Lies, damn lies and statistics”  –  Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain (but widely disputed).

Almost exactly a year ago (23rd November 2013) I was able to post about achieving the milestone of half a million hits  Half a Million.  Today I can bore you all to tears and tell you that I have added another 100,000 to that total.

The statistics intrigue me, are they right or are they wrong?  100,000 page views in a year equates to roughly two hundred and seventy-five a day but only a small percentage leave any sort of footprint.  I realise that some people will arrive here by mistake, wonder how they got here and then quickly move on but I am curious about how so many people (allegedly) can ghost in and out without leaving a clue.  If I stumble upon a new website or blog post I tend to leave a message.

Although the page hits keep clocking up I don’t get the same level of interaction as some other bloggers.  Sometimes I see posts with over fifty comments and I am reluctant to add to the burden of replying to them all by adding another.  For me there might be two hundred and seventy-five hits a day but each new post only generates as a rough average about thirty-five likes and about twelve comments (which means six, because half of the total are my replies).  These are the only clues that I have that anybody has really been here.

My other blog ‘Age of Innocence’ has also had over 100,000 hits in the last year but almost zero comments.  The interesting thing is that I hardly ever post there anymore.

Different bloggers have different styles.  I have always tried to follow the basic Bill Bryson template – a personal story, an odd fact, an anecdote and a bit of history. It seems to work for getting hits but not for generating interaction but right now I see no need to revisit that style.

Since I started posting my top three posts of all time are:

Minnesota Vikings

Norway, Haugesund and When Vikings ruled the World (March 2011) – 24,000 hits but only 150 in the last year and only 34 likes and 15 comments.  So many hits, an average of 18 a day since publication, so little interaction.

Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine – (April 2010) 16,500, 27% of these in the last year.  70 likes, 50 comments.

Queen Elizabeth

Royal Garden Party (June 2009) – 11,500  since first posted. So old that it has got hairs on it but 2,800 hits in the last year. 54 likes, 64 comments.

This is the post that gives me some confidence in the statistics because the hits always spike at about the time of the year that the invitations are sent out.

The most viewed image is:

Cathedral Wieliczka Salt Mine

The most commented on post (64) is the Royal Garden Party.

The post with the most likes (103) is a photo challenge called Selfie and I  am at a complete loss to understand why…

Carmona Andalusia Spain

Anyway, thanks to anyone who reads them, double thanks to anyone who likes them and triple thanks to anyone who comments and I look forward to following you all for another year!

I would be interested in your views and comments (or explanations) about WordPress statistics…

41 responses to “Statistics

  1. The Royal Garden Party post is a good one. I have often wondered about people who show up and do not leave a trace. Then, I realize that I do it a lot, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you mean, apparently a lot of readers don’t comment. I know some of my readers don’t have blogs, and struggle to leave comments with all the signing-in required.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just read your post Royal Garden Party a few weeks ago so I will be one of the 2,800. As new blogger, I wonder sometimes whether to leave a comment on a really old post.


  4. I’ve no idea about the stats Andrew! I’ve only been blogging since June and have just gone over 4000 hits so a long way to go but am more than happy with that I didn’t know if anyone apart from close family and friends would read my blog to start off with! Personally I’d rather connect with people via likes and comments if at all possible but realise that wouldn’t be possible if one had thousands of followers! I notice that every so often there is a big spike in hits but no corresponding increase in likes or comments they stay about the same so I wonder if that is due to spammers or real people reading my blog! Congratulations on your blog though I am enjoying reading your posts and appreciate you following my blog too thanks very much for your support! Rosemary 🙂


  5. A most intriguing post Andrew. As one of those bloggers with quite a few comments, I think it comes down to style. I love the interaction with others so often my posts include questions to prompt discussion. In the past year I have had about 75,000 hits and even though I have more footprints in likes and comments, clearly some of those coming by way of Google or other searches are looking for quick information, not to interact which of course is fine. I’d be interested in your thoughts.


  6. WP stats… yeah right; that’s like saying “Hands up who understands the opposite sex?”

    Know what you mean though, especially when you get spurious block hits our of the blue; such as on a day when you get 1000 hits, 283 are from one country you normally get 5-20 from. Personally I say it’s a nice thing to the blog getting seen, but I wouldn’t bet my pension on the accuracy of the stats. Having spent a number of years coding programs that ‘count data’, the endless permutations that are possible at the whim of some dodgy programmer are perhaps more to do with it than trying to analyse the human behaviour of blog readers.

    As for the hits verses interaction, it’s weird for sure. I do however think that many people just don’t like interacting, but look, read, listen for their own reasons. I also have similar stats in terms of like and comment ratios, but you are right, the most bizarre stuff gets feedback like you wouldn’t expect.

    I also think most people simply do not have, or rather don’t want to spend time reading. Your posts are great, always educational, detailed, amusing and ‘full’; but average Joe on the move, who’s just looking for quick visual stimulation, isn’t into interacting like us old geezers. In a similar experience, I notice sometimes that my longer posts get a low pick up rate compared to photo posts – I think it’s just a sign of the times we are in I’m afraid Andrew. Quality not quantity – that’s your thing.

    One other thought; your posts are mostly tagged about places, history, travel etc. You have also stated a few times how your posts are found on Google searches etc. Maybe there is a behavioural difference between ‘real bloggers’ (who ‘know’ us) and ‘web searchers’. What I mean is that we, as bloggers, view posts on WP Reader (for example), as we purposely go there as we want to read, digest and be part of the blogging experience. However, if your posts attract traffic from web searches, maybe those are from people simply looking for information etc. Yes they will come, read, get the answers they were looking for, but I expect they are simply different that bloggers in the way that they use the net. A weird analogy might be the Turkish Tea Houses you’ll have seen. Many guys go there just to chat interact with others every single day; whereas I go for a glass of tea, then leave 🙂


  7. I think I am an exception and pretty sure that you recognize me through my comments 🙂

    I always found it interesting to read posts with quality content and appreciate the effort went in 🙂

    I thin in your case most of the visitors are outside this wordpress community and reaches here by search words and the numbers here are just unimaginable for me 🙂

    Have a great time 🙂


  8. The statistic that always fascinates me is where people who stop by my blog live. It is a curious fact that my cats have a fan club that extends around the world and includes people on every continent except Antarctica.

    All the other statistics generated on blogs are interesting, but probably less valuable to people like me who blog for the fun of it, not for a commercial or political purpose.

    That said, this blog always is great fun for me because you always have interesting places and things to describe, and you do it well!


  9. Impressive stats.
    The photo of Wieliczka Salt Mine is great and brings back wonderful memories, it is an amazing place to visit, as is the nearby city of Krakow.
    I have two blogs a general one and a specialised one (about diecast car collecting). The specialised one has twice as many hits as the general one, although the general one has ten times as many followers. The specialised one is getting a lot of hits from Google searches (eg searching “Deagostini Supercars” my blog will be on the first page of the search and is often the highest placed English site (Deagostini Supercars being aimed for the Russian market)), the general blog has more views from fellow bloggers. For that post I have 346 hits, but just 2 likes and 4 comments (2 my own).
    I find it fascinating too, to view the fluctuations in statistics.


    • I wish I understood how Google works!


      • Don’t understand how Google works? You could Google it 😉
        Seriously, I think it works best if you post niche interests…my posts on DeAgostini Supercars, which is very niche, gets more hits than any of my posts on the far more popular Hot Wheels cars…and is often top of the Google …on my general blog I compared songs of Billboard leaders Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift…tagged their names to the post and sat back and got… a grand total of 10 hits….

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t have any real answers but am also reluctant to comment where I see lots of others – somehow it seems a burden. Interesting post!


  11. If I do a web search looking for a specific piece of information and I find it in someone’s blog, I usually leave a message telling them so, and thanking them for the information. But for the people that I follow — like you — I don’t always leave a message. I read the post, usually find something interesting or thought provoking in it, but don’t post a comment unless I have a specific question or strong reaction to something in the post. Because just “good post” seems awkward.


  12. I comment when I have something to say, otherwise, not and reluctantly.
    Some verbose posts simply make me yawn and I move on because whatever is said could have been said more quickly. I read and comment on a lot of posts and must keep moving.

    I don’t think about my statistics, but this is indeed interesting to think about. Must look at mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Andrew – whatever the ‘real’ stats, congrats. Always liked your blog. Know what you mean about feedback – what generates interest etc.

    We can’t fathom how ‘popular’ blogs (in this case ones based in Spain) can drone on about the same old stuff that’s been done a million times – and who get tons of likes and comments – v blogs that try at least to be varied, interesting and fun which garner much less interest. Guess it’s pop v prog rock, to use a musical analogy. Finally, can’t stand the sucking up that some blog writers undertake to ‘get a following’.


  14. I can’t say that I pay a great deal of attention to stats. It’s mostly comments that have real meaning for me, but there comes a time when saying something original or pertinent gets to be a challenge. Then again time becomes a factor as we sign up to follow more and more blogs. Suffice it to say that I enjoy reading your posts, but don’t always leave a comment. Then, too, there are areas you visit that interest me more than others. So it goes.


  15. Well, this one generated plenty of responses, Andrew 🙂 I just skim read through your last 3 posts and opted to comment on this one. Not for any good reason because I almost never look at my stats. I’m too busy answering my comments, as you’ve probably observed 🙂 I did start out by following anyone whose blog topics interested me, but when that rose beyond 300 it became impossible to keep up. I almost never follow anyone new these days, but return visits to those who comment, and in the main to ‘likers’ too. My time management skills are obviously not up to much, because I just about manage to fit in a life and a little sleep. And you? 🙂


    • I try and keep my follow list manageable but do add new ones now and again. If someone new follows me then I go and take a look. I am often disappointed when I discover that it is a management consultant selling courses or an artist who is trying to sell prints. Has that happened to you. Fellow blogger Spike has a nice technique of personally welcoming new followers. I haven’t got time for that.
      As I said, I am interested in the statistics, it makes me feel important but what intrigues me most of all is how some bloggers generate genuine and consistent interaction and some don’t.
      I confess to being obsessed with the whole thing!


      • Yes I always look at new followers and leave a comment. It’s just courtesy isn’t it, even if you don’t much like what they do? Sales folk- it depends what they’re selling. If it’s interesting jewellery or something, I might tweet them, as a one off. I don’t much like ‘bible bashers’ and Islamists. That disturbs me a bit. I can never understand these sites that endlessly reblog, Andrew. What’s that all about? If I couldn’t write my own copy, I wouldn’t bother. That’s got that off me chest for the morning. 🙂 🙂 Have a nice day! (it’s wet here and I’m glum)

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I recommend dousing your obsession with a bit of weed killer, let the land lie fallow for a bit and see what might grow in its place. The analytics and algorithms of website statistics is a moving feast. A site I manage at work experienced a hiccup in numbers (a big hiccup). When we investigated, it turns out the company who owns the IT servers made some changes that impacted the ability of our analytics code to gather all the data it needed. For us, it was no big deal. For firms who rely on site hits for funding, I suspect they would have made a fuss.

    The IT world is a furious blend of hardware and software. It must be a nightmare for global companies to keep code up to date. For example, I just updated my personal laptop’s security. Suddenly, I can’t access my WordPress account via my Microsoft browser. I probably have to add something to some list but don’t know what.

    I agree; I’m not sure why Selfie got 103 likes. I think there’s some merit in the concept – the superimposition of our shadow/s on to an object as a way of saying something about ourselves and the human condition – but in this shot the object is too hard to read. (Smile and wink).


    • Tangled and fragile are the two adjectives that I like to use. The truth is that our lives are being manipulated.
      I just suddenly started getting hits on a post for no apparent reason. I checked Google and an image within the post suddenly gets featured on the search results page next to a Wikipedia article. So very strange.
      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to provide a thoughtful response.


  17. Last year I started blogging using Blogger. It was about drought in Queensland and ways people could help. Not so relevant to England but California could have been. I built up numbers of hits slowly but very few actual responses. Then all of a sudden they started to skyrocket. One week starting with almost none and by end of week over 1000. Then a friend in US told me that there are some stats traffic firms that have automatic setups to find a blog and just open and close in seconds. Somehow they generate hits which go on their stats and they can charge high advertising rates.
    I don’t know. Interesting to me, is the fact that on all the four times I have started a new blog the same person, using a different name, has been one of my first or second ‘followers’ and I never hear from him again.


    • I am quite sceptical about the statistics. I have recorded 47,000 page views for a post about Vikings. Impossible. I have had the same experience as you when one post goes crazy for a few hours and then just stops. It’s not real traffic. We are all victims of manipulation!

      Liked by 1 person

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