Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who reads blogs?

Blog stats are of interest to blog writers because we sometimes like to know that people actually read our blogs! But by and large the blog aggregators like Amatomu and Technorati give suspicious looking results. My own blog visitor counters at sitemeter and blogger give wildly different numbers as does google analytics.

A few weeks ago I found these useful tips:

Google Reader: - you can find how many people are subscribed to a blog by adding the blog to your subscriptions (I didn't previously subscribe to my own blog!). You click on that blog and then choose 'Feed Settings' from the menu and 'View details and statistics' from the submenu. Hey Presto - number of subscribers. No names though!

Google Page Rank - this is a Google Ranking which is a number out of 10. You can find it for any page at and other places. (You can find how this rank is determined at wikipedia.) Google only updates the publicly available figures every few months.

Open Site Explorer allows you to enter a web page and it will show all pages linking to that web page. This is a limited option thing, so it will encourage you to pay for the service after a while.


Unknown said...

I'm one of the google reader subscribers.It's so convenient to just read anywhere. But that means I rarely comment.

And just when there's the handy tip about seeing the number of subscribers google reader decides to kick the bucket. boo

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Nice to meet one of my subscribers :-) Thanks Olivia. I was pretty upset when I heard Google Reader was closing down.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

So now, I see that my blog is much higher than yours under Popular Religion blogs in South Africa (, yet yours is higher than mine according to Google. I wonder what we're being ranked by? Subversion? Charm? Pageviews?

Steve Hayes said...

Yes the statistics are sometimes wildly at variance, and mean very little.

The most significant measure of whether anyone is reading it is the number and quality of the comments.

The number of comments should ideally range between 3 and 10. If it's more than 10, it's an indication that the question should be discussed in a forum like a mailing list or newsgroup. A blog post can then spark off a discussion, but the main discussion should be elsewhere.

On the fluctuations in the stats, see here: Is someone tampering with blog stats? | Notes from underground

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Thomas - I'm sure if it was charm you would outrank me big time :-)

Steve - I guess that is true . . . but I think a lot of people read but don't comment. Unfortunately that's often me as well. We're all waiting for the day when we . . . have time, answers, courage!