Goodbye Urchin, Hello Analytics! Part 2

June 27, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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[This is a continuation of my post from yesterday...]

Real Traffic

The good news is that now I know my true traffic. The bad news is that my true traffic is 10x lower than what Urchin had stated.

The screenshot below shows last week for Movie-Vault.com from Urchin. As you can see, it shows an average of 7,700 uniques a day:

… Compared with Analytics which shows around 700 a day:

I wasn’t surprised, this is what I had expected. In many ways, I’m happy about this. It makes a lot more sense to how my sites have been doing income-wise, and now that I have accurate stats I can cater better to what my sites could work on.

Another cool feature Analytics has is a type of heatmap, which overlays graphical bars over all the links on your site, showing which links are clicked on more often than others. However, I’m somewhat skepical as to how accurate this is, since it appears extremely surprising on what my users are clicking on.. for example, people seem to be clicking on all the footer text links on PokerForums, but not the top middle banners as much.. which doesn’t make any sense to me.. does anyone have any thoughts or experience with Analytics’s overlay feature?

Going back to the subject of site traffic, while I had expected my new stats to be 10x lower than what Urchin stated, I did have a few surprises in the order of the popularity of my sites. Here are the results (data only taken from a week’s worth…):

[Site - Daily Uniques // Monthly Uniques]

Movie-Vault.com – 750 // 22,500
PokerForums.org – 550 // 16,500
TylerCruz.com – 450 // 13,500
MovieForums.org – 200 // 6,000
MMAForums.net – 150 // 4,500
Starcraft2.net – 90 // 2,700
PublisherForums.com – 50 // 1,500
PublisherSpot.com – 45 // 1,350
CookingForums.net – 30 // 900
Merendi.com - 10 // 300
GymnasticsForums.com – 5 // 150
CarForums.org – 5 // 150
TheTylerProject.com – 3 // 90
BadmintonForums.com - 2 // 60

Total: 2,340 // 70,200

So my little network caters to 70,000 uniques a month, which may sound like a lot but really isn’t. 2,340 uniques a day across all my sites is very little, and so my goal is to bring that up to 10,000, however long that will take. I’ll try to make updates on my traffic every 3 months to see how my individual sites and total network numbers evolve.

The biggest surprise I had was just how much traffic my blog receives… 450 uniques a day.. I never thought of it as my 3rd most popular site. MovieForums.org and MMAForums.net have been growing nicely too… gradually and slowly, but growing nonetheless.

Anyhow, we’ll see in September or early October how my sites fare…

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Posted: June 27th, 2007 under Articles  

34 Responses to “Goodbye Urchin, Hello Analytics! Part 2”

  1. Alex says:

    Wow Pokerforums only gets 550 uniques per day? If so you’ve done an amazing job monetizing the site.

  2. SEO Mash says:

    I agree with Alex – pretty amazing that you are able to monetize only 2k unique visitors per day to the point that you can live off of the income.

  3. omg says:

    You better change your pokerforums.org advertising page.. This is what it displays:

    Site Traffic & Reach:

    One million page impressions each month!

    #1 for “Poker Forums” and “PokerForums” on Google, Yahoo, and MSN

    Unique Visitors Per Month: 200,000 – 215,000
    Pageviews Per Month: 900,000 – 1,000,000
    Alexa Ranking: 35,112
    Google Pagerank: 5

  4. This is a good discussion and learning issue. One of the things that the new Analytics points up is that the whole field of measuring web site/blog traffic is “iffy” at best, it’s not an exact science as so many seem to think it is.

    Just think for a minute what a “unique” visitor is? If it is truly a totally different person than anyone wo ever visited before then a “unique” has a certain value. But especially on a forum site, how many people are truly “new”? 550 per day? I dunno, and neither do most of the people who throw the term around.

    I was on this blog earlier and left a comment. It was just a few hours ago, m time, between my morning “brunch” time and now afternoon cup of coffee time, 4 pm. But it was “yesterday” and now “today” by Tyler’s server time, so was my visit “unique” on 26 June and also “unique” on 27 June? I also occasionally guest post here, and have been a reader for a long time … so am I ever a “unique” visitor, even whne I come from a totally “unique” IP address, which I sometime do?

    There’s a _lot_ we don’t know about traffic, that’s for sure.

  5. scoby says:

    I’ve recently started using google analytics as well and I’ve noticed huge differences between awstats and GA.

    My blog only gets around 30 uniques per day according to GA
    but awstats reports over a hundred.

    Awstats does record some bots and says they’re not included in the traffic but there’s obviously a big difference between what google says and AW.

    What I found strange is that in awstats one article has consistently been the most popular for the last few months but google reports that a different article is more popular. You’d think the results would still be in proportion…

    Fancy reports and graphs are cool though.

    • I am a big fan of AWSTATS. You can tweak it out to break down the search engine traffic, keywords searched for, geographic info by country/city etc. Our tests show that it is ‘more’ accurate than google is.

      With your 100 uniques a day, you should be able to look at your logs manually and prove it that’s correct or not pretty easily and know for sure.

      Regards.

  6. Sahil says:

    So, you lie to your advertisers in order to make money?

    Ummm, please explain?

  7. Tim says:

    I’ve taken the liberty of collecting all of the advertisers on your site and sending them an email with an archived version of this post (in case you take it down) so they can see the fraud you’ve committed and hopefully take legal action.

  8. JD says:

    This really shows how useless Alexa is with webmaster sites. 450 uniques a day and an Alexa ranking of 47k is ridiculous. Would probably be less than 200k with any other type of site.

  9. Joel says:

    Sorry to say but seriously .. 2000 UNIQUE/day? That’s really bad. I cant understand how you can earn so mutch money out of that low traffic. That in case, would be a record!

  10. Jason C. says:

    Tyler, I think you just did one big mistake by revealing that.

  11. TS says:

    Dang, your whole network of sites combined gets way less traffic than one of my sites.

  12. Hahahahaha, this made me laugh.

  13. I’m disappointed that you lie to your advertisers. If I were them, I’d sue you.

  14. josh says:

    Can you believe that he bragged about his car, new condo, and the ability to work for 3 hours a day because he makes on average 250 dollars per day.

    FACT OF THE MATTER is that tyler is a thief, and he should pay back his advertisers all of the money he stole from them. You bragged about not doing anywork and now everyone can see what happens when you have the hubris to not do anything for 2 years straight!

  15. PigsnieLite says:

    Whut kind of a username is *Fraud?* Count him as a unique Loser, I say.

  16. Dan says:

    There has to be something wrong tyler because one of my simple sites has both urchin and google analytics. For 1 day Urchin reported 1094 and GA reported 1026. That isn’t a huge disparity at all. Webalizer on the other hand is just confusing.

  17. Dave says:

    I really doubt that his long-time advertisers care about specific numbers; they just care about their return on investment. If they weren’t getting a return on their investment then they wouldn’t be continuing to advertise.. attracting new advertisers could be a bit trickier now though..

  18. Josh Buckley says:

    Not sure if this helps, but you may want to check it out:

    here

  19. Tyler Cruz says:

    Just a note, all past comments written by me in this thread were not by me. I also deleted a lot of the troll/spam comments.

    How is it fraud when I displayed exactly what Urchin was stating? I do need to update the advertising pages on my sites, and that is on my todo list. I don’t want to list 1 week’s worth of traffic either. But you can ask any of my advertisers if I’ve told them about the traffic or not.

    I’ve changed the commenting system to only allow registered users to comment, so I’m afraid all of you trollers who keep using proxies and such to bypass being IP-blocked now have to register each time you want to post. But since many of you have nothing better to do than check my blog 20 times a day, I’m sure you’ll be up to the challenge…

  20. Ulchie says:

    I think they are being hard on you. You JUST seen your stats according to Google Analytics, and all of a sudden they call you a liar, cheater and theif. They are assholes who can’t use thier own common sense to see that you JUST noticed this and that it is obviously a WIDESPREAD problem that you just uncovered. Anyone using Urchin is in the same boat. It doesn’t make them theifs. It makes Urchin a POS.

    You only posted what your stats were, according to the program you were using at the time… and a popular program I’ve heard lots of praise about too! Urchin is supposedly one of the best.

    How about all these people yelling at Tyler, go out and contact Urchin and tell them they inflate people’s statistics and that ANY webmaster using thier stats has skewed data. Tyler is no more a theif than ANY webmaster that posts Urchin astats, and I’m guessing there’s a few of them out there! OH, and if you want to yell at Tyler for being a theif, you should make it your mission to go out and yell at EVERY webmaster that posts their stats according to Urchin in order to lure advertisers….

    As if its his fault Urchin really does suck balls.

    Now that Tyler knows his true stats, he should fix the problem, and I have no doubt that he will.

    But damn, he has some haters on here. Wow… some of you have no brains. Urchin is a well known program that many webmasters use to display statistics to their potential advertisers. If his is a lie, so is every webmaster that uses it… and there are millions. He just discovered the flaw… he didn’t create it or knowingly abuse it!!!

    All these hater’s are jealous losers with no common sense.

    • rdouglas says:

      If I remember correctly, didn’t google buy Urchin and then turn it into the current google analytics?

      Regards.

  21. Ulchie says:

    Not everyone switched over. Lots of webmasters out there still using it.

  22. leonusst says:

    Really interested in your low traffic website,such as
    CarForums.org – 5 // 150
    TheTylerProject.com – 3 // 90
    BadmintonForums.com – 2 // 60

    Wish see your related promotion article of these sites and quarterly traffic update..

  23. PigsnieLite says:

    I dont think Tyler promotes these little websites at all. He just started his
    entrepreneuring ways with these little projects.
    ANyway, I play badminton but I never have anything to say. And have you actually
    checked TheTylerProject? very amuse bouche. :D

  24. Sujeet says:

    The heatmaps are totally screwed up. For one of my sites, GA shows that every link in my blogroll was clicked exactly 5702 times, while 99% of the other links on the page were NEVER clicked.

    I’m not sure if I need to configure Analytics to actively track clicks through the goal conversions section, but I never really looked into it until I read your post.

  25. Tyler I am on your side, for one of my site, Google Analytics show around 100 unique visitor daily while awstats shows 1000+, I think this is weird

    One reason I can think of is: if the page is not completely loaded, it will not be counted by GA, since the javascript is not loaded. However, server side stats normally generate report from the Apache log file, even you type in tylercruz.com and click stop before it’s being loaded, it’s still count as 1.

    Tyler did you double check all of your pages include the GA code?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      That’s a good point, but I think this would only account for a very small percentage of missed data (<1%). GA’s stats seem much more realistic and on par with ad network data…

      I still blame it on Urchin ;)

  26. zigire says:

    You need to consider the various spiders that lurk around the internet and content scrapers. They will most likely not show up on Google Analytics because they’re pulling PAGES or IMAGES rather than javascript.

    Also… if you have a lot of images being “hot linked” to… that will show up in Urchin but not GA.

    It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out what was causing the discrepancies… just take a look at Urchin.

  27. make wicked money says:

    Hey Tyler, how come you were able to use urchin up to now? I thought it was discontinued and renamed
    when they were bought by google. Unless you’re talking about the software version of urchin?
    You might want to add statcounter as well just to check.
    Also @DaveStarr, a unique visitor IS counted twice if they visit a site two days in a row but the
    problem is a bit more complicated than that. It’s called the “hotel problem” and you can read about it
    at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics#The_Hotel_Problem.

    PS Tyler, I’ve read bits of your blog before but never got the chance to comment/register. Also, I’ve
    never seen sooo many haters commenting on one blog! Anyway, I’ve added you to my reader now :)
    Cheers
    Keemo

PeerFly

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