Analytics news and expert advice every Thursday.
Search Engine Land: Top Stories & Stats, Jan. 10, 2007
Back again with a daily stats and traffic review for Search Engine Land. When
I did the first one
yesterday, I warned this wouldn’t be a daily activity. But we had another record
traffic day, including making the Delicious home page. That’s going to make for
some nice comparison to Digg traffic for a future post. In the meantime, here’s
are the top stories yesterday on Search Engine Land and what drove traffic to
them, as well as some tips on Google Analytics and analytics from FeedBurner.
Before I dive into the stories, just a quick tip on what I’m doing, which may
be helpful to other Google Analytics
users. I’m reviewing the Content By Titles option. I pick a particular day from
the calendar (yesterday, in this case), then "Content By Titles" under the
"Content Performance" menu.
There’s also a Top Content option that’s a waste of time. That doesn’t show
the titles of your articles, so it’s hard to know what exactly was doing well at
a glance. Content By Titles is basically the same report — just with page
titles! It would be nice if those page titles were also links to your articles,
one of my many wish list features.
For each article, there’s a little red button next to the rank number of the
article. Click on that, then Cross Segment Performance from the next menu that
pops up, then select the Source [Medium] option, like this:
That will show you all the ways that people found that particular article,
such as with this report:
25 Tips To Optimize
Your Blog For Readers & Search Engines from Jennifer Slegg was our top
article with about 2,600 unique views. It was the number three article the day
before, and I’d
mentioned how it made Digg but wasn’t worthy of front page status. Well, the
Del.icio.us community respectively disagrees.
It made it to the
Delicious popular page at first, then
moved to be the number one item on the main Delicious home page, around 3pm
Eastern time. It stayed on that page for some time. In fact, I had a chuckle
when later on, I saw us sitting on the front page along Aaron Wall’s
SEO Book. Someone bookmarked one of his
SEO tools. I don’t remember what exactly
which one, and sadly Delicious doesn’t seem to let you go back to see what hit
the home page over time.
Delicious sent us about 800 visitors. But then there’s an entire Delicious
effect that rolled forward from that. Hitting the Delicious home page meant we
made the home page of Popurls, which is a
great site that shows the top stories on Digg, Delicious, Reddit and a number of
other meme and news sites. That sent over another 300 people.
Doggdot does a similar thing and sent 40
Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion saw the story,
and was the third largest referral source sending 80 visitors. Jennifer Laycock
at Search Engine Guide
and sent another 50. Along with this, our feed generated traffic via places like
the Google Personalized Home Page,
Netvibes. Direct Navigation was another
I doubt all those people actually directly navigated to this story. Instead,
that probably represents some Delicious people who have browsers set not to pass
along referrer information plus perhaps people already on Search Engine Land
that clicked from the home page to read.
Fortune’s Best Place To Work, But Rich Early Employees Checking Out was the
top article two days ago but still hung in there to be number two yesterday and
drove about 370 views. This seemed to be mainly people searching for
google on Google News, where the story must have continued to come up,
though dropping lower in the rankings on Google News as it became more dated.
Stay Master Of Your
Feed Domain was the third most popular article, with 200 views. There was no
strong referral source for it. No one really linked over, sniff sniff. But it’s
a case where the existing audience can make a difference. That traffic came
mostly from feed readers. Web Pro News
mentioned the story and gave us 6 views, not a ton on its own but pretty
high when you compare to Google for that day. We picked up another three views
via being on the home page of Spam Abuse.
Google Blog Search’s
People Search Spam Problem came in fourth with 180 views. Feed readers were
again the big driver, though Google sent about 35 visitors via search related
traffic — Google News search, actually, as FeedBurner helped me know. More on
MyBlogLog & More On How It Works was the fourth most popular story two
days ago and slipped to fifth, driving 165 visitors. Delicious was a top driver
generating 22 views. Search Engine Roundtable
sent another 14
and Google Blogoscoped remained a driver,
I said it was a new record day, at least excluding the days when we’ve hit
Digg. We had about 9,000 page views and 5,700 visitors. Overall, top sources were:
- Direct Navigation: 1,431 visits
- Delicious: 808
- Google Organic/Keyword Driven: 693 visits
- Google Home Page/Reader Referrals: 409 visits
- Popurls: 281
Finally, you may have heard that FeedBurner
started offering site statistics last week. I’m now running those. We
already use FeedFlares from FeedBurner, which I’ll talk about in a future post.
That means the tracking code needed for stats was already running, so why not
One plus is that FeedBurner stats are far more recent than Google Analytics,
which can often be six hours behind. I always want to know what’s happening
right now! The Google Analytics delay is one reason why Rand Fishkin over at
SEOmoz tells me he goes with the fee-based
Indextools service. I might play around
with that in the future, plus I’ve always loved
ClickTracks and may get back to using them
as well. You’ve also got Rand to thank for me doing these break downs. Hey, the
guy inspired me with his
intelligence project last year, so now I’m hip on the let’s be open and
share our stats stuff :)
FeedBurner was nice, because I could see Delicious as a driver much earlier
than Google Analytics was telling me. That meant I could get over and see
exactly how Delicious was driving traffic before things changed. Often, you’ll
turn up on a site and discover you’ve moved off the home page or some other
place, so it’s guesswork as to what was the traffic generator.
Interestingly, the FeedBurner and Google Analytics page view stats were
pretty much the same. Sometimes stats programs can be wildly different. But the
other plus with FeedBurner is that when drilling down on a page, I can see the
entire referral string and breakout on subdomains. That’s important with Google
traffic. As I noted in my monthly review, some of the consolidation Google
Analytics does makes it hard to know if you have traffic from Google News,
Google Blog Search, Google regular search and so on. But look here:
See how in the drill down I’m shown the entire URL for news.google.com
traffic? That lets me know that Google News, for the
Google Blog Search’s
People Search Spam Problem story, was sending me traffic for "google people
search" via Google News. You can see those words embedded in the URL.
Alternatively, if you click on that row of the table, you drill down further
where you can click through to see
the results actually on Google. We’re still there for the moment, though
that will change over time.
My main hope is that FeedBurner makes the links they are showing in the
overview report live. It’s a pain to have to drill down if you want to click
through. I can see the URL there — make it live so I can pop open a window and
check on it.