Who To Believe?

Okay, so I use several different trackers to see what kind of traffic we get. We’re humble folks here at Cootiehog, so part of me doesn’t care about how many visitors we get. But another more egotistical part of me wants to know what numbers we really have.

Thus the problem. SiteMeter claims my site is all but dead, only getting about 100 total visitors a day (unique and returning combined) – although that spiked to 600 a day for a while when I posted about Ashlee Simpson’s SNL snafu just seconds after it happened.

StatCounter, which I only started using in June, averages about 150 users per day (1,359 on Ashlee Simpson day!), with 90% of those being unique users.

Then there are the stats that my own hosting company provides me. Surely my own hosting company can provide me with consistent stats, right?

Well, not necessarily. My hosting company uses three different trackers. The analog tracker is a complete mess. Part of me doesn’t even know how to READ what it’s telling me. Too many abstract charts for my liking. And really large numbers which I don’t understand.

Then we have the AWStats, which are quite pretty. They tell me that Cootiehog averages 350+ unique visitors a day, or 1,000+ unique and returning visitors combined per day (2,323 on Ashlee Simpson day!).

Then there is Webalizer, which is close to being as confusing as the analog tracker. So I won’t even bother telling what it says, since it also doesn’t track unique visitors but just lumps each PAGE visit and gives me some huge number.

So is it 100 per day? 150 per day? Or 350 per day? I don’t get a lot of commenters, but people are obviously coming. I ask because I’m thinking about signing up for Google ads (part of me is curious as to what AdSense would choose as appropriate ads for this site. Netflix? Tivo? American Idol? LOTS of tv/movie going on here lately). Google ads could help pay for the account we have with our hosting service (whom I love, but they can be expensive sometimes).

But if we only have 100 visitors per day and that includes non-unique visitors, there seems to be no point. But 350 unique visitors a day intrigues me enough to consider trying it.

So which tracker do I believe?

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  1. I visit every day… I found your site through your sister. I found her site when I was googling for info about the body found in our neighborhood. I think your site is quite interesting b/c I have a 21 month old myself! Also, another one is on the way – due in May. Thanks for the entertainment! 🙂

  2. AWStats and other server-side programs probably count spiders like Googlebot in their stats, so that may skew your numbers a little.

    I like looking at my numbers just to detect patterns… If you have the same people coming back day after day, like most blogs, you probably aren’t not going to generate much from AdSense. If most of your visitors are one-offs from Google, searching for something your site isn’t providing, then maybe you can get AdSense to work for you.

  3. Thanks for visiting, Jen!

    Spike – I actually do have a fair amount of google searches every day – mainly on my pregnancy page…I wonder if AdSense would know that enough to market to those women…although it would be cool to have primarily Netflix and Tivo ads, should they exist. =)

  4. I only look at StatCounter – I average about 250+ page hits per day with about 170 uniques and 80-90 regulars, from what I can tell anyway. The stats are pretty consistent across the board, I’ve found.

    The point about spiders/bots is well taken. My host stats are always huge and I know I don’t get that many visitors.

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