Sunday, 2 March 2008

The Hit Parade

I received the email below via the Northern Heralds News Desk (from a source called “Web Watch”) which explains how web figures are sometimes deceptive.

For me personally, the Northern Herald is a way of passing on information and alternative views points: it is not a vehicle for self grandiose or the establishment of a self imposed premier blogger tag. Nor is it a source of revenue – I have never made a penny out of this site and I never intend to. There is one advert at the bottom of my side bar which relates to a family member. It is included to help their new site establish some hits.

I suspect Web watch will now send me a plethora of emails offering me advertising opportunities, so if they read this post, thanks for your explanation, but I have no intention establishing any revenue links via the side bar.

Anyway, see what you think.

Treat it as a compliment that others are so interested in your stats. Perhaps you should look at selling advertising (on a click through basis) as your numbers are on an upward spiral.

If you want to increase you’re numbers even more then you could always link to other sites or put more links in your posts to the work of others. The technical term for this is ‘driving traffic’ to your site. This view is supported by Curly who states;

February has seen large referrals from Guido Fawkes and links to this blog from Nick Robinson at the BBC, Time Magazine, and CNN News.

So even with the help of some of the illustrious names above, the Corner Shop could only manage 17500 hits which is 3500 less than the previous month.

Another way of encouraging more traffic is to look at ways of increasing your presence on various search engines. Many search engines use ‘crawlers’ to identify meta-tags hidden/scripted into a site’s content. Often these ‘crawlers’ are programmed to look for keywords/phrases. Once you know what they are you can increase the number of keywords which in turn will encourage the ‘crawler’ to look more closely at your site. It’s worth remembering that it can take up to several weeks for some search engine ‘crawlers’ to identify and log information from a site.

Interesting then that Curly’s top 2 posts use the words; sex, grooming, young, and girls in the title and again in the first few sentences. On closer examination you can see that both these ‘top’ posts are actually older ones (uploaded in December and January). I would suggest that their sudden popularity is due to the way ‘crawlers’ work. In effect the keywords (sex, young, girls) have now been picked up by search engine ‘crawlers’ and as a result I suspect some people visiting the site are doing so because of what they perceive the subject matter to be.

Put another way some of these visitors are looking for porn and may even be paedophiles (or exhibit the first stages of this tendency). Once they realise they’ve arrived at the site under false pretences and the subject matter is not what they thought it was, they quickly move on. The total time of the visit is probably no more than a few seconds. However, it is still a “visit” and is reflected in the “hit stats”.

So if you want more hits, take a leaf out of Curly’s book. Link to more sites, put links to other sites in your posts, use more sensationalist headlines and interpret the figures to suit.

One final thought:

17500 hits ÷ 29 days = 603 hits per 24 hours.

Let’s assume that some of these hits are actually multiple hits, i.e. from the same person visiting the site more than once. For example 6 visits by the same person in a 24 hr period equates to just 100 unique hits per day, now this tells a different story especially as I think their will be at least ten people who visit the site on a hourly basis to check for new posts.

If your figures are based on unique hits then it would seem that they are better than Curly’s and that you may have taken over Curly to become the region’s “premier blogger”. Looking at the decreasing number of comments on his site, people are clearly not finding his posts as stimulating as they once did. I think I know why judging by past posts, but I have no intention of becoming involved in your regions local political issues. However, perhaps a referral to trading standards might now be in order!

Saying that, I do note from the other posts on your site and some of the more negative responses you have received both here and on other sites, that your desire for fame and publicity isn't really why you blog.

Best of luck with the site and I will have a look again at your figures in three months time if that’s fine with you.


Claire said...

So is Curly cooking the books. Na just spending too much time with the labour spin merchants.

Anonymous said...

Curly is the Daily Sport, you are the Private Eye! What next at the Corner Shop, a statue of David Potts on Mars? So thats where he has been instead of council meetings.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular reader of this blog, though I don't agree with you politically I find your blog is much more informative and meaningful than others (and you don't use the cut and paste option, what we get are your views, not the Times online or Conservative Home page opinions)

As with all Corner Shops there is a lot of gossip, and sadly with Curly's Corner Shop he thrives in it. We all remember when he revealed the identity of certain people, put played games to encourage readership with Brenda. At least with this blog, you have the assurances that you can leave comments safely.

The Corner shop also gets its facts wrong; he still thinks Cllr Capstick is a councillor for West Park, er not since 2004. He now represents Harton.

I was interested to read how people can increase their readership. Curly's top reads in Feb certainly raise questions about the morals of some of his readers.

Keep up the good work Peter, I may even leave some more comments in the future. If you want me to????

PETER SHAW said...

Comments are always welcomed on this site, though I have always said its prime motive is to present an alternative point of view.

New kid on the blog said...

I've just seen how Curly increases his readership.

He leaves comments on other people's blogs (like Guido Fawkes, where he passes comments on Independents "boycotting" his blog. He went on to say words to the effect of..... "Am I bothered".

Well clearly he is, otherwise he wouldn't be going into overdrive leaving comments on John Redwood's blog, Nick Robinson's Blog, Guido Fawkes Blog to name but a few.

People then obviously click onto the Curly shop, take a quick look and then realise that he doesn't offer on his shelves what they want.

Keep up the good work on your blog Peter.

The Badger said...

Did you see the article about the Gazette's website figures in last night's Gazette?
They have had 190,000 unique hits and almost a million page views. It puts Curly's piddly figures into perspective.