Tag Archives: Wordpress Statistics

WordPress Crossroads

Ballyvaughan Ireland

Recently things have changed around my WordPress experience and I wonder if this has happened to anyone else as well?

I pressed the publish button on my first post on May 1st 2009 and I have kept up a steady stream of posts ever since.  Three thousand- five hundred posts over seven years!

Progress was slow at first.  I kept publishing but very few people visited and I despaired about achieving any meaningful interaction.

I worked at it.  I joined in the challenges.  I hunted down bloggers with similar interests and made sure to comment regularly.

Slowly my readership and on-line relationships grew and I was making new friends.  I kept working at it.  I kept fishing for new contacts and friends and it worked very well.

Then, I admit, I grew complacent.

One by one, my blogging pals started to disappear.  I thought they would be there forever.  I hoped they had the same staying power as me.  They started to post less frequently.  Some stopped altogether without explanation.  Some stopped altogether with explanation.  Some went off in a different direction.  Some I guess just got bored by my content.  They dropped by my blogging site less frequently and they stopped leaving comments.  Some continue to comment (I am certain) only out of politeness.

OMG.  Have I got to start again?  Have my blogging pals got no stamina?  Shall I bother?  Shall I reinvent my blog and its content?  Have I run out of anything interesting to say?

I am at a crossroads!

Kim says that I should stop and do more housework!

Review of 2015 – Top Ten Posts

Ireland Inch Beach

As we nail down 2015, please excuse my annual self-indulgent post to begin the new year as I look back over the last one.  I have ignored the WordPress annual statement to produce my own review.

The top ten most visited posts on my Travel Blog always surprise me but then I don’t pretend to understand how search engines work.  I say visited pages rather than read because I am neither conceited enough or sufficiently naive to claim that a visit equals a read.  I know that a lot of people will arrive here by mistake and swiftly reverse back out via the escape button!

Just to go back a bit, in 2012 the site recorded 170,900 visits and I was optimistic that as I kept posting this number was just going to keep going up but then in February 2013 Google made some devastating changes to its search algorithms and the numbers halved overnight and have never fully recovered. I finished 2013 with 79,470, a decrease of 115%.

I thought it was important to keep going so in 2014 I posted 320 times and the total number of visits recorded was just over 101,000 so there was some significant recovery.  2015 has not seen the same level of improvement but there has been consolidation.  I have posted 311 times and the number of reported visits is 106,600, an increase of just 5.5%.

These are the Top Ten posts of 2015:

No. 1 

Gaudi Casa Batlo Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Catalonia, Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi

No change at the top this year and this post has recorded 8,715 visits which is over 3,000 more than last.  I posted this in August 2013 following a week touring Catalonia and pulling in a visit to Barcelona along the way.

I’d like to think that this is because it is a knowledgeable and scholarly assessment of Gaudi’s architectural contribution to the urban World but I think it is more likely because the image attracts visitors as it easily found in a Google search and people seem to like it because it has been copied several times!

No. 2

royal-garden-party

Royal Garden Party

5,870 hits, up from 3,300 and staying in the Top Ten for the sixth successive year which by that measure makes it my most successful post.

In total it has 17,800 visits which makes all time second after my post about  Norway, Haugesund and the Vikings. This one has been around for a long time ( since June 2009) and has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one.

No. 3

Vesuvius Naples Italy

Mount Vesuvius

This one has been around a while as well and with 1,610 hits and a fifth year in the Top Ten is becoming a stubborn stayer.  A bit of a surprise to me really because this is the account of a day trip to Mount Vesuvius whilst on a holiday to Sorrento in 1976 with my dad.  From my memories of the same holiday I posted several blogs about visits to CapriNaplesPompeiiThe Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only achieved a handful of hits between them.

No. 4

Antoni Gaudi and me

Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi

A second top ten appearance again this year for the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi  (maybe I am an expert on Gaudi after all).  After I had taken a look at the official Twelve Treasures of Spain I thought it might be fun to draw up my own personal alternative list.  I included Antoni Gaudi in a general rather than a specific way.  I posted this in March 2013 and this year with 1,455 visits it has risen five places to number four.

No. 5

Angry Man Skelligs Viewpoint Kerry Ireland

Ireland, Ring of Kerry and I Temporarily Overcome My Fear of Dogs.

This is the first of this year’s new entries with a surprising 1,325 visits and no convincing explanation why that should be.

I visited Southern Ireland in June 2014 and wrote several posts that I personally would consider more interesting than this encounter with a grumpy street entertainer and a worn out old collie dog.  Once again, and rather disappointingly, I suspect it isn’t the words but the picture that grabs attention.  It was a map of the Ring of Kerry which I noticed displayed on the front of a shop.

No. 6

L'Escala Costa Brava

Catalonia, In Search of Norman Lewis

The second of this year’s new entries and I must confess that I am rather pleased about this one.

There are some posts that I have written that I would like people to read and this is one of few that have achieved that. Before visiting Catalonia in 2014 I read the book ‘Voices of the Old Sea’ by Norman Lewis which is an account of the Costa Brava in the 1940s and the approach of mass tourism.  In this post I attempted some research and some interpretation of the book and the area.  It has recorded 977 visits and in this case I like to think that this is because of the subject rather than the pictures.

No. 7

wieliczka salt mine

Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine

This post has also been a consistent performer with five years in the top ten but in terms of visits is this year’s biggest loser, down almost 3,200 hits to just 790, dropping four places from last year’s number two and if that slide continues I expect it to be gone next year.  I posted this in April 2010 after returning from a visit to Krakow in Poland.  It was a good trip but I am not sure why so many people would hit on it.  It is not as interesting as my trip to Auschwitz or the Crazy Mike Communist Tour.

No. 8

Benidorm Hotel Terrace c1960 

Every Picture Tells a Story – Benidorm c1960

I posted this in March 2010 and it finally made the top ten last year and I am glad to see it there for a second year. It has stayed in this year with 740 visits.   It is actually one of my personal favourites  and is a story about the Spanish seaside resort of  Benidorm inspired by some photographs that I came across of my grandparents on holiday there in about 1960.

No. 9

Volare Domenigo Modungo Polignano a Mare

Italy and Puglia, Domenico Modungo and the Eurovision Song Contest

The last of the new entries and another one that I am pleased about. This is the story of the Italian singer Domenico Modungo.   Domenico who? I hear you ask.  Well, let me tell you that Domenico is renowned for writing and performing what is claimed to be the most famous, most copied, most successful ever Eurovision Song Contest entry and most lucrative in terms of revenue, Italian popular music songs of all time.  Think about it…have you got it…

“Nel blu dipinto di blu” or most popularly known as “Volare”.  With 656 visits it has only just about crept in to the top ten but I am happy to see it there.

No. 10

Tourists The Grand Tour of Europe

Travel Journal

Seventh place with 636 hits and four years in the top ten which demonstrates the importance of an ‘About’ page.

Dropping out of the Top Ten this year are:  Moscow and Lenin’s Mausoleum, The Twelve Treasures of Spain – Seville Cathedral and Weekly Photo Challenge – Signs

If you have read one of these posts or any of the 1,785 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’then thank you very much!  I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said: “The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”  

On reflection, not a bad year but I still haven’t been Freshly Pressed (Discovered).  Do I care? Well, maybe a little bit!

I’d be interested to know about other people’s most popular posts in 2015 and the possible explanations why?  Comment and let me know.  I’m a sucker for statistics!

home-statistics

Feedback on My Quiz and the Answers.

University Challenge

Some bloggers set little quizzes now and again and seem to be able to generate some interest and interaction.  My attempt, I have to tell you has sunk like a brick.

A couple of days ago I set a simple little list of questions about International Airports named after famous composers.  The response has been very disappointing.  Only one fellow blogger bothered to submit answers so I am happy to declare the winner to be:

 Ina Vukic inavukic  – who got all the answers right:

Donetsk, Ukraine named after Prokoviev, Liverpool after John Lennon, New Orleans after Louis Armstrong, Poznan in Poland after Wieniawski, Salzburg Austria after Mozart, Warsaw Poland after Chopin, Parma Italy after Verdi, Ostrava, Czech Republic after Janacek, Munich Germany after Strauss.
As to Elvis and Prestwick airport I think it’s rumoured that the place is the only piece of UK soil where the man set foot on but hey, some say he spent a day elsewhere. 

If you haven’t read Ina’s blog drop in and pay a visit some time.

Anyway, back to quizzing.  I am trying to deal with my disappointment by trying to understand the reasons why it failed to break through the stubborn interaction barrier.  This are the possibilities that I have come up with:

1     It was too easy

2     It was too hard

3     My readers are not interested in quizzes

4     Some people don’t read the post but just press the like button in the reader

5     No prizes

So, I tried it and it didn’t work and it is back to the drawing board for me:

Drawing Board

 

Statistics

home-statistics

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…

WordPress.com or WordPress.con?

confused.com

Sometimes I worry about WordPress.  Is it all a big con?  Are those of us who use it, coming up with new material and spend hours preparing, reviewing and posting all collectively part of a huge high school joke?

Why do I say this?

Well consider this:

In the early hours of 30th December I received 124 hits in one hour on a post about the film ‘Shirley Valentine’ and the Greek Island of Mykonos on my archive blog ‘Another bag, more travel’ http://anotherbagmoretravel.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/the-greek-islands-mykonos-and-shirley-valentine/.

WordPress even sent me a congratulatory note to say that my hits were booming – up from an average of 3 an hour to over 130 in this short snapshot!

I was delighted of course but suspicious.  Unbelievable – that’s exactly what I thought.

What is interesting is that the film ‘film ‘Shirley Valentine’ was shown on UK television late the previous evening and the search engine terms feature seemed to suggest that this might be a factor especially when linked to the fact that most of these hits apparently came from the UK.

Of course I was almost ecstatic about this but when I checked the post I began to become sceptical.  I checked the search engine terms through Google and none of them led to my blog.  Out of 124 hits there was not a single comment, no additional likes, no clicks and no new post ratings and I find that rather strange.  124 people allegedly came to my post and not one of them left a single footprint.  Don’t you think that is odd?  Usually when I visit a post I leave a comment or a like (unless I really don’t like it) because it just seems to be good manners.  Is it possible that 124 people visited this page and none of them liked it, none of them wanted to leave a comment?  Not even to say that it was rubbish?

So now I am getting very suspicious.

This probably shouldn’t be a surprise but when I search the site I have noticed that the same few bloggers appear over and again.  Perhaps this is inevitable because, after all, I am fishing in a big pond for people and blogs with similar interests to my own, they comment on mine, I comment on theirs, they like mine and I like theirs and so on.  So where do all these other hits come from and why do they leave no apparent trail?  Maybe there are really only a couple of hundred of us here banging out daily posts and looking at each others posts, commenting and liking!

Do you think I am being paranoid, am I a conspiracy theorist?  Well now consider this:

According to WordPress stats my most popular post is https://apetcher.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/norway-haugesund-and-the-vikings/ with a massive 24,048 (well, I think it is massive) hits since I posted it on March 2nd 2011 but despite that huge number it has only 16 comments (and 6 of these are mine in response to others) and only 34 likes – just .14%!

On a second blogging site ‘New Light through Old Windows’ I have a post about the Robin (the bird not the Reliant or Batman’s pal) and WordPress tells me that it has 27,477 hits (3,000 more than the popular Vikings post on ‘Have Bag, will Travel’) and I think you will agree with me that that is a lot but this has only 9 comments and 4 of them are mine and only 13 likes (only .05% of all the people who stopped by here).

I have raised the issue with WordPress through the support forum but whilst some topics get an immediate response to all sorts of dopey questions my enquiry has been left hanging without a reply.  Somebody just got a response after 3 seconds to the question ‘features not functioning’.  Or did they? Have I uncovered something sinister?

Makes you think doesn’t it?  Are we all wasting our time?  I would be interested in your views…

home-statistics

 

Half A Million!

Travel Journal 2

“The three most exciting sounds in the world: anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.” George Bailey – It’s a Wonderful Life

Almost exactly one month ago I was able to write a post that celebrated a statistical achievement when my companion blog ‘Age of Innocence’ hit the milestone of 400,000 hits and today I can post that my main blog site ‘Have Bag, will Travel’ has finally made it to the half a million mark!  I would have got there a lot earlier if Google hadn’t changed their search engine algorithm in February 2013 which halved the number of page hits at a stroke because prior to this I was moving close to 15,000 hits a month but now wheeze along at about 5,000.

Thank you to anyone who has ever visited a page here.

As I said before I am not conceited enough to think that all of these are genuine visits and I am certain that a lot of web surfers will have found themselves on one of my one thousand, one hundred and twenty posts by mistake and wondered what on earth they were doing there.

To emphasise that I notice that the website http://www.webstatsdomain.org includes this rather flattering but wildly inaccurate assessment:

“Apetcher.wordpress.com is ranked 15 in the world (among the 30 million domains), a low rank means that this website gets lots of visitors. This site is estimated worth $38,018,523,303.”

 Wow and if only!

I started the blog on 1st May 2009 when I finally abandoned blogger.com and moved to WordPress as, in my opinion, a far superior blogging platform.

Grand Tour of Europe

My intention was to share my travel experiences.  I had noticed that as I travelled more and more I was forgetting more and more so I began to keep a notebook with me and to write down all of the trivial things about my journeys and holidays; I had hoped that one day my children my discover the notes and find them interesting in the same way that ten years ago I took ownership of my dad’s notebooks and discovered his ordinary but interesting life.

A big thank you to anyone who has ever visited a page here.

To date the ten most visited posts are:

Norway, Haugesund and When Vikings Ruled The World

Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Sorrento, Mount Vesuvius – Living on the Edge of Disaster

Royal Garden Party

Norway, Europe’s Most Expensive Country

Onyx UK and an Inappropriate Visit To The Moulin Rouge

Pula, Croatia

Travel Tips For Beating Budget Airlines At Their Own Game

Spartacus, Freedom Fighter or Bandit?

Greece 2010, The Colossus of Rhodes

home-statistics

400,000 Hits!

home-statistics

I was delighted yesterday when I achieved a milestone when my companion blog ‘Age of Innocence’ reached 400,000 hits.  I would have got there a lot earlier if Google hadn’t changed their search engine algorithm in February 2013 which halved the number of page hits at a stroke because prior to this I was moving close to 20,000 hits a month.

Thank you to anyone who has ever visited a page there.

I am not conceited enough to think that all of these are genuine visits and I am certain that a lot of web surfers will have found themselves on one of my eight hundred and fifty-six posts by mistake and wondered what on earth they were doing there but it is a milestone nevertheless.

I started the blog in November 2009 and called it ‘Age of Innocence’ as intended it to be a quick run through the early years of my life by taking a look at the big news stories of the year.  I explained the rationale behind it like this…

“The first few years of our lives are truly the age of innocence when we have a glorious lack of awareness of the external national and global issues that are going on all around us and shaping the world and the environment to which we will one day grow up into.  For me the end of the world was the bottom of the back garden, the end of the street or the physical boundaries of play imposed by my parents. 

They say that everyone remembers where they were the day that John F Kennedy was shot and I can confirm that my very first consciousness of world news events was November 22nd 1963, the day the President of the USA was assassinated.

Considering the matter of news awareness has made me think about all of the newsworthy events that occurred during that first ten years of life when I was sublimely oblivious to what was happening in the world.  Lots of momentous things were going on of course it was just that they were not registering on my personal news alert sensor that was only kicked into life the day that John F Kennedy died.”

Eventually I recorded the first eighteen years of life in this way up until December 2010.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In 2011, I did a Madonna and reinvented the blog and set myself the ambitious project of posting a blog every day for a year by searching back in time and finding a pot-pourri of Madeleine memories and significant events on a day in history or in my life that gave me a special ‘Memory Nudge’ and something to write about – I called this ‘A Life in a Year’.

I completed the project but sometimes it was hard work because when you have only lived, in the words of Shirley Valentine, ‘a little life’ it is difficult to find 365 events to write about so in 2012 I revisited the posts and took some time to reassess them, left some where they were cryogenically frozen in time, but those which I considered my favourites or the best or the most interesting I edited, reviewed, dismantled, reconstructed and hopefully improved and reposted.

In keeping with my theme of ‘New Light Through Old Windows” I decided that my project for 2013 would be to take a page at a time from my dad’s old scrap book (c 1950-55) and find a memory story that leaps from the page but I am no longer posting every day because I am running out of things to say…

To date the ten most visited posts are:

British Birds – The Robin

23,517

1966 – Pickles the Dog and the Football World Cup

11,008

1957 – a Sister, Spaghetti, Scouting, Sputnik and Stanley Matthews

7,545

Travel Journal

6,414

A Life in a Year – 14th January, Henry Ford invents the Hamburger

5,715

A Life in a Year – 4th June, Naturism and Health and Efficiency Magazine

5,049

1968 – Shootings and Assassinations

4,002

The Miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand

3,873

1955 – Polio, McDonalds and Disneyland

3,836

1960 – Beatles, Lego and Lady Chatterley

3,604

Once again – thanks to anyone who has ever visited and read any of my ramblings.

Scrap Book Project