Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…monitoring clicks

I’m a sucker for stats who loves playing with spreadsheets more than almost anything. Probably my favourite part of blogging is looking at the numbers on my dashboard. Below is a summary of this blog in 2012, and all the wonderous things you’d be able to see if you had admin access.

Firstly, where to people come from?

#1 Search engines (with roughly 98%)

I’m glad these are grouped together, otherwise the whole list would be full of them. Google Image Search is top with around 80% of these, then Google proper and Bing, with about one quarter of Google’s web searches.

Searches from Virgin Media, Orange and Sky each gave me one visitor.

#2 slizg.eu

For those not familiar with the URL, slizg is a Polish language forum mainly for discussions about music. In a thread about facial hair, marchewa (which Google translates to ‘carrot’) posts a link to my beard styles while possibly trying to claim that they’re his.

#3 football365.com

One of the most popular football sites around, Football365 does however have a strict policy on letting people into their forums so I have no idea what the two threads that link to me are all about.

#4 Freelanceflaneur.blogspot.com (later .com.au and .com.es make an appearance)

Thanks, Dave! Most people come to me through your homepage and it seems like one person clicks on my name for almost every comment I make, although people got a bit click happy over my elephant comments and my inability to pronounce your girlfriend’s name.

#5 Facebook

Apparently all from the homepage (must’ve missed the one second my link was there). I don’t think I’ve ever posted a link on there, so I don’t know who has. Nothing comes up by searching. I hope someone said something nice.

What search terms do they use?

Nearly every search term that comes in is related to facial hair except #17 (TV screens) and #51 (Tasmanian devils).

#1 Moustache styles

There were at least 16 similar searches lower down the list but I decided against listing them all because it looked horribly like keyword stuffing. My favouries were probably moustache stylée and cow with moustache.

#2 Hollywoodian beard

With fewer than half the hits of moustache styles, my Hollywoodian beard is my most popular individual style.


#3 Beards

I always thought my beards would be more popular than my moustaches, but they’re only about 33% as loved.

#4 Pencil moustache

For a while I was on the top page of Google Images for this, alongside Brad Pitt, but recent site changes have affected this for the worse. We’ll get back there one day.


#5 Goatee

Another beard style. Not much I can say about these now.


What do they look at?

#1 My beards

With around 83% of all page views, only slightly affected by the creation of my moustache gallery, is my collection of beards. Even when I don’t post an article for months, I’ve seen a steady stream of people coming to my blog just for these.

#2 Home page / Archives

It’s quite common for this sort of thing to be at the top, but it has less than 10% of the hits my beard gallery has.

#3 My pointless awards

Posted at the start of last year, this post has time on it’s side but not much else. As you’ve seen from the keywords, “TV screens” somehow gets people to this page. I cannot recreate this on any search engine, not even AOL.

#4 My Tasmania round up

Maybe it’s just something about posts in February of last year that really gets people going. I don’t know how people get there. (Update: ‘Tasmanian devils’ isn’t completely unsearched for.)

#5 Champagne Bay stuff

Part of a non-completed series, some people search for things like ‘champagne in sea’ to get here.

(I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and today got an e-mail from WordPress doing a similar thing, but nowhere near as well. They recommend I write more articles like #3 and #4 because people clearly love them. Look forward to more pointless awards soon!)

Then where do they go?

#1 To my pictures

About half the clicks on my site (not including the back button or big x in the corner) go to look at my photos in more detail, probably my mistake. Top three are La Souvarov, French Fork and Horseshoe,

#2 To better beards

About a quarter of all clicks go to Dyers.org, the home of great beards.

#3 To other photos

My Flickr profile is relatively popular. The New Victoria cinema set is the favourite and then two teddy bears, me with a leopard and me with the other Dave.

#4 Jemma’s abandoned blogs

Really four and five, but I figured I could bunch them together. Her ‘have I worn a stupid hat recently?’ post was popular but her Blogger account has gone and her WordPress site got a few hits, but it’s just a redirection these days.

#5 Dave

I had a feeling that Dave came to me just by clicking on his blog (the same way the myriad spam sites come up in my referrals and then when I go there’s no link to my site for them to visit me by) and maybe I should start doing that back. Most people go to his home page, although the contents of his backpack are also of interest.

Where do my fans come from? (Stats only available since 25 Feb)

I’ve had visitors from 103 different countries but it’s no surprise that most of my visits come from English speaking nations.

#1 United States
#2 United Kingdom
#3 Canada
#4 Australia
#5 India (sorry!)


Censored in China?

Dave’s travels:
#19= Thailand
#27 Sri Lanka
#33 Singapore
#34 Indonesia
#35 Israel

Does that tie in with where you read most of my posts?

These countries have all given me just one visit:
Moldova, Uruguay, Kuwait, Oman, Aruba, Zambia, Afghanistan, Iraq*.

(*Between writing this and double checking it, I got a new reader from Kuwait. Hello to you! I also had to take the Maldives off the list because I’ve gone up from one to a whopping three views.)

Other stats

For three years running, November has been my most popular month, with around three times as many visitors as February. November 2011 was my most popular month ever.

Overall, numbers are slightly up from 2011.

Four months — March, July, August, September — were down from last year.

Week 44 (?) of 2012 was my most popular, followed by 45 and 46.

January 9 2012 is my most popular day ever with most of those people going to my home page.

Filed under: writing, ,

4 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    This was the first web page I read in the new year, apart from my own. Starting 2013 off with tedious stats as I mean to go on.

    My list of ‘Things I like’ on my homepage is basically my bookmarks, I check it often to see what’s new and I always go to your page through there. If I’ve recently left a comment or want to see if someone else has said something I’ll click your home page rather than the individual posts and check the comment numbers. Basically, I don’t use any of the proper processes for things and my blog is my homepage / news portal.

    Those foreign country clicks might have been me, if you wrote a lot of blogs in October-November 2010, March 2011, July-August 2011 and April 2012 when I was in those places, and I think you did actually. I used to check that stuff myself the year before last (2011) and could see when it was probably you or one of my deleted girlfriends reading my blogs in real time. I’m probably more obsessive than you give me credit for.

    My page views have generally been on the up with a couple of down months, even after I try to sabotage things by removing the most popular images that I’m annoyed are getting me the wrong type of hits. But people’s appetites to see dead babies in jars is unquenchable, and unfortunately those hits are legitimate.

    • Oliver says:

      So far this year your blog is second only to Google Image search, which is probably going to win again.

      Good to see that ‘monkeys bum’ has made an appearance in the search terms too.

  2. You’re one to talk about abandoned blogs, mister! I almost had a heart attack when I saw you’d started updating again!

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