September 10, 2009
I’ve never really looked at the bit.ly stats that you get for every link you shorten using the service (handy tip, add a + to the end of any shortened bit.ly URL to see the stats). So this evening I did a little experiment. I had a need to create four shortened links each directing users to a different page. Each page has Google Analytics tracking installed and also another well known analytics package (not free). To each link I also added a click tracking parameter for the ‘not free’ analytics package. All four links were distributed only via tweets on a Twitter account (not my personal one, and not a well followed one which is why the numbers are low, but it suited the purpose) using the Twitter web interface. So at the end of this little test, I should have three sets of figures. One from bit.ly, another from Google Analytics (counting referrals from Twitter to each page) and a third from the other analytics package.
|bit.ly||Google Analytics||Other analytics|
I’ve always used bit.ly for shortening links, for no reason other than it’s conveniently embedded in tools such as Tweetdeck, but I may consider trying another one of the multitude of services that do the same job. Obviously bit.ly shouldn’t be relied on for your main traffic analytics, it’s not their main business, but should we expect its stats to be more accurate (or at least closer to other analytics packages)? These are low traffic links but on high traffic ones how wide would the gap be then? Would be interested to hear what others think, especially if you know of a reason for the difference.
October 30, 2007
Compete.com have released some stats listing the top 50 website domains by unique visitors on their blog today. It makes for some interesting reading:
Yahoo is still the biggest domain in terms of unique users. Not surprising given their huge coverage, surely they have to come up with a way to make a success of all these eyeballs? They may lose out in search to Google but with such a vast web real estate finding a way to leverage that is key for them. Google however coming second is amazing considering their core is still search!
Facebook at number 21 is a bit of a surprise, I’d assumed they’d be higher given the buzz but perhaps they’ll position much higher next year (if their bubble doesn’t burst).
The growth figures in the blog post are most intersting, showing sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Digg as some of the biggest gainers (bigger even than Facebook). This certainly is the time of sharing content, something Facebook has yet to get right (they started off well but it’s lately disolved into MySpace’esque profile vanity).
Adult dating still a major growth area it would seem; the person who launches a Facebook for this domain will win big!
Of the losers, most intersting for me is the losses experienced by Expedia. This can only be down to the emergence of much better sites that give users more intuitive ways to search for flight & hotel availability. Online travel is much more competitive in that arena this year and with the move from tour operators to embrace dynamic packaging I can only see Expedia losing more eyeballs if they don’t make some significant functionality changes soon.
July 10, 2007
Neilsen/NetRatings has announced it will lower it’s weighting given to rankings based on the longtime industry yardstick of page views and begin tracking how long visitors spend at websites. It has added both ‘Total Minutes’ and ‘Total Sessions’ metrics to NetView, its syndicated Internet audience measurement service.
This is to counter the problems their measurements encouter with rich applications using AJAX etc which allow users to interact with websites and services without reloading pages.
This has been coming for a while and I look forward to seeing the shake up in the rankings based on their metrics. I can think of a few sites that should benefit (due to users interacting with single pages for some time) and I can also think of a few sites that should suffer (due to users clicking around blindly and then leaving).
June 5, 2007
Nielsen Ratings is soon to release it’s new metrics for websites. This is in response to the concern over using just pageviews (which has been the metric of choice for advertisers up to now). With developments such as AJAX, pageviews are not as relevant as they once were.
‘Total’ web statistics will include measures such as the total number of minutes users spend on a site, pageviews and more.
I’m hoping this will also include interaction with web pages as that is the only true way (that I can think of) to measure the usage of AJAX applications where the screen refreshes without loading a new page.