Sunday, November 28, 2010

Notes on SiteMeter Stats vs Blogger Stats (and Blog Aggregators)


This note will probably be of no interest unless you're a blogger, particularly one who uses Google's Blogspot platform and/or the SiteMeter tracking system. Or a diehard statistics junky.

While I hadn't noticed this previously, Blogger has installed a new statistics feature in its dashboard. While it does not track unique visitors, it does provide statistics for page views, post views, traffic sources (referrers and search terms) and various other items.

The statistic counts appear to commence as at July 2010.

I was quite surprised to note the Blogger stats' page view numbers are nearly double those recorded by SiteMeter, the service I've been using for a few years.

A plausible reason for this discrepancy was found at the Wordpress forum, via a comment in the thread, Dashboard Stats vs Site Meter stats:

Sitemeter will not record a page view if the visitor has been to any other page containing sitemeter code unless the page is refreshed. Sometimes even then it will not record the page view.

You can test this by visiting a page which has sitemeter on it, then visiting a page of a completely different site which has sitemeter and open stats.

Go to the second site's sitemeter stats and look for your visit in the reports. IT will not be there. Then go back and hit Ctrl Refresh (or equivalent) and review the stats again. You page will should then be recorded.

That's a good thing for SiteMeter users to know. If the explanation above is correct, visits are probably being drastically under-counted. If anyone knows more about this, please let us know.

On a related note, it's a bit of a regret that we didn't track stats at all for the first two or so years of this blog, so I really don't know how many people have actually visited us, cumulatively. I guess it may be more than I thought.

Whatever the number is, and we'll never know, I really do want to thank you for reading.


There's been an interesting debate on Twitter this weekend regarding law blog aggregators, and the appropriateness of third parties utilizing blogs' content via RSS feeds without prior consent of the originating blog.

I have aggregated in the past, on this blog and on Wise Law Reader, and have previously had a relaxed attitude toward this practice when others scoop from our content - probably because it happens so relentlessly, it would be futile to try to stop it.

It didn't take much of a discussion on Twitter, however, to cause me to conclude that blog aggregators should operate on an opt-in, rather than opt-out basis. In other words, your blog isn't included in an aggregator unless you ask that it be included in the aggregator.

While the Twitter discussion focussed specifically on a law blog aggregator site briefly hosted Friday by a local legal marketer who is not a lawyer, that's probably a distinction without a difference, moving forward.

As I feel its important to walk the walk on this, I won't be aggregating from other blogs on this site in the future without express permission in hand, and Wise Law Reader (which statistics everywhere tell me nobody reads) has been permanently retired.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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