Why do the counts go down? Is there one number, that I can believe?They don't understand that with Stats, you need to look for trends - not absolute readings. In the beginning, fluctuations are more obvious, and trends are less obvious.
Thanks to the referer spam war, and to normal visitor activity, even the "All time" numbers will go up and down - for newer blogs, which have less genuine and constant visitor traffic. And the constant rise and fall is scary - until you get used to it.
Newer blogs have less established readers, which makes both the periodic referer spam and normal visitor activity generated spikes more visible. With the 4 limited time ranges (Now, Day, Week, and Month), the spikes will "move" in and out of context - and make pageview counts in these time ranges fluctuate. When a spike in numbers "moves in" to a time range, the pageview counts will rise, suddenly. When a spike "moves out" of a time range, the counts will fall, just as suddenly.
With newer blogs, the fluctuations exert a "double whammy".
- The fluctuations are more visible, because overall genuine visitor activity is lower. Less readers = less visitor activity.
- Worrying over the fluctuations takes time away from working on the blog. Less time working on the blog leads to less blog content, attracts less new readers, and leads to less visitor activity.
The answer is simple, really. Monitor Stats periodically - not constantly. Watch for trends, and know how to interpret the trends. Spend more time working on your blog, because that's where the value of your blog lies.