May 03, 2007

1000+% Traffic Growth Year over Year? Summary Says So.

Thanks to some experimenting with a new Web log analysis tool, called Summary, I've downloaded all my Web log files and can run all sorts of reports to see where Web traffic is coming from, what pages are being read, and how that compares to last week, last month or last year. While SiteMeter does a great job covering cumulative data and most specifically for the last 4,000 visitors, there's something to be said for taking a walk back in time.

While this site isn't really intended to be a world beater in terms of traffic, as evidenced by the fact I barely make a blip on Alexa's statistics, growth is good as far as I'm concerned.

For me, the most important metric isn't total number of users or hits, but instead the page view - for now. I tend to get a lot of traffic from Google Images and Athletics Nation to download the ANtics comics, so I have to filter out those who have siphoned off the graphics without reading the context. You'd be surprised how many places I've found the ANtics all over MySpace and other forums...

Looking at page views, April 2007 reportedly had more than 99,000 in the 30 day period. In April of 2006, that number was less than 9,000. March 2007 comes in second place, with 82,000 page views. March of 2006 clocked in at less than 8,000. Both months show growth of about 1000% year over year.

Summary also offers a metric called "Total View Time", which I can only assume tries to add visitor time spent on the site in aggregate. I guess in this case I'd be given more credit if I had slow readers, but regardless, April checked in with "72 days" worth of Total View Time. That number is trailed by March's 63 days, February's 30 days and January's 24 1/3 days. April of 2006 had less than 5 days worth of traffic, meaning total view time was up nearly 1500% in this metric.

As I've continued to post on the blog with solid frequency day in and day out, the total number of pages available for visitors and search engines alike is growing. As any SEO specialist will tell you, the more content available, the better Google, Yahoo! and the rest like your site. As a result, the numbers there are startling.

Visitors coming from search engines to numbered nearly 10,000 in April, up from 5,500 in March and 2,700 in February. In April of last year, I had even less than 300 visits from search engines, less than 3% of today's activity. To be honest, a significant amount of that traffic has come looking for R-rated material, but they're most likely disappointed when they find out how boring I am.

Summary, despite being a robot, also tries to offer up analytic detail.

For instance:
On 04/23/07. There was a spike in visits, about 4,906 extra visits or 266% above average. Bytes (+733.36M/+458%), hits (+60,198/+1,200%), pages (+9,349/+936%), downloads (+200/+2,857%), errors (+589/+316%), unique hosts (+4,315/+388%), 1 page visits (+4,547/+1,040%), robot visits (+1,254/+269%), and total view time (+279,152/+402%) also spiked. Possibly related to referring domains '' (+2,511/+251,100%), '' (+374/+18,700%), and '' (+160/+16,000%) based on visits. Possibly related to request '/live/2007/04/googles-earth-day-logo-makes-splash.html' (+153.08M/+4,880%) based on bytes. Possibly related to request '/live/2007/04/googles-earth-day-logo-makes-splash.html' (+3,904/+4,880%) based on pages. Possibly related to requests '/files/' (+140/+1,272%) and '/files/antics07_bg.pdf' (+51/+1,700%) based on downloads.

It's not quite the Queen's English, but it's close. I was particularly amused by the fact it said it was possibly due to the jump from Digg, TechMeme and DoggDot, who checked in above 15,000% of normal. Yeah, that's a spike.

It's just fun with numbers. For a stat geek like me, I like diving into the reports and seeing what, if any sense I can make of things. If you run Mac OS X, and want to take a run at your own stats, give Summary a spin. As for me, I'll be seeing what other tricks I can pull off to push us up another 1000% by April of 2008.