Notes on Statistics

It’s agreed that statistics can be useful, perhaps invaluable to a website’s success, but I find they raise more questions than they settle. And are their statistics and keyword search results really valid to begin with?

According to Yahoo, 32% of the traffic to californiarockhound.com is from Semalt, a shadowy group thought to be Ukrainian spammers. Great. At railroadsounds.net, Google Analytics says that 29.4% of my traffic comes from people using Brazilian Portuguese as their language. Really? At newmotorcyclerider.com, 29.4% of my traffic is Brazilian. Of course, it is all a fraud. The average time these ‘people’ spend at either site in every session is exactly zero seconds. More likely this is all robot generated traffic, sent out to every website, for reasons only these web crawler companies know. I am now trying to find specific IP addresses for these groups so I can use Analytics’ filters to block them. But finding this information at Google Analytics is very difficult, indeed, I find Analytics so hard to use that I am discouraged from using it. Speaking of Google, have you used their Webmaster Tools?

Google’s Webmaster Tools is an adjunct to Google Analytics. You go there for more and different information than Analytics. I’ve registered three of my sites with this property, and I continue to mull it over with worry and wonder. Like, what does it all mean? For example, Tools says the second most used search term for people coming to my site is “hobbess.” I can’t remember ever using that word, whatever it means, and I can’t imagine Google providing a link to my site because of it. Yet there it is. On a more practical note, there are discussions worth having, something that keyword search results can foster.

Question. If the most popular search term used to find my plant site is “Colorado Blue Spruce,” should I be forever penning articles on our spiky mountain friend? Based on keyword results alone? I just did a Google search for Colorado Blue Spruce, and my site does not come up within the first four pages. My site is there, somewhere at Google, but obviously buried deep. And with thousands of sites mentioning blue spruces, I can see no profit doing more writing on the subject, especially since I don’t know why the Blue Spruce traffic was generated to begin with. Hmm. It is perhaps not enough to have the data, but to be able to interpret it correctly. I continue to work at that.

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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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