February Stats

Well, it's been about a month since I last did this. I know that Ross was really keen on it, so I thought I'd share my web site traffic stats again.

I'm curious to know if anyone else finds this interesting or not. Post a comment to tell me either way, and I'll take it into account next month. 🙂
It hasn't been a really busy month on my blog, with only four new posts in February. (Five including this one... and yes, it is still Feb 28 for another 20 minutes where I am!) Despite that, my traffic has increased, and so have the number of visitors that have subscribed to my RSS feed. Unfortunately, my Spam count has also increased astronomically as well, but we'll get to that in a bit. 😉

One thing I should mention... all the screen shots in this post (actually on my sites) were captured with Techsmith's SnagIt. It's a great little app that I will post a review on at some point. 🙂

Web site Feed stats
As I write this, there are now 30 people subscribed to the blog through one feed or another. And if you're interested, you can actually see the current number at the left of your screen just below the "subscribe to RSS" gadget. Again, this is complements of the free Feedburner service, which provides me with the full graph for feed growth shown below:

feb-feedburner.jpg

So as of last month, the highest subscribers I had was 19, and now that's my average, with a peak of 30. Not too shabby for growth in a low post month. 🙂

Excelguru.ca Main Site Traffic

I was actually helping a friend out with an email issue earlier tonight, and she was asking about my blog. Specifically, the question was "who reads that?"... especially after I told her that none of my visitors were from my family as they don't hold any interest in this. 😉

Honestly, I can't really answer the question. I know that some of my online friends do, but there are a great many people who return here that I just don't know. What I can say, beyond that they have some interest in the material, is where they come from. Thanks again to Google's free Analytics service, here's the graph that shows Excelguru.ca's traffic for February 2007:

excelguru-main-feb.jpg

Total visits (at least up till 10:30PM my time) is up to 6640 from 5977 in January. That's just over a 10% increase in one month. Total pageviews have also increased, from 12,434 to 13,349. Not quite 10% there, but still an increase. I sure do see some wild dips on weekends... you'd think that no one reads Excel stuff on their days off or something. 😉
My returning visitor percentage actually dropped a bit in February at the main site. It's down from 22.82% to 21.54%. I'm trying to decide if I should be worried about it or not. In the grand scheme of things, January saw about 1360 of my visits came from people who returned at least once, and that number grew to about 1430 in February.

With regards to the map, remember that the dots indicate the highest numbers of visitors from specific areas. There were also many different visitors from other countries that are not shown, but they were filtered out if there were less than 9 visits from that city in the month. (It's an automatic stats thing on Google's part. I didn't decide on that magic number.)

Google is still my biggest referrer, (no surprise there,) and mvps.org is still second on the list.

While I was fooling around in Analytics getting the info for February, I stumbled on how to actually pull a custom period too. I actually only installed Analytics on October 31, 2006, and therefore meaningful stats didn't start being generated until November 1. I was curious to see the site growth over that time, so snapped it as well:

excelguru-main-4mos.jpg

The nice little dip in traffic in the middle is the week around Christmas, but despite that, I've managed to attract over 23,000 visitors in four months. That's pretty neat. In addition, the traffic is on an up hill climb, which is also kind of cool.

With regards to the rest of the pie graph stats, they're honestly pretty much in the same range as I'm used to seeing. For reference, though, the lowest number I could find on the map was 27 visitors. Anything less than 26 has been ignored for map clarity.

Blog Stats

I'm only going to share the blog stats for February, as I didn't snap the Analytics into it until the first week of December. There just isn't the same amount of info there, but I may show a three month view if I post on this subject again at the end of March. Here's the February view for the blog:

excelguru-blog-feb.jpg

So... things to note here are...

My total blog visits are up 32% from 1250 to 1652, but Pageviews are only up 10% from 2784 to 3056. This is pretty much telling me that while more people are finding the blog, they're not necessarily interested in what's here. My visitors last month looked at an average of 2.23 pages before they left, while now it's down to 1.85. Actually, since many of the original visitors were friends and colleagues, it doesn't really surprise me that this is happening, and I'd actually expect the average pageviews to drop as the number of visitors continues to increase.

My returning visitor percentage also dropped to 28.15% from 39.84%. That's pretty drastic, so maybe I should start posting some worthwhile content again. 🙂

That really big lump on the left side of the map is Los Angeles. It seems that I get the most visits to my blog from that city.

With regards to the referral sources, I'm going to save commenting on that. The percentages this month bear almost no resemblance to last month. If you are still reading, and interested, let me know and I'll add it to the post.

Spam

One of my biggest, err.., "accomplishments" this month seems to have been attracting spammers. It would actually be interesting to know just what my stats looked without them. I actually cleared all my spam filters at the beginning of the month, and then saved every one that I got, as I figured it would make an interesting study. Th thing is that I forgot that I use a spam filter on my email server which black-holes spam, so I don't actually get a record of it. On my blog, though, it's another story.

WordPress has a great little anti-spam snap-in called "Akismet", which seems to work very well. In the entire time I've been running it, it's only given me two false positives, (sorry, Will!) and only missed a few. Fortunately, I have a moderation system in place for comments, so I could flag those as spam before they showed up.

What I found with spam on my blog surprised me though. From February 1-14, Akismet caught 370 spam messages. I cleared all of them out, and my spam filter currently holds another 875 from February 15-28! That's 1245 spam posts in one (short) month, at a rate of over 44 per day! In fact, it was about 26 per day in the first half of the month, and is up to over 62 per day in the last half. At that rate of increase, I could be seeing 100 per day by the end of March, easily. (I hope it's not exponential, or I might have to buy more server space. LOL!)

I do have a quick review of them, to try and see if anything was a false positive, and some of them are pretty funny. I had one with a subject of "Mexican Taco", (which wasn't about food ,) several which tell me how great my site is, (only to be followed up with a link to theirs,) and even a marriage proposal. Too funny, but a total waste of time.

At any rate, that's all for now, but please do tell if you like this kind of post or not.

4 thoughts on “February Stats

  1. Hi Ken, Dick.

    I had to pull that post because it was messing up my blog lay out. You've gone into a lot of detail here Ken! It's good to see the growth - Dick you used to have the sats thing on your site but i guess you use Google now. My site is also "growing". My hypothesis is that over time you get more and more links - as you add more content you get more hits form Google searches, but i wonder if this peaks out at some point?
    My site only gets a hand full of visits, and to support my point stays about the same level - 40 ish a day.

  2. Hey guys, thanks for weighing in. 🙂

    I've been thinking that it would be interesting to start a control site which only had one post per month on the stats. The purpose would be just to track growth from a "site about nothing" if you like the Seinfeld terminology. After seeing the spam post counts, I'm curious to know what the net visits would be.

    Can't see a project like that in my immediate future though. 😉

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