Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tracking My Traffic

So, after I finally get myself organised with an integrated blog / website at Andean Observer and think about maybe retiring this one, Blogger has introduced a new default interface, with complementary statistical summaries of traffic to the site. Until now, this has been the sort of thing you need to install separate software for. For the first time, I can see where visitors to this blog are from (i.e. by country), how they find it, and what they're looking at. The history only goes back to mid-2009, but it's fascinating nevertheless. The measurement is "page views", which I assume get counted every time someone loads a separate page. Here are some facts about my traffic to date: 

About one third of all visits come from the United States. Around another 15 percent are from New Zealand. Russia (!), Germany, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Peru, the United Kingdom and Brazil round out the top 10. Although the US/NZ share seems to be pretty steady, the international traffice varies a bit. For example, this month I've been popular in Latvia, and China and Malaysia make it into the top 10.

Unsurprisingly, Google is the biggest referrer, led by the .com site and then the New Zealand, Peruvian, Canadian, British, French and Australian variants. Easily the most common search term was (and I find this rather endearing) chullo. Interestingly, the next most common was made up of various combinations of "South America" and "cave", most of whom would have ended up at the "Señor Mendoza and the Devil's Cave" page. "Nevado Ampato" was another prominent search term. A number of terms suggest people were specifically searching for this site, while there's also traffic for people searching for links to (that would be Hugo and his offsiders).

The most popular pages are rather an odd collection, although the stats do suggest the bulk of visitors go to the main blog page, so I shouldn't be too worried at the negligible page views for some of what I think are my best and most interesting posts. The post with easily the most page views is "Non-traditional Exports in the Andes", a rather nondescript development-related post from January 2010. This is followed by my post on Mario Vargas Llosa winning the Nobel Prize and then the aforementioned Señor Mendoza post. Posts on Ampato and Salkantay have also been relatively popular, but there are some other odd ones and most of what I consider my better pieces have been roundly ignored.

For the record, a little over 60 percent of site visitors are using Internet Explorer, with another 20 percent using Firefox. Approximately 90 percent of visitors have a Windows-based operating system.


Susan said...

What about those people who have your site bookmarked and go there regularly to check for updates but don't come via a search engine? Are they included? Keen to know as one of your regular fans.

Simon Bidwell said...

Yes, they (you) are certainly counted. The most common "referring" sites only account for a relatively small proportion of the total page views, so from this we can conclude that most traffic comes directly to the site. What I don't know is whether it counts anyone who read the posts through an RSS feed (Google Reader or similar).

K.L.O'Connell said...

Hi Simon, I'm not sure how to best contact you, so I'm going to just leave a comment on your blog.

I am a student majoring in Global Development and Latin American Studies at the University of Virginia in the USA. I stumbled upon your Summary Report on your Master's Thesis online and found it very insightful. I spent last semester and this past summer in Peru as a student and a tourist, and I found the issue of tourism (particularly, its effects on the culture of a community) to be very fascinating. In fact, I found myself discussing these issues with my tour guide when I was in Colca Canyon.

I am interested in pursuing similar research, and I was wondering if I could have the opportunity to read your entire thesis to learn more about the issue and to see how you conducted your research. You can email me at if you're comfortable doing so. Of course, if I am able to do research, I will make sure to properly cite you in my paper.

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work!