Where have all the readers gone?

Bayou Renaissance Man contemplates the numbers from his various stats packages:

Sitemeter … shows a dramatic drop in visitors from about June, which finds some (but not exact) correlation in declining page views recorded by Blogger’s own Stats tool. However, it’s not reflected to anything like the same extent by Google Analytics, and certainly isn’t reflected in Google Feedburner. Why it’s so marked in this measurement, but not in others, I don’t know.

My own Site Meter curve looks somewhat like his, albeit not as tall: there’s a downward slope from January through September, a small pickup in October, a decline in November/December. January 2013 is running slightly ahead of January 2012. The summer, of course, almost always means less traffic, what with people on vacation and whatnot, and there were, you may remember, issues with Site Meter last summer. As for the rest of it:

That drop correlates almost exactly with a slight but steady increase in readership through my blog’s RSS feed … suggesting that what I lose here, I’m gaining there. I suspect that regular readers are migrating to my RSS feed.

And Site Meter can’t count the feed unless someone comes to read the article. (More precisely, I have not figured out a way to embed SM’s tracker in the feed.) Still, my traffic is almost exactly what it was in 2005: 800-900 a day, though today half of that comes from the feed, which I track with a WordPress plugin.

I do log any unusually busy days — 1250 visitors or more — separately. The busiest day ever was 12 May 2009, mostly due to this: 13,636 showed up. Another 2,479 appeared the next day. (Second best: 8,379.)


  1. Bill Peschel »

    31 January 2013 · 2:03 pm

    That’s why I use a number of different methods to keep track: Sitemeter, Stat Counter, Google Analytics and my hosting provider’s Webalizer. Of course, I need to produce posts to get readers, so that might be my problem there.

  2. fillyjonk »

    31 January 2013 · 3:14 pm

    I don’t really track stats, but I’ve noticed fewer (non-spam) comments of late.

    I’m telling myself that it’s that everyone is just busy, not that I’ve become boring.

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