Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Statistics and Internet Privacy/Safety

After this post I wrote about my daughter's picture being found on my blog and posted alongside rather inappropriate pictures, I got a few comments and emails about how I track visitors to my blog.

I use two services.  The first one, and the one I use the most is called BlogPatrol. The reason I like BlogPatrol is because it's live.  The statistics are tracked in real time.  I can follow what pages are being looked at and if a freebie is getting noticed right away.

After signing up, you choose a counter to display on your blog page.  I chose the invisible one which is just a little icon at the bottom right side of my blog. Just that little blue square.

And with that, I can see the information in the graph below. This was this morning.  Before I posted.  It shows me I've had about 20 visitors and with the current rate of traffic, I can expect just shy of 50 of visitors for the day.  It also shows me the last few days.  And it keeps about a month's work of current traffic.  Nothing long term.  It's more of an instant gratification type of info!

It also shows me the top 10 pages for the week and the last 10 viewed.

And below is where I found the site that disturbed me so much.  Here I see my top referrers for the week.  If I post a freebie, it's usually blogs such as digifree or ikeagoddess or the3chickens.  If I don't, it's usually people who have me bookmarked or in a reader or such.

The next part is the last 10 referrers.  That's an instant snapshot.  And that's where I had found the offending site the other night.


But, what if I hadn't checked right then and it wasn't showing?  Well, I also use Google Analytics.  It's a great site.  LOTS and LOTS of information.  Lots I don't understand how to even interpret.  It collates the data and updates once every 24 hours.  So, although the information is great, for an instant gratification girl like me, I usually check BlogPatrol every day and Google Analytics every few days.

Google Analytics is super clean with fun info. PLUS it keeps the information long term.  Not just a few weeks like BlogPatrol but I can scroll back to when I first started using them to compare stats over time.  This is the home page.  Just hits and page views.

This is one of the reports on referrals. It's very detailed AND it keeps an ongoing record of all sites that have referred me.  I found the "bad" site had sent six hits to my blog.  Now, a few of those were mine as I double-checked things had been deleted.  But it also gives me an overall idea of how people are finding my blog.

And this is just for fun.  I love looking at this one. Stats for all over the world.  Even 15 hits from Sweden! How cool is that?

The two sites don't always agree with their numbers but they are usually close enough to satisfy me.  And I can get a good look at who is looking at my blog.

And finally I'm going to leave you with a video that Amy left me with a link in her comment. I'm still going to post pictures.  Because would this post be as fun without photos?  But I'm going to think twice about what pictures I post, what words I use, and keep names and locations off.

What are you doing to keep yourself safe?


Creative Junkie said...

omg Beth - I just read your other post as well.

Scary as hell.

I use names but I don't give out names of places/towns/schools, etc.

I have Google Analytics but I can't make sense of the stats at all - I get tired just looking at it.

I use StatCounter and get very similar information as yours, but I like your format better so I might just switch over.

Britiney said...

Awesome! Thanks so much for all of this info. I've signed myself up for both services and will definitely be keeping an eye on who's visiting my blog. Thanks again for taking the time to walk us all through this.

Claudi said...

thanks soo much for all the informations!

Scrapdolly said...

I came upon your blog today playing blog train on DST. Your posts are very worrying - thank you for making people aware of this and the risks. I am also going to investigate the stats things you use - they sound very good.
that video link was so powerful.
Thank you

Angeline said...

Oh girl! mistake, the video link was from Amy, not me....I don't wanna take that credit away from her...

all that had happened must really be causing lots of turmoil in your head, serious enough to cause you to make this mistake...understandable... *smile*

MrsRomer said...

Makes me rethink things on my blog. And thank you for the detailed info for the stats.

Visiting from the DST blog train!

Mariafer said...

Since I am one of the ones that asked for this I needed to say THANK YOU!!! I am going to get to this soon! That video was awesome. Thanks.

Barb said...

I guess I don't do enough!

Happy Scrap Girl said...

This is the same video that my DH uses for the internet safety speaches he gives to our local high schools. Very powerful message it sends. Thank you for sharing it with your readers.

Cali said...

Thanks for taking the time to post all that info. I signed up for blogpatrol and am considering google-analytics as well. I have been wondering how to find out who is visiting my blog and this is a step in that direction.

Muma said...

Thank you very much for the info .. gonna set up an account on both of them now.

PatinParis said...

One down, #2 to go...but thank you so much!!

Sunny1972 said...

Thanks Beth this is great advice!!! Love the way you have the little tutorial! thank you!

Ash said...

OMG I am so sorry to hear of your violation Bethy. I'm glad you now have a way to track these unsavory thing and you are being smart to not use any identifying info along w/the pics. People are just horrible these days.

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