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Occasionally, People Do Read Our Blogs

Real people live in various countries all over the world.

Every country has Internet service - and people who surf the Internet. Some read this blog - and maybe your blog, too,
My blog pageviews today increased from 150 to 1530 !! And almost all the visits were from Canada. Please Help Me!
Why would you dread Canadian readers, eh?

Knowing that your blog may host readers, in a worldwide community, would you fear traffic from unknown countries?

Some blog owners have strange superstitions.

Referer spam causes fear, uncertainty, and denial - with blog owners.

A few blog owners, ever mindful of the threat of referer spam, in their Stats logs, seem to dread reading Stats. Some become nervous, when seeing a sudden rise in visitor count.

Your blog may have reader activity spikes, because of what you write.

Occasionally, you may write a blog post that is particularly well received. I wrote an article about language based blog sets a week ago - and about a blog feed problem, last month - each post getting significantly more attention than others.

Some blogs may show real visitor activity, that coincides with real events.

If your blog focuses on cultural or political events - or otherwise might concentrate on events in any geographical region, it's possible that you might write a particularly intriguing post, that could generate a significant spike in reader activity. If the activity was well received in one geographical region, you might see a spike in traffic from that region.

Alternately, and remembering the way Stats displays pageview count trends, you could see a spike that only appears to be concentrated in one region.

In either event, though, you might have actual human beings reading the blog. You might not be observing referer spam, at all.

You can only recognise referer spam, by analysing relevance to your blog.

You recognise referer spam by a spike in "Traffic sources", with "Referring Sites" and / or "Referring URLs" showing one or two single entries which appear to coincide with the spike - then confirm by viewing the site / URL. Of course, since our #1 recommendation regarding referer spam is
Don't click on the Stats log links!
you may never know for sure what you have.

Google identifies referer spam, by analysing relevance to thousands of blogs.

This is another example why identifying referer spam is left to Google, who can examine traffic patterns for thousands of blogs, simultaneously. If they see traffic from the same site hitting other blogs, at the same time, they can identify it - and remove it, from all blogs Stats logs.

More unique referer spam takes longer, to be identified by Google - and causes a more significant spike in the pageview counts, for any blogs attacked. This, too, is why owners of newer sites report referer spam more than owners of more established sites.

Just consider the possibilities, when you see a trend in your Stats logs.

But when you do see an interesting spike in pageview counts, it doesn't hurt to examine the Posts and Pages lists, for that time period. Examine content of any well viewed posts, and consider if a spike in a recently published post corresponds with any real world events.

The purpose of visitor logs, in general, is to tell us when we write something that the world considers significant. Why not consider that possibility?

Be optimistic - just don't be naive.


What about the new trend of seeing no country but just the operating system? I've been getting a bunch of hits to my blogs that have just a list of operating systems with no country listed and no referring url. Usually with 150 or more hits within a two minute time frame, to a large grouping of my posts.
Let it be or worry?
Chuck Croll said…

Remember, Stats only shows the countries, and the operating systems (and browser, and posts ...) which are the 10 highest, for that time period.

Somebody from a small country is counted. Just because someone from Tokelau (who may be the only person on the Internet in Tokelau that day) who visits your blog, is going to cause your pageview counter to go up - even if "Tokelau" is not mentioned, in Countries.

You just won't see "Tokelau" in the 10 most active countries, for your blog, for that time period - because the "USA, UK, Australia, India, ... Italy" may represent the top 10 countries, and Tokelau, the 11th country, won't be listed.

Don't try to cross reference "country", "operating system", and "referring URL" for each individual visitor. Read each list in its own content.

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