Happy New Year everyone.
At the start of each year I've traditionally posted the previous year's awstat web server statistics. This year I'm doing something different. There are three reasons.
The first is that posting awstat information contributes to a lot of referral spam. In fact, I'll bet this post will end up getting picked up by spammers in web searches and sent a lot of bogus traffic simply because the text awstats appears within it. I have no idea what these people think they are accomplishing, but they seem quite persistent. Sanitizing the stats information so that it doesn't attract them has become a fair amount of work.
The second reason is that the statistics that are individually important to you probably haven't changed much from last year. Kimbo Slice is still the top search term that brings people in from Google...
What has changed is our Google rank. We've gone from about 40,000 monthly unique visitors in the earlier part of the year down to about 20,000, with a slight bump at the very end of December from people looking for information on the execution of Saddam Hussein. This is about where we were in 2005 prior to a national press incident involving one of our users. Nearly all of this traffic change can be attributed to Google. I'm not terribly bothered about it, as there are still an awful lot of people randomly falling in here from Google, and a reduction in our rank shelters us from link spam to a certain extent.
The third reason is that awstats information hasn't traditionally told us what we really want to know: How many people REALLY read MemeStreams. 20,000 or 40,000 is a heck of a lot of people. Mixed up in those statistics are the Google tourists, web crawlers, spammers, etc... How much of it can be discounted?
Rattle made two changes that help tremendously in understanding this question. The first was improvements to the sessions layer, which provides the information boxes you now see around the site that tell you who is currently online in 15 minute intervals. The second is the addition of Google Analytics, which includes a visitor loyalty statistic that I think provides the most accurate view of the size of the real MemeStreams reader community that we've yet seen. Unfortunately, these statistics exclude RSS readers. Its difficult to make accurate estimates about RSS readership, but we do know that the main page and the blogs of most of the regular posters on MemeStreams are pulled by RSS readers thousands of times a month. Given the frequency of RSS, however, that may represent less than 100 readers. Here are our visitor loyalty statistics for the month of December:
Visit Number Visits
This chart shows how many people have visited the site a particular number of times... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]
2006 MemeStreams Usage Statistics