Thursday, August 17, 2006

Google Analytics

This morning I installed Google Analytics on my blog and ODU website. It’s a free tool that allows me to track how users enter, leave, and navigate my website. It involved simply posting some JavaScript (below) on the pages I wanted to track:
<script src="http://www.google-analytics.com/urchin.js" type="text/javascript">
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
_uacct = "UA-######-#";
urchinTracker();
</script>
It’s going to take a few weeks before there’s any data collected, but I’m really curious to see what this will reveal about the popularity of Warrick since I don’t have access to the CS web server logs.

Update on 8/25/06

It's been a week, and I'm now able to see some analysis of my blog and my ODU cs website. The screen below shows a summary of my blog's traffic from Aug 18-24:


Visitors increased from 11 to 26 during this week, and pageviews ranged from 25-49. Three quarters of the traffic are new visitors (Google is using cookies to track this).

The Geo Map Overlay is fascinating. My blog tends to appeal more to Americans and Europeans: I got only 2 visits from Australia, 1 from South America, and 1 from Africa. There were 14 visits from Tampere, Finland and 9 from Nokia (also in Tampere). The Visits by Source graph shows the Finish hits to be from Timo's nothingforsale.com website where I now have a link pointing to my blog.

Most people find my blog through Google. So what are people searching Google for that lands them on my blog?

Apparently my blog entry about Yahoo's error 999 is by far the most popular. Searches 1, 4, 5, and 9 will all return this entry in Google's top 10 results. The "shiri maimon" entry doesn't show up in Google until page 3 (top 30 results).

What pages are referring visitors? Apparently Elrod's blog is the biggest referrer so far. This is due to a comment I left on Aug 18.

What really surprises me is that anyone is visiting frankmccown.com, a website with no content. I did a search for "frank mccown" in Google, and the site came up number one. Come on Google... you guys are supposed to be punishing content-less sites like this, not promoting them. I guess Google's PageRank is far from what they originally published in 1998; there's maybe 1 or 2 links to this page from anywhere on the Web.

My cs website is getting a little more traffic than my blog even though I only have the tracking on a few of the pages. What was most interesting to learn was that Wikipedia was by far the largest referrer, sending me around 60 referrals last week. Most of the referrals are coming from the Internet Archive entry where there's a pointer to Warrick.

The Warrick page received 125 visits and 175 pageviews last week (18 and 25 per day, respectively). Here are some search terms people are using to find Warrick:
  • google api convert documents to HTML
  • Warrick
  • Warrick website download
  • Warrick archive.org
  • warrick perl
  • cached archive website
  • recover website from google cache
  • google cache website recovery