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Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 at
7:16 am and is filed
Server logs show approx. 71,000 ‘unique’ visitors to the site. Google Analytics says 25,016 Absolute Unique Visitors involving the main weblog alone.
Server logs show approx. 400,000 page views site-wide, but only approx. 168,000 involved real people (the remainder being indexing robots, spambots etc.). Google Analytics says 46,452 page views involving the main weblog alone.
Site-wide, the logs give a total of just over 1.4 million hits this month.
Here are my top 20 linking sites (i.e. incoming ‘hits’ to my ‘blogsite’) for March, according to Google Analytics. The arrows denote whether a site has sent more, less or about the same traffic since February:
1. Lainey Gossip 2,775 NEW 2. B3ta 1,064 ^ 3. Justin McKeating 777 ^ 4. Guardian (News) 436 ^ 5. Guardian (Comment Is Free) 419 ^ 6. AdFreak 271 NEW 7. Paul Linford 223 = 8. Liberal Conspiracy 183 v 9. Garry Smith 180 v 10. Iain Dale 146 v 11. Tom Watson 140 v 12. Pickled Politics 122 = 13. Gawker 118 ^ 14. Septicisle 108 v 15. Bad Science 105 ^ 16. Ministry of Truth 100 v 17. Lay Science 84 ^ 18. Blood & Treasure 74 v 19. Bob Piper 69 v 20. Blair Watch 67 v
The most popular individual post of the month was Fred and Sharon’s movies (make your life go better) with 6,055 page views. In second place was the Staines/bankrupt post with 1,059 page views (from 768 unique user profiles). Third was The Iraq War (according to Page 3) with 611 page views.
UPDATE (12:30pm) – OK, it’s past midday, and you’re probably waiting for the punchline. Here it comes…
The numbers above are genuine. I had to extrapolate a bit on the server data, but these are fair estimates on numbers that have yet to be crunched (I’ve not bothered with log analysis since the Usmanov move, and the bean counter has only just been switched on in the past few days; only 9 days worth of data has been processed). I should have the full/actual data within a few days, for those who are interested or in any doubt
The figures from Google Analytics are far more conservative (no pun intended) because they only track traffic to the front page and individual blog entries in MT format (the code is not in place for any of the feature pages, videos, special projects etc.).
Iain Dale and Paul Staines claim to get almost 5 to 10 times as many ‘unique’ visitors as I do. They also never tire of telling their readers that I only bother them because I’m jealous of their success and/or desperate for more readers.
As unreliable and meaningless as Alexa data can be, I would expect its comparison engine to at least show an indication of a gap this massive. But take a look at what you see when these three sites are compared over the last three months:
It’s even more illuminating when you look at it over 6 years and include Backing Blair and the old URL for Staines’ blog.
I think they’re having themselves on a bit. Especially when they wave their numbers about (every bloody month) and wonder out loud why the left side of the blogsophere “never took off”. One also needs to remember that a lot of their traffic from 2006-2007 resulted from ‘old media’ interest resulting from their repeated claims to be the almighty rulers of the blogosphere.
So they each appear to have outperformed Bloggerheads and the like – just – by claiming to have outperformed my and other websites tenfold. Quite a confidence trick.
For more, we turn to an anonymous blogger who has, in the recent past, enjoyed prominent inbound links from Bloggerheads, Iain Dale, and Devil’s Kitchen:
Looking at my own numbers, a link [in the blog] from Dale is worth 220-250 hits, occasionally 280-290. Links from either Bloggerheads or Devil’s Kitchen bring in a steady 160-190 visits, which does suggest that most of Dale’s traffic is transient. Now I don’t know what Bloggerheads is pulling down but DK’s getting about 30k visits a month IIRC, around a tenth of Dale’s statporn numbers and yet a link from his blog is worth only 50-70 or so fewer visits than one from Dale.
‘Transient’ is a word. Not one I’d use. ‘Bullshit’ might be better. Dale and Staines appear to be including every visit by every robot as a genuine visit from a human being, or just plucking numbers out of their arse. In February, Dale gives a figure of 51,293 for ‘absolute uniques’ almost as a throw-away line, but it would appear that this is far closer to the truth than his (and Staines’) repeated claims of 200,000 to 350,000 unique visitors a month.
The performance of outbound links outlined above supports this. So do my own figures. Personally, the most traffic Iain Dale has ever sent my way (during the brief period when he was actually linking to me) was 500 visitors in a month over two blog items, and that figure should be much higher for the numbers he’s claiming.
Here, let me show you:
Devil’s Kitchen has public stats available via sitemeter. There are no figures for unique visitors, but he appears to be pulling in just under 50,000 visits a month.
For Bloggerheads, Google Analytics shows 46,452 visits in March.
[Psst! Have a peek at Alexa for a comparison including Devil’s Kitchen.]
Assuming the majority of click-throughs will happen on the day of bloggage (i.e. when that post is a lead item) we get an average of 175 click-throughs from approx. 1,700 visits – a click-through rate for both sites of roughly 10%
About 250 click-throughs will result from a link in bloggage from Iain Dale. Working our way backwards though the figures on a click-through rate of 10%, and Dale looks to be getting 2,500 visits per day or 75,000 visits a month.
A figure of 51,293 unique visitors a month looks perfectly logical next to that
A claim of 200,000 to 350,000 unique visitors a month does not.
The punchline? The figures published by Dale and Staines are often also used to promote the (alleged) reach of the MessageSpace advertising network:
The MessageSpace site claims that; “Publishers on the MessageSpace network show 4 million adverts a month, to more than 700,000 unique readers. We’ve got publishers from across the political spectrum…”
a) Yes, the bulk of that ‘700,000 unique readers’ figure is made up of the number of ‘unique visitors’ claimed by Dale and Staines.
b) And I’m not sure if a few token lefties warrants any claim of representation “across the political spectrum”, but that’s a point for another time.