Friday, November 05, 2010

Everything I Didn't Want to Know (Almost)



Blogger via Google has now stuck me with a Stats section, which shows page views for Paperback Writer per day, week, month and year as well as referral links, search terms, countries where my audience resides and what every one of you were doing last night at midnight. Yes, I'm kidding about the last part (although God knows, that'll probably be the next invasion of privacy.)

I've never put any stealth software or traffic counter on PBW, so until now I've been able to pretend only a dozen or so friends stop by occasionally to follow my rambling. Turns out there are a lot more of you dropping in than I realized (more like four times the amount that ping the blog whenever I ask.) Thank you for so thoroughly tromping on my blogging fantasy, Google.

One good thing about this is I can see which posts and pages are getting the most traffic. Novel Outlining 101 is at the top of the charts today, as is my Freebies and Free Reads page. I'm glad the most popular posts are the ones about novel writing and free stuff; being a writer's resource is the whole point of PBW.



Another bonus is this global map, which shows where my visitors reside. I'm really not nosy, but it is pretty neat to see where everyone is (and the map only shades in the countries where the majority of my visitors live; there's no personal residence info or any other creepy invasive stuff.) The United States tops that list today, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, France and Israel. As I've always suspected, we are a very international bunch around here (and I know one young lady in France who is reading this instead of unpacking those boxes in the spare bedroom, which she had better do before her father comes to visit, hint, hint.)

I'm not happy about the rest of the data they're shoving at me -- sometimes ignorance truly is bliss -- but I suppose it'll come in handy the next time the Powers That Be want to know how popular the blog is. No more pinging required. That's rather depressing; I always liked the ping posts. Sniff.

What do you guys who are using Blogger think of this new feature? Is it just the next version of incessantly Googling yourself, or do you think we can get some practical use out of it?

19 comments:

  1. I think it's a pretty good new feature...it lets us know exactly who we seem to be targeting and our progression as bloggers over time. Haha, kind of reminds me of a progress report...

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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  2. I only actually open your blog to leave a comment, which almost never happens for I was born a lurker :) All your posts come to me through Google Reader. Does the stats page count those of us who subscribe to the blog's rss feed?

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  3. I like having it right there in the blogger steering. Also, it helped me identify some pages that had accreted spam.

    It's not as complete as the full service google analytics, though. It doesn't seem to distinguish between mere pageviews and unique visitors. It doesn't tell you how long people stay on the site.

    That makes a bit difference if you have one or two OCD friends who just continually hop onto your site 10,000 pageviews a week.

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  4. Having this information has helped me see which posts are the most popular, which in turn tells me what kind of stuff I should post should I ever decide to strive for more popularity. Mostly I just like seeing where my readers come from.

    I actually don't look much at my Google stats because I have been using another web-counter service for many years - one that offers an even more precise breakdown, e.g. visit length - but it's handy when I don't want to log into the other site.

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  5. The Red Angel wrote: Haha, kind of reminds me of a progress report...

    Lol. Good way to look at it. :)

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  6. Blanca wrote: Does the stats page count those of us who subscribe to the blog's rss feed?

    I'm really not sure. The only indication that it might is the referral sites list; Google Reader is listed as #6.

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  7. Tara Maya wrote: That makes a bit difference if you have one or two OCD friends who just continually hop onto your site 10,000 pageviews a week.

    Wow. I want friends like that. Do you rent them out? ;)

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  8. Bibliophile wrote: Having this information has helped me see which posts are the most popular, which in turn tells me what kind of stuff I should post should I ever decide to strive for more popularity.

    I think it can also work to inspire some new posts. Ever since seeing how popular Novel Outlining 101 has been over the last month I've been thinking about the other ways I teach outlining, not just for books but for other story elements, and how I might adapt them into a few blog posts (the ABCharacter post was the first.)

    Mostly I just like seeing where my readers come from.

    Yeah, me too. I had no idea I was such a hit in Slovenia. Or Israel.

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  9. You know, if you like the pinging posts, you can do them anyway.

    Just ignore that bit of blogger stats that would get in the way. Or better yet, compare them. See how accurate the blogger stats are

    Sue

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  10. Hmm, I never noticed that Stats thingie there. Thanks, Lynn. It beats going to Google Analytics, I guess. For me, looking at stats is just for fun. It's always interesting seeing what posts get read most and what searches bring people to my blog. =o)

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  11. Actually, I didn't know it was there until you pointed it out!

    I guess I'll have to explore it now...

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  12. I actually like it, but then I'm a numbers/stats chick working in accounting, so I think it's really interesting to see that information!

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  13. I've become obsessed! I find myself checking my stats constantly, thinking they like me they really like me!...Oh no, now they've forgotten I exist. And you have no idea how excited I got over those 2 people in France! I love it! Now if I can just pry myself away from my stats long enough to finish my manuscript...

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  14. I was just swinging over here from Google Reader to let you know that we'd still enjoy the ping posts if you still wanted to do them, but I like suelder's idea better. Use ping posts to check Blogger's data.

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  15. Well, I can't say that I am a newbie, but I've never seen the previous stats and I enjoy these as I like seeing that I may not have been to some places, but people read me and so do I.

    http://graspthesanity.blogspot.com/

    http://twitter.com/GraspTheSanity

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  16. I think you and I are the only people who hate stat information.

    I have a TypePad blog setup and now it puts the stats on every front page, so I find myself squinting or putting my hand up in front of the screen every time I change blogs to post on, trying NOT to know. Alas, it doesn't work very well. Since I have the blog page of my main blog bookmarked, I still don't know what that one's stats are. I would be terrified to find out. Like you, I just want to think a few friends visit here and there and not worry about OMGPOPULARITY.

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  17. I only have my two or three blogger accounts to keep the names for myself. Unfortunately, I don't use them for anything else but as convenient as this appears, Google really is getting more intrusive all the time and as long as they let you opt out of things, that's fine. But what happens when they don't let you anymore?

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  18. It looks like they just added Google Analytics as a standard feature. I've had it installed on my Blogger blog since I started it. It's interesting to be able to monitor what people are reading and how you're attracting them. I think it's a good thing, especially for people who have blogs and are baffled by pasting the coding you need to do to get Google Analytics installed.

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  19. I had just mucked up the google analytics code on my blog when this appeared a while back. I'm curious as to who on earth is reading my ramblings and why, so I like it, and I"m glad I don't have to have an extra code snippet to do it any more.

    Of course, I get in the dozens of visitors per week, not (presumably) thousands that you do.

    But man do some of the search engine hits make me laugh. Apparently a post about "the best way to recover from a trip" was popular...but I doubt the searchers were looking for information about laundry and school clothes shopping :)

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