OK, to help you all out: That was no software glitch, we really had so many online at the time stated.
Statistics need interpretation (you can drown easily in a creek of 0.1 milimeter average depth), and I have checked background data you members dont have access to (I will post them below in graphs), and in this case the interpretation was easy (take a look yourself at the number of "guests" when you are online, I have yesterday had the pleasure to be the only user accompanied by 65 guests): Those online were guests. Guests can be real flesh-and-blood persons, in the case we are discussing there were 112 bots searching and indexing our site at the same time (which still makes for some 30+ humans).
I will now post (just some!) of the detailed statistics I follow every day, in this case for March 2011. As I said, statistics need interpretation, you can prove almost anything with them, but one thing from my POV is clear:
1. We are losing (and NOT increasing) page visits
(decrease of around 23% in March compared to February). OTOH this is normal for Spring to a certain degree, always has been like that in the last years (though not as pronounced, usually its around 2-3% decrease in Spring). Hits havent dropped that much, but then 98% of the hits have nothing to do with our content but hit on the banner or our start page. Also we have *increased* visitors, but this is due to the bots (see below).
2. "Panzer", "Tank" and "WWII" are the search result words that bring us visitors (with around 2% each), whereas "Vietnam" and "Music" bring us only 0.5% (I will comment on the graph in detail). OTOH dont panic: Those are only the top 25 of a total of 4000+ words that directed people to our site through search.
3. Around 80% of people coming to our site only
look at the front page, and they usually are doing so just 5-10 seconds (duration of 80% of visits). This group does not even find out there is a forum. The group we are interested in, people that will devote between 5-30 minutes on our site per visit, represent around 7% of the total, I guess Mad Russian and MontyB together with the Admins make the majority of those, frankly: Nobody reads
us except the music thread.
4. Google is the place where we find most visitors (around 50%, most coming for the news), but there are also some few very specific human made sites that create a lot of traffic, which I find quite interesting. Admin should think over the marketing strategy for the forum methinks.
5. of our great hit number we recieved more than 90% dont find the document they are looking for, either by 404 (file not found) or because they are redirected (I am investigating where those permananent redirects stem from), this really has me worried.Here the stats in detail
, interpret away, please (my take at the bottom after the graphs)... Stats 1:
First a summary for all the last year, you can see that our page visits have sharply dropped in March after a high in February:
After here it is all about March 2011:
A written summary of hits, pages, visits et al. NOTE the large portion of bots page views compared to human page views (50%), we had a total of 12.ooo+ unique visitors this montStats 3:
Monthly history in detail: NOTE increased visitors (that visit less per individual) and sharp drop in page viewsStats 4:
Where do our visitors come from?Stats 5:
The top 25 host
IPs (Thats the ISPs, not the individuals!) that access our site:Stats 6:
Our robotic vistiors in detail, most ignore our directions for robots (as specified in our robots.txt; Yahoo has the best record in that respect, I would have expected it to bee google as they invented the robots.tx idea and signed a firm compromise to *always read it*... Well, so much for promises
) but that is normal, NOTE the traffic and hits they are creating (they make for 50% of the overall hits):Stats 7:
Visit duration: Seems we cannot keep people on the site, ony 6% of the visitors fall into the pattern we are looking for:Stats 8:
On which page do our visitors enter? On which page do they decide to leave (exit)? Most LEAVE from our front page, most (apart from front page) enter on the stamps sectionStats 9:
From which site do our visitors come? Not surprisingly about 50%+ come from a search engine, the vast mayority of the rest from a bookmark or email link (I suppose those are the members that have the site bookmarked, but there might be one or the other standard lurker between them, and of course, the search engine bots that come from our sitemap link). NOTE 6% come from specific sites like Facebook, RC tanks etc.Stats 10:
and Key words
that make our visitors decide to look at our site, NOTE that those are only top 10 and top 25 of 4.000+ so not really significant in the end. Military Map Symbols seems to create special traffic, looks we have become a reference for that.Stats 11:
How many people find what they are looking for on our site? Many, 60.000, dont.
OK, thats it for now, my take is we should unclutter the front page, it does not show that we are a forum at first glance (to the 60% that can only devote up to 5 seconds).