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Fun with Blog Statistics

I have a Site Meter icon on my main page that I use to track visits. According to Site Meter, I average 28 visits to my blog per day. Not very impressive.

My hosting provider uses Webalizer to track visits to my entire site. According to Webalizer, I average 686 visits to my blog per day. Much more impressive.

My question is, which number is closer to the truth? On the one hand, Webalizer tracks all visits, including those from spiders, while I presume Site Meter does not (since they don't download images). On the other hand, Site Meter only tracks home page visits. So when someone follows a direct link to an entry on my site, or downloads my RSS feed, Site Meter doesn't count them.

I suppose it's safe to say that I get no less than 28 visits per day, and no more than 686. It's just that a 24x difference between the two is an awfully wide range.

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Comments

(Hi Frank!)

Just to add anecdotal information, because you provide your full articles in your RSS feed, I usually read pseudorandom primarily in NetNewsWire. It's pretty rare that I access anything on the site itself, other than the feed.

I suppose that this is the reason that some people just put excerpts or summaries in their feeds. But then, providing full feeds is the reason that some news aggregators are taking the site's CSS files, so as to provide the "full" experience of reading on that site.

Personally, I like the "full feed" philosophy, but don't mind following links to excerpts that interest me. But the oblique excerpts put out by some sites (e.g., The Register) irritate the hell out of me; I rarely follow those back to the site...

Thanks for the insight, Michael.

I suppose that what I need to do is take a very close look at my per-page statistics in Webalizer and see how it all breaks down. I also should compare apples to apples by comparing my SiteMeter statistics to my Webalizer statistics for the main page of my blog only.

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