Many new bloggers who first install stats tracking software find they are receiving a surprising amount of initial traffic. This can be very motivating, however, the real cause of this traffic is usually because they are making changes to their blogs and testing them many times, and hence, their stats software is counting their refreshes as separate visits and pageviews each time.
This can be fixed by filtering your IP in their stats tracking software. If you don’t filter or block your own IP from your stats tracking software, every time you visit your page it will count as a visitor and pageview.
When I first started blogging several months ago, I was amazed to be receiving over 400 pagviews per day in my first week. Then I filiter my IP and, of course, that number went down, but I had a more objective idea of how many people were actually visiting my blog.
I recommend the free Google Analytics software for tracking your stats because it contains a virtually unlimited amount of useful data and it is super-easy to filter your own IP. Even if you use another stats tracker, there is no harm in installing Google Analytics because it does not interfere with any other stats software.
Here is how to use Google Analytics to filter your IP to receive an accurate report of your stats (skip to step 3 if you already use Google Analytics):
1. Download Google Analytics.
2. Install the stats tracking code into your WordPress template (footer.php) right before the body-close tag.
3. Get your IP. Go to IP Chicken to get your IP address. Copy it to the clipboard.
4. Use Google Analytics Filter Manager. Filters allow you to manipulate the data coming in to your account. In this case, we will use it to filter out particular IP addresses. Click “Add Filter.”
5. Under “Filter Type”, select “Exclude all traffic from a particular IP address”
6. Paste your IP into the IP address field.
7. Add your Web site profile and save.
You are good to go and you will now have a non-inflated representation of your visitor and pageview statistics.
The only thing to rememeber is that if you are on a dial-up connection, each time you connect to the Internet you will be assigned a new IP. The same goes for connecting through DSL. However, Google Filter Manager allows you to block all IP’s from particular number ranges, so that option is available as well, but that is a discussion for another day.
12 thoughts on “Are Your Web Stats Inflated?”
Are you sure the visitor count increases? Didn’t “visitor” mean unique hit in Analytics?
Hey Carl, thanks for the question. Actually, I believe a visitor can be logged more than once. For example, if you leave a site, and then go back to it several hours later, that counts as 2 visitors. To monitor the absolute unique visitors, under Analytics, on the left sidebar, go to Market Optimization, then Unique Visitor Tracking, then Absolute Unique Visitors. Those visitors are only counted once.
If you are on dial-up you may want to block the IP range from your ISP, as you’ve suggested.
You can do this by getting your ip, removing the numbers after the last decimal and replacing them with a *.
For example if my ip is 192.168.0.1 I would replace that with 192.168.0.* in my stats tracking program. This will also probably block visitors from people in your neighborhood or area, though.
This is the one thing that I do with every monitoring service. I really don’t care how often I visit a page, just how often other people do.
As a webmaster of a site, it is easy to rack up large number of yourself, especially if you are making changes that require you to be consistently refreshing the page.
For the first few months, I really had a problem with Google Analytics because it would tell me that our visitors were well below 2 other stat sources we were using at the time. Now I mainly use Statcounter as my main source of stats. But GA has a variety of tools that I still use.
I wish that I could get the equivalent of statcounter through google. Google (as far as I know) will store all of the data forever, which with statcounter, you get limited to 100 hits of data.
Also, Google Analytics has everything too scattered to be able to actually find something to make it useful. I also don’t like the 24-hour delay in reporting.
Good point Nate. I get a shock when I see some new bloggers noting their stats. Big visit figures with hardly any comments. Then it dawns on me…3/4 of the figures comes from the owner.
I’m a Statcounter user too. I prefer it’s speed and simplicity in comparison to GA.
This actually works fine for me…
I recommed people using dynamic ip address to subscrive a dynamic dns account… they usually are free and easy to use.
This way you can add your name address to google block filter, and google resolves it on real-time.
I recommend using GoStats as a better alternative. It’s said to be easier to use than google-analytics. Most importantly you can also set GoStats to block your PC instead of only our IP. (Since IP addresses can change without notice)
My authors definitely inflate my ratings a little bit, but I am more concerned about unique IP’s per month.
That’s a good tip Nate. I always new that I inflated the numbers somewhat but I didn’t know that Analytics had a predefined filter for it. I’ve now implemented across all my sites. Cheers.
im implementing this now… i am guessing that mine are very inflated
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