Occam’s Razor 2013 Statistics

2013 was not a great year for this blog, at least in the way of demonstrating impressive web statistics. Web statistics here have been on the decline for several years now. However, it’s not all bad news. Readership via subscription is up substantially, and these readers tend to be “regular customers” rather than “drive by searchers”, which to me is a much more meaningful measure. So to all my regular readers: thank you so much!

This change may be because the fundamentals of how people get content on my site is moving from finding random bits of content via search engines to subscription. This site provides subscriptions via feedburner.com.

Unless specified otherwise, statistics are from Google Analytics, which measures human traffic only.

Overall 2013 Web Usage Statistics

  • Total Visits: 18,411 (50.4 per day), down 31% compared with 2012
  • Total Page Views: 24,816 (68.0 pages per day) down 28.5% compared with 2012
  • Percent of New Visits: 85.36% (87.96% in 2012). This is actually good as I am getting slightly more return visitors.

Most Viewed Posts

In general, previously popular content has obviously been ranked lower in search indexes, probably because it has aged. Some of these popular posts go back a decade or more! They still get hits but nothing like they got in previous years. Most viewed posts for 2013:

  1. Blog home page (1,811 page views, but down 16% from last year)
  2. The Illusion of Time (1,188 page views, and up 119% from last year. This is thanks to someone including it on stumbleupon.com.)
  3. Eulogy for my mother in law (975 page views, up 169%)
  4. Craigslist Casual Encounters: Now officially a complete waste of time (923 page views, down 46%)
  5. Eulogy for my mother (934 page views, down 80%)
  6. The Root of Human Conflict: Emotion vs. Reason (754 page views, down 44%)
  7. Craigslist Casual Encounters: Now a crazily dangerous and illegal waste of time (641 page views, up 248%)
  8. Danger: Wal-Mart Customer! (537 page views, down 82%)
  9. Facebook’s Appallingly bad user interface (339 page views, up 13%)
  10. If Aubrey fought Hornblower, who would win? (241 page views, up 10%)

As regular readers have noticed, I’ve given up trying to pretend my Craigslist content is not popular, and decided it needed to be a feature. So now I do a monthly review of postings in its casual encounters section. It seems to be working in bringing in more traffic. Over 2000 of my posts on Craigslist was requested via search engines in 2013, or about ten percent of total traffic.

Top Tags

Tags are a way to organize content that are more discrete than the larger lumping of a category. Top tags in 2013:

  1. Civil War (216 page views)
  2. Craigslist (87 page views)
  3. Battle of Chantilly (84 page views)
  4. Taxes (83 page views)
  5. Blogging and Truecrypt (68 page views each)

Top Category: Life (68 page views)

Top Browsers:

  1. Chrome (29.4%, 5411 visits)
  2. Safari (23.4%, 4305 visits)
  3. Internet Explorer (19.1%, 3515 visits)
  4. Firefox (17.5%, 3221 visits)
  5. Android Browser (5.3%, 978 visits)

The sudden emergence of Chrome as the top browser hitting the site is interesting, considering it has always been Internet Explorer in the past. Safari and Android likely represent mostly mobile use.

Busiest month: October (2,139 visits)

Slowest month: June (1,272 visits)

Mobile (smartphone and tablets) visits in 2013: 3243 smartphones plus 1598 tablet visits

% Mobile Visits of Total Visits:  26.3% (which is double 2012’s mobile traffic!)

Syndication

A lot of you are reading this blog via various newsreaders and content syndication mechanisms, such as feedly.com. Syndication usage is way up this year and I am not sure why. Part of the reason is because a lot of syndication previously came from outside of feedburner.com. WordPress provides RSS and Atom newsfeeds of my blog. I never counted these before. Around October though I installed a WordPress plug in that redirected these hits to feedburner.com, where they were systematically counted. Subscriber counts quickly went up from thirty to 50 percent! So I have been inadvertently under counting my readers all these years.

Here are some syndication statistics courtesy of feedburner.com:

  • 122 readers as of December 31, 2013 (vs. 83 on December 31, 2012, an increase of 47%!)
  • Average number of subscribers per day: 77.89 (vs. 70.02 in 2012)
  • Average hits per day: 206.2 (vs. 198.62 in 2012)
  • Average number of click-throughs per day: 19.85 (vs. 10.40 in 2012)
  • Highest number of readers: 171 on November 26, 2013
  • Smallest number of readers: 0 on March 10, 2013 (I think there must have been a glitch)

Social Media

I now have a full year of social media statistics to ponder. Actually I get them from a number of sources including Google Analytics, Facebook and AddThis. According to AddThis, which adds a tracking anchor to the end of URLs if you hit the site with a browser, there were 183 shares, 516 clicks and no follows. The top sharing mechanism was the address bar (133 times), which basically means someone copied a URL from the address bar and probably pasted it in an email. There were 20 Facebook Like clicks, 12 Twitter references, and 6 GMail shares, and 4 Facebook regular shares.

The Facebook Insights site says I had 3,340 impressions on Facebook, 148 instances of traffic referral and 66 site engagement actions, whatever they are.

Google Analytics tracks social media differently. It looks at the referrer (referring web site) and if it’s a social media site, it counts it. It counts as top referrers:

  1. StumbleUpon (877 visits)
  2. Twitter (178 visits)
  3. Facebook (65 visits)
  4. Blogger (10 visits)
  5. Netvibes (8 visits)

Reader profiles

Quantcast.com has a number of statistics about you, dear reader. You are disproportionately male, ages 25-34, childless, make more than $100,000 a year and I attract an overly disproportionate amount of readers with graduate degrees. I guess this is a nerdy blog. Click on the link on my web site to see more about people hitting my site.

Raw web log statistics

Finally, there are the raw web log statistics, which suggest the blog is overrun with visitors. Most of these are various search engines, not actual human beings, which means there are a whole lot of search robots regularly indexing the blog for a relatively tiny amount of human traffic. My web hosts provide a number of web log statistics analysis tools. I’ll use AWStats. For 2013 there were:

  • 272,909 visits (748 a day)
  • 103,857 unique visitors
  • 827,707 page views (2268 a day)
  • 1,410,089 hits (3863 a day)
  • 89.92 GB of bandwidth

More in 2015.

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