Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stats And Session Cookies

The discussion about Stats, and the non persistent setting for "Don't track your own pageviews", has been a topic of discussion for some time now. I publicised the problem of people who filter third party cookies, stating that this is the primary cause of the non persistent Stats setting. Some people, hearing my advice, were able to benefit from it, and responded positively.

But not everybody who understood my advice found it to help them. Many people stated explicitly, that allowing third party cookies did not make their Stats setting for "Don't track your own pageviews" to be persistent. I recently realised that there is yet another level of detail, resulting from one more security strategy, affecting this persistence issue.

Some blog owners, mindful of the dangers of third party cookies, have resorted to compromise. They allow third party cookies, but set cookies to expire when the browser is closed, a setting called "Session Cookies". A reasonable compromise? Maybe so, for security purposes - but not for the Stats controversy.

If you set cookies to expire when the browser is closed, and you select "Don't track my pageviews", you're going to have to expect that setting to go away when the browser is closed. If you can choose between "Permanent" and "Session" cookies by domain, make sure that "Blogger.com" is set as "Permanent". If you don't do that, expect for "Don't track my pageviews" to be reset, each time that you close your browser.

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2 comments:

Bettina Braesch-Andersen said...

Could you clarify what you write please. Tell me what to do!

My firefox is set up to default cockie handling. Including ALL kinds of coockies. Third party, sessions etc. I can see no place where to tell Firefox to terminate my cockies.

My "do not trace my own visits" setting sometimes disappears when I close Firefox- sometimes not. But it never does it works.

The only time it do not count my own visits is when I click on the list of posts in the statistics. THAT visit is not counted.

Chuck said...

Hi Bettina,

I'm digesting your forum discussions, this morning.

I will continue to contend that the inability to make "Don't track my own pageviews" work is a combination of the various security settings, such as third party cookies and session cookies, on various computers. There simply is not a significant number of complaints about this, to make it look like an overall problem.

Your discussion about the omission of the home page from the numbers makes sense though. From what I can tell, the Stats menus seem to be structured around "posts" - which may or may not contain numbers for home page views, label searches, and / or archive retrievals.

I'm enumerating the various perceived problems, right now.