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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:04   #1
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Default Google Analytics - Useful or disturbing?

Its been 6 months since I moved my motorcycle riding blog to a new server and gave it an all new look. While I was at it, i also integrated google analytics into the site to check on the usage statistics which i never did, until just now. And i was flabbergasted!

some stats about my touring blog that honestly surprised me!

1. Traffic sources by country:
1 - Russia, 2-India, 3 - United Kingdom, 4-United States, 5-United Arab Emirates,
Twice as many russians as compared to Indians visited my blog. Why on earth are russians showing so much interest in my blog? And the UAE was another surprising entry on the list! I could never have guessed!

2. Average time spent on website is just 9 minutes. Max avg time spent on site is visitors from UK with 29 mins.

19.71% was direct traffic. Referral sites sent in 45.99% of visitors. 34.31 came through search engines.

Max referrals came from google - 45%. Team-Bhp gave me 5.49% of referrals and came in at 5th spot! Thank you Team-Bhp!

the volume and range of information that google collects is phenomenal and while a lot of it is useful for me personally, I cant help but feel a little disturbed at the sheer volume and kind of info about my site(s) that google now has on record. Can you believe, they even have IP's and Phone numbers used to access the site tacked on?? Unbelievable!

While I am impressed at the reporting, I am also quite uncomfortable with providing a third party with this range of information and seriously mulling removing the link to analytics. On the other hand, this kind of info allows me to tailor content based on my readership.

so whats the verdict?

Last edited by COUGAR : 23rd March 2010 at 11:06.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:09   #2
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so whats the verdict?
Translate your content in Russian and Arabic and make Russia and UAE versions available .

Why don't you put your URL in signature so that more referrals from T-BHP are achieved.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:14   #3
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Why don't you put your URL in signature so that more referrals from T-BHP are achieved.
i dont think that is allowed as per TBHP rules.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:14   #4
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You my son need the Red Pill.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:23   #5
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Are you sure these are genuine visitors and not 'paid' visitors employed by some shady firms trying to exploit the google advertising model? Just thowing up a possibility.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:30   #6
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You my son need the Red Pill.
LOL.

that is the big koshun. The "Red Pill" means confronting reality: can be painful!
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Old 23rd March 2010, 11:36   #7
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Cougar, use something like HiStats (which is free) for a couple of months along with Google analytics and you will get a clearer picture.

Histats.com Counter ,the free web stats and stat counter, hit counter, free web tracker and tracking tools, professional and free!!

If you are a damn serious blogger, then you may go for Clicky, which is not free:

Web Analytics in Real Time | Clicky

Just my 2c.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 13:10   #8
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COUGAR,

First things first - you can't and shouldn't directly use the data that google analytics gives you. Eg. Do not think that your true readerbase is actually Russia.

Part of using analytics successfully is analyzing the data.
You are provided with several metrics - and you need to piece them together and weigh them against each other in order to make best sense of the data.

For eg. If you look at your 46% referral sites and realise 90% of that referral traffic is coming from one major russian blog, which has linked to you (say, due to a typo) - that changes the equation.

The same way, a picture you might have titled "xyz" is popular on google images with people from the uae because "xyz" is a popular search term there (might be totally unrelated to the xyz your blog).

Its hard for me to make even a basic attempt at actually analyzing the data since a lot of it is cross-checking with other metrics which you haven't mentioned.

1 Q : Whats the bounce rate?

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd March 2010 at 13:11.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 13:53   #9
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@Rehaan: just exploring through it for now. Its way too early to think of using this data to make changes to my blog.

I just highlighted the main stats to show how google is capturing all sorts of information that I hadnt even thought about!

A lot of the comments that have been posted (minus the spam comments caught by the blocker) have been from russia based on the comment content and the .ru email id's.

in the referrals list drill down, i see google(organic) with 45% at the top and images.google.com at ~10%. ***mike.com is number 2 in the referrals.

bounce rate: 42.51% (I guess i need to improve my main home/landing page).
Avg pages/visit: 5.40

Last edited by COUGAR : 23rd March 2010 at 13:54.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 14:00   #10
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Ok, let me tell you why we get a lot of traffic from Russian blogs. They are very good spammers. They check for dofollow blogs using softwares and then keep spamming it with their comments. If you are using wordpress, you might have seen the number of spam comments in Russian language. My blog gets 10-30 spam comments daily.
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Old 26th March 2010, 14:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
@Rehaan: just exploring through it for now. Its way too early to think of using this data to make changes to my blog.
Agreed.
Don't waste time catering to analytics unless you are either a huge website, or trying to have certain "goals" met -- eg. selling a product, completing a form, getting a registration, etc


Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
...I just highlighted the main stats to show how google is capturing all sorts of information that I hadnt even thought about!...
This is only the tip of the iceberg

For example - in America, 70%+ (iirc) of people can be UNIQUELY identified just by using the following 3 peices of info :
- Zip code
- Age
- Sex

With the internet and cookies, and a superpower like google, imagine the kind of detailed information possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
bounce rate: 42.51%
Thats actually a good bounce rate for your blog.
But once again, this depends on other stats -- if your bounce rate was 40% and 90% of your visits were from google, that would be AWESOME, whereas if 90% of your visits were from referrals, that would be a slightly dissapointing bounce rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
(I guess i need to improve my main home/landing page).
Like you said - homepage and LANDING page are two different things.
A majority of your google (and site) traffic might just be comming straight to a particular article on your blog (ie the most popular landing page).
Whereas a certain other article might have an incredibly high bounce rate because people were led to it from google as a not-exactly-what-i-wanted match.


In short - at this stage, design and create to try and please the people you want as your target audience, and don't worry about trying to please your analytics figures

cya
R
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