I'd love to see it but am not technically competent enough to set it up. Maybe Matt and the Ians?

CalumCarr said...

Shite and double shite!!

Twice I have written a long comment and twice it's disappeared before I could publish it. This time I'm doing it in Notepad first.

I enjoy blogging although currently I have an absolute need to do so. If I were blogging for visitors I would have given up months ago.

Yes, there is a bit of attitude/despair but I think that's understandable with only 7 -15 visitors/day although my conversion rate into comments is very good.

My earlier comment here had a big chunk of humour in it but I can understand if readers missed it: I thought the comment about F&M was funny but, with one exception, all previous attempts at humour have fallen flat. Guess there's a lesson there for me.

Last night was a bad night for us. I was up late and ended up looking at blogs at post-3am. That probably didn't help my judgment.

Almost finally, I need to thank those who do visit especially those who do so regularly.

Also, thanks for forwarding my last post - "Mental health - Shock and Dread" to Ian for possible inclusion into the Roundup.

Now I'm going to have my breakfast.



Keep going.

(1) Numbers aren't everything. A lot depends on the theme of your blog - politics, celeb gossip and technogeekery seem to head the charts. And sexual cheek, e.g. Chase Me Ladies, I'm In The Cavalry.

(2) Numbers aren't everything. According to Jeremy Clarke in this week's Spectator:

"A progressively minded charge nurse told me that people receiving care in mental hospitals were merely the tip of the iceberg. Dr Jung, he said, had even gone as far as to claim that general elections are sometimes won on the strength of the combined neurotic and psychotic vote, which in developed countries Dr Jung estimated to be as high as 40 per cent of the electorate."

Political bloggers, take note.

(3) Numbers aren't everything. You don't want the whole world to visit. When I started to blog about US debt I got a few hits from Langley, West Virginia - home of the FBI. I can only hope this doesn't prejudice my chances of visiting my brother in America.

(4) If you're getting comments, someone thinks your stuff is good enough for them to contribute a signficant snippet of their time - writing takes longer than reading. So that's a sincere form of compliment.

Good luck.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Ok, about the time management thing.

It is possible, if you are systematic, I think.
I made a commitment on Friday to visit every blog on my blogroll, and leave a comment where I could.
I may have missed a couple- but that was omission, not ignorance if I did.

In fact, it didn't take that long, about two hours, so theoretically, even with posting, one should be able to visit every BP blog every two to three days.

I do also feel a commitment to visit non BP bloggers who visit regularly and leave comments.

I think on the whole, it has to a reciprocal process.

Lord Higham- Murray said...

Yes, Calum, you keep going, son and have that sumptuous breakfast.

People, these comments here I find invaluable and am thinking out my own blog policy in consequence.

Julie said...

Most of mine come from Google,MSN and Yahoo, with a small percentage of the referals - five to ten percent, as 'unknown' - these, I believe, are those who have the site bookmarked/favourited in the 'old-fashioned' way. I have no idea how many people might read my blog in a reader - all I know about that is that hardly any come from having clicked on the page in their reader.

I don't always have much time for either blogging or reading, so have to be quite casual and haphazard about both - I don't have a proper blogroll, just a random list which includes just a few of the many blogs I like, but which I do change at intervals as I don't want to keep on linking to blogs which aren't interested in reciprocating with either a link, mention or exchange of comments.

Most bloggers seem to suffer from a similar affliction - all wanting our own blogs to be read and commented in yet without having much time to read and to leave much by way of comment on other blogs. I tend to read a lot more than I comment.

Lord Higham-Johnson said...

Yes, Julie and it's annoying this "all one way but not the other".

I know certain bloggers who are right into this. They're so into people coming to them and everything from the Paypal to the Vote for Me and If You Would Like To Add Me but nothing about coming over to visit themselves.

I know some see this as having "arrived". No need to visit - therefore a top blogger.

I've been bad on visiting of late due to time and computer slowness but I'm redoing the rolls now and a new computer is coming.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I don't know as I don't often check referrals. I do know who I visit, though and certainly not all of these come back. I try to comment on ALL the blogpowerers at least twice a week: other days I do my own roll and my "regulars". Sometimes there's a bp post I know nothing about - eg financial ones or very US politics based ones - and I don't comment because I don't understand the post. I go in to bp blogs via the roll since I read that it doesn't show up on stats if you go in via pageflakes.

CC, please don't give up! It took me ages to get above 20 a day! Now it's over 100 most days - OK, that's not loads but I know most of thses appreciate my blog. And you are probably helping far more people than you realise via your blog.