Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fooled by Google Analytics

An excellent (some would say fascinating) service from Google (who happens to own and control the "" domain) is a feature called Google Analytics. It allows anyone with a website or blog to receive statistics on traffic to their site. Don't worry, it doesn't tell me who is reading my blog, only how many people view it each day, which information they view the most, and if they came via Google, how they got to my blog.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a massive spike in traffic on Friday... nearly 3-fold! I immediately began thinking that my blog was catching on, that I must have had exposure on some other popular blog that was routing traffic to the blog, like The Huffington Post pointing out this interesting, local civic blog in the Twin Cities. Or better yet, word of mouth was starting to tell a good story about what we're doing here.

Then, I dug into the numbers. I realized that the spike in traffic could be accounted for exclusively by people looking for last minute info on the Tour de Tonka. Google was able to tell me that my above average numbers were largely due to people typing "Tour de Tonka" in to Google.

Well, maybe I'm not the next Tom Friedman or Garrison Keillor with a loyal following developing, but I guess I'm still thankful that Google routed a few people my way. Maybe a couple of them liked what they saw and will come back again. And if I could at least be a public service to help push the Tour, then I'm pleased.

And for the record, the readership on this blog is actually doing quite well so far. The number of total visits is now into the hundreds, and the number of unique visitors is well into the dozens. All in all, I'm pleased with the traffic on this blog in the first couple weeks of its life.

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