Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mang's Most Popular

Stumble Upon Toolbar
This is about what people have found interesting on this site so far. Overall, the most popular articles are:
People find sites in two main ways. Direct references linked from other sites (or in emails) and through search engines.

The Bat Page traffic breaks down about as follows:
  • 42% from searches
  • 24% links from Carnival of Space articles
  • 22% without a referrer
  • 12% from Scouts, Email and other articles on this site
While I can't say much about the unreferred sites, people following direct links from Carnivals, emails, and other scouting links have a pretty good idea what they're getting. One place where it gets interesting is traffic coming from search engines.

So, what are people searching for?
  • 24% templates for making northern/southern planispheres (star finders, star wheels)
  • 7% games about knots and tides
  • 7% rings around planets
  • 6% finding your way without a compass
  • 6% the DDO
  • 5% information on twilight, sunset, and sunrise
Now some of these results were a bit of a surprise. In part this is because blogs tend to grow organically. I was pleased with the results for the star finders and finding your way without a compass. I was hoping for this, so when I wrote them I didn't limit them to my location. I specifically made sure to find out how this would work in the southern hemisphere and not just up north here in Canada.

One of the reasons for installing website tracking capabilities is to help web site authors and managers to tune the site to their audience. There are lots of tools for doing this but many of these use the same basic techniques. For a discussion of these, see "Understanding website tracking".

I use a service called Statcounter which is free with a small amount of log space. Statcounter gives me several types of information about my visitors:
  • Their IP address and an indication if they are a returning visitor (cookies are used but I don't get to see them),
  • What page referred them (e.g. Toronto Scouts, Carnival of Space, or a Search Engine),
  • Browser and system information (see here),
  • Search terms if the visitor came from a Search Engine.
  • And, of course, what pages were visited.

No comments: