Monday, April 11, 2011

Stats Enumerates PageViews For Individual Posts - Not For Main Page Views

Not all blog owners realise the difference between the main page, and the individual posts pages, in their blog.

Some blog owners would like to display all posts in the main page, so their readers don't have to spend time clicking links to the archive pages, or to the individual post pages.

The differences between the main page, and the individual post pages, doesn't become an issue, for some blog owners, until they try to reconcile the individual numbers in Stats.
My Stats doesn't count my pageviews correctly!
We have seen a few problem reports about Stats - and some of the reports seem to come from people who don't realise that the Posts section of Stats provides pageview counts for the 10 most popular individual posts - and not for the main (home) page, or the date archive or label archive, retrievals.

Some blogs, even with post page URLs enabled, will get the majority of their traffic from people accessing the main page. Both the search engines, and the readers, will spend at least some time on the main page, before following a link to an individual post page. Some readers will only read individual posts when search links lead them, spuriously, to the main page - as in when they are looking for a specific post that was on the main page yesterday, and was archived today because a new post was just recently published.

Thanks to this post, my earlier post Who, Me? I Don't Spam was just archived, from main page view in this blog.

Until today, people could read that post, and the search engines could index its contents, from main page view. Now, all activity against that post will be from date archive retrievals, label archive retrievals, and the individual URL. Pageview activity for that individual post URL will slowly increase, relative to pageview activity for the post when it was part of the main page, because the latter is now ended.

The pageview counts enumerated by Audience (the 10 most popular browsers, countries, and operating systems), and by Traffic Sources (the 10 most popular referring sites, and the 10 most popular referring URLs) will each list counts for the main page, all individual posts pages, and for archive and label search retrievals, combined. The counts enumerated by Posts will include only the top 10 most popular individual posts (with pageviews for all browsers, countries, operating systems, and traffic sources combined) - and will never include counts for archive page retrievals, label searches, or main page views.

If you need statistics for more than 10 posts, or different statistics, you'll need a third party visitor log / meter.

Since a major amount of pageviews, for many blogs, will be against the main page, adding the counts for the 10 most popular individual posts, and trying to balance that total against the totals for browsers, countries, operating systems, or traffic sources, is an activity guaranteed to produce confusion.

If this is a real problem for you - and if you don't think that your readers will mind being forced to view each post in the individual post page - try using Jump Break consistently.

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Dude, hit me with a comment!

Libby said...

Does it ever... I've had to start using google analytics to make sense of it all. Good post!

Barbara Graver said...

Thank you. This clears up some of the confusion!

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