Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March Statpr0n

March showed about 1,000 fewer Page Views than February, but about 1,000 more Unique Vistors in Statcounter. Here are the stats for March.
Statcounter
Page Views: 67,565
Unique Visitors: 54,231

Google Analytics
Page Views: 68,903
Unique Visitors: 52,125

Now, measuring visitors can be remarkably tricky and there are a number of sleights of hand that can be employed in order to boost them.

Bloggerheads has an analysis of numerous blog stats, including that of The Kitchen. However, he also comes to the conclusion that Iain and Guido may not have quite as many readers as they claim to.
For more, we turn to an anonymous blogger who has, in the recent past, enjoyed prominent inbound links from Bloggerheads, Iain Dale, and Devil's Kitchen:
Looking at my own numbers, a link [in the blog] from Dale is worth 220-250 hits, occasionally 280-290. Links from either Bloggerheads or Devil's Kitchen bring in a steady 160-190 visits, which does suggest that most of Dale's traffic is transient. Now I don't know what Bloggerheads is pulling down but DK's getting about 30k visits a month IIRC, around a tenth of Dale's statporn numbers and yet a link from his blog is worth only 50-70 or so fewer visits than one from Dale.

'Transient' is a word. Not one I'd use.
...

Here, let me show you:

Devil's Kitchen has public stats available via sitemeter. There are no figures for unique visitors, but he appears to be pulling in just under 50,000 visits a month.

For Bloggerheads, Google Analytics shows 46,452 visits in March.

[Psst! Have a peek at Alexa for a comparison including Devil's Kitchen.]

Assuming the majority of click-throughs will happen on the day of bloggage (i.e. when that post is a lead item) we get an average of 175 click-throughs from approx. 1,700 visits - a click-through rate for both sites of roughly 10%

About 250 click-throughs will result from a link in bloggage from Iain Dale. Working our way backwards though the figures on a click-through rate of 10%, and Dale looks to be getting 2,500 visits per day or 75,000 visits a month.

A figure of 51,293 unique visitors a month looks perfectly logical next to that

A claim of 200,000 to 350,000 unique visitors a month does not.

Do go and read the rest. The only thing that I would add though, is that your humble Devil cannot claim even "transient" visits in the few hundred thousand range, so where are all those hits coming from? People refreshing for comments perhaps?

Anyway, I think that most of us are aware that visitor stats should usually be taken with a pinch of salt; they are a useful indicator, that's all. After all, I publish full RSS feeds too and I have no idea how many people click through or just read the feeds without doing so.

I am merely grateful that you all continue to read my ramblings...

UPDATE: some interesting comments, particularly by our penniless Greek friend, over at the Bloggerheads post. Certainly I get quite a few hits when Guido and Iain link to me and I am, naturally, unable to gauge how many people get when I link to them.

UPDATE 2: Guido comments.
So the people who said traffic doesn't matter now spend ages arguing over it. Go figure.

Look we all know that no method is perfect. Nevertheless go check with Comscore or Hitwise - which is what the untrusting online advertising industry does - if you want independent numbers.

I still have Statcounter code on my blog as well as Google analytics. There is often a 5% + disagreement about numbers.

The main reason I do stat porn is to wind up the MSM, not other bloggers. Two years ago they used to lift stories from me (and Iain) and when challenged say never heard of you. So I started publishing domain details showing all the hits from MSM servers.

Before the boring Blogwars began, back in 2005, I remember someone who was incredibly impressed with Guido's reach. He even blogged about the power of a link from Guido. How things have changed, eh?

102 comments:

MatGB said...

FWIW, you remain one of the small number of non-LJ blogs I have on one of my principle filters (a viewing folder of feeds), alongside Tim, Garry, Katy and a couple others.

I scan over stuff that doesn't interest me and when you post one of the looooong posts I sometimes want to move the filter but haven't, I suspect I'm not the only one to read you predominantly on my main feed reader of choice almost exclusively.

But yeah, I've always suspected Guido's stats specifically, he used to publish his statcounter visits, and we both know they count a 'unique' as anyone that revisists after X hours, so if someoene checks twice a day then they're two uniques a day, which is daft an thus blew his Private Eye comparison out of the water. That's without counting things like my local pub has a subscription.

Strangely, my comment on that subject ages back seemed to disappear.

Willy waving over stats. Meh, I'll keep to writing the content I want to, if people like it they'll come (and they do when I want them). I don't count visits (LJ doesn't allow JS for a start) but I know it's a lot more than I had on Blogger back when I was "top rated"...

Unity said...

Two important stats that Google Analytics provides which never get quoted are the percentages for direct accesses, referrals and search engine generated traffic and the bounce rate - i.e. people who ship up at a site and leave almost immediately.

Ordinarily these aren't of much consequence unless you're running ads for a bit of revenue, but when you start making comparison between you blog and the ABC's of a print magazine then they do matter because they're not really readers, in the sense that a magazine has readers who buy the title, they're more the equivalent of people who pick up a magazine in WH Smiths, skim a couple of pages and then put it back.

If you're going make a big deal of your stats, and I don't, then search engine traffic is an issue because the longer a blog has been around the more random traffic it'll pick up from Google anyway and the kind of random searches you get is also a factor. I get 25-30 hits a day just of people searching from Christian ministry websites just because of the name - of course they'll all be rather disappointed with what they find at MoT but then do I give a fuck?

In fact, I've got a even got a regular spammer from Pakistan who, once a month or so, offers to translate MoT into Urdu so I can share my message with Pakistani Christians (???).

Whoever this idiot is, he's obviously not much of a translator.

Tim said...

A good point from Unity about what counts as a quality audience... and what doesn't count as an audience at all.

For the record, the Google Analytics figures for the main MT weblog at Bloggerheads are as follows:

41.92% search engines, 35.18% referring sites, 22.90% direct traffic, 0.01% 'other'

*However* I will often target a name or keywords relating to a burning issue in order to draw traffic to my post about it, and a lot of that traffic is pretty immediate; what I blog now could be a high search result for a major news/blogging item an hour from now.

(zips forward by 24 hours)
(counts number of visitors from inbound link)

Devil's Kitchen said...

My main referrers are as follows:

Referring Sites 43.51%, Direct Traffic 28.32%, Search Engines 28.08%, Other 0.09%.

Bounce rate is averaging 83.15%, which is pretty high, I guess...

DK

MatGB said...

Unity: "Google Analytics provides which never get quoted are the percentages for direct accesses, referrals and search engine generated traffic and the bounce rate"

That's interesting to know, I installed GA just before I stopped blogging anywhere but on my journal, definitely will go back to them if I ever get around to finishing my own self hosting setup.

"the longer a blog has been around the more random traffic it'll pick up ... random searches ... I get 25-30 hits a day ... just because of the name"

Aye, I had no clue what I was doing when I set up, by Not Little England, not updated now for nearly two years, still gets 12-15 hits a day from random searches—the name is good and the URL structure better. "Get Labour Out" is popular still, will have to abuse that at some point I suspect, might be worth my while putting random content on there again just for the ad revenue, doubt it but still...

Tim: "I will often target a name or keywords relating to a burning issue"

I got more and more into the habit of doing that while I was still at it, and do it now when I'm posting elsewhere, making the link different to the post title is a very useful little function of Wordpress that can be (ab)used more than it is I think.

I was beating Guido during the Prescott & Roses thing for SERP on his name/her name, and my post was a serious "ignore the gossip it's a distraction here're the real issues". Was really pleased with that.

Tim said...

Bounce rate is averaging at 76.02% over here.

f0ul said...

I think you may be missing a point in the comparison with Dale.
He appeals to a different type of audience - your audience as more quality focused.
Hence, they do more digging.
Dale is more interested in Dale than his stories - and his fan club is obviously the same.
I use the OS indicator on AWStats to get a better idea of my audience. The higher the Windows / IE figures, the lower brow the audience - and the less they stay to read the long words - and the less likely they will click on links promising more detail on a story!

Thanks my theory and it works for me!

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

So the people who said traffic doesn't matter now spend ages arguing over it. Go figure.

Look we all know that no method is perfect. Nevertheless go check with Comscore or Hitwise - which is what the untrusting online advertising industry does - if you want independent numbers.

I still have Statcounter code on my blog as well as Google analytics. There is often a 5% + disagreement about numbers.

The main reason I do stat porn is to wind up the MSM, not other bloggers. Two years ago they used to lift stories from me (and Iain) and when challenged say never heard of you. So I started publishing domain details showing all the hits from MSM servers.

Before the boring Blogwars began, back in 2005, I remember someone who was incredibly impressed with Guido's reach. He even blogged about the power of a link from Guido. How things have changed, eh?

Tim said...

1. That post was about targeted traffic, not raw numbers. Do you never tire of misrepresenting my position?

2. Your reach reached right into Conservative Central Office, if you recall. How things have changed, eh?

3. No method is perfect... but your methods appear downright fraudulent in places.

3. This is not a pissing competition, Paul. I do not need to compete with you to show that you cannot piss anywhere near as high as you claim. My data is only being presented because (amazingly enough) I have ready access to it and it makes for a good comparison. You may note from my latest post (linked below) that according to Google Analytics you outperform me 2-to-1, and that bothers me very little on a personal level, because...

4. Being popular does not make one right, or worthy.

5. But fiddling your numbers so you appear more popular than you actually are does make you look like a loser.

6. Loser.

Tim said...

Oops. There are two threes.

(That adds up to a million, you know.)

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Let's take this slowly because clearly numbers are not Tim's strong point. I do care deeply about the numbers, because that is how I measure success and the economic basis upon which everything works.

This is as good a place as any to deal with some of Tim's ramblings.

A hit is slang for a page view. So hits, page views or page loads have all been used by me. The Register agrees with me. But I will concede page view is less ambiguous.

The three metrics commonly used in the online ad world to measure eyeballs are:

"Hits/Pageloads/Pageviews" - the number of times a browser comes to a webpage. A browser note, not a bot or a spider.

"Unique visitor" - the number of sessions a computer is used to visit a site. This is reset daily so is a little misleading over a month, in that the same person coming on different 30 days counts as 30 uniques, which is not so very unique.

So the increasingly popular metric is "Absolute Unique Vistors" which counts how many different browsers come over the period, rather than adding up all the uniques from each day session over the period.

If I recall correctly Hitwise judges market share of total pageviews per month. So the multi-billion figure that Tim extrapolates is in the right ball park for page loads.

Is that clear? For your guide the Spectator's total pageviews last month were they tell me circa 1.4m, which is triple the New Statesman. Which is probably why they were my biggest MSM referrer. Since you are curious, Iain gave me just short of 30,000 referrals last month.

Now the sting. You can, and no doubt, will question the numbers, which have been independently verified by the industry leader Hitwise, a $240 million online competitive intelligence company, owned by Experian. But if you seriously think or expect anyone to believe that your dull and tediously obsessive blog gets anything like the traffic Iain or I do, you are making a fool of yourself.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

For clarity that last remark is directed at Tedious Tim, not DK. You probably knew that already.

Tim said...

Glad you appear to understand what a Absolute Unique Vistor is. Iain clearly doesn't and I need to explain it to him. That might take a while.

So, for now, my reply will be short:

Iain has been presenting the total of visits as the total of unique visitors. Have you been doing the same?

(PS - The 'obsessive' tag is old, Paul. People know you're in a hole when you pull that out.)

Tim said...

PS - You appear to need reminding:

This is not a pissing competition, Paul. I do not need to compete with you to show that you cannot piss anywhere near as high as you claim.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

When someone writes about you at length 298 times, "obsessive" is actually the correct way of describing them.

Has you considered that perhaps, just possibly, you might lack, in the teensiest way, a balanced sense of what is a proportionate response to situations?

Tim said...

ORLY? How about 3,800 times? What do they call that?

Now, if we can get away from the name-calling back to the matter at hand, I asked you a question:

Iain has been presenting the total of visits as the total of unique visitors. Have you been doing the same?

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Actually I have written 44 articles about Peter Hain according to my tag count.

The other 3700 odd references are from the comments. I do get rather a lot of comments you see. Because I have a lot of visitors.

Now the total number of visits is the big number so Iain would be correct. That would in fact be the total number of visits. You want to talk about the number of individuals, or more precisely the number of different computers? That is a different number.

You should take up your complaint with Google and the entire internet industry and tell them to change their ways. Off you go. Maybe you should explain to them how they have all got it wrong.

You might even be able to invoice them. Like you did Tony Blair. Did he ever pay you for suggesting he set up an email address? No? Shame.

Iain Dale said...

As this is a swear blog I shall free myself of my normal inhibitions in that regard. Tim Ireland is a fucking liar. On my monthly stat posts I present unique visitors and absolute unique visitors and on this month's I explain the difference because little Timmy clearly is at a loss (and he's supposed to know about these things). http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/04/march-statporn.html

Tim's trouble is that he sprays around assertions and allegations yet fails to back them up. And not for the first time. He tells us what his traffic figures are and makes out that I lie about mine. I provide the Google Analytics screenshot and he doesn't. Whose the liar now? Go on, prove your figures. I've shown you mine, now you show me yours. Or can't you?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Although the "handbags at dawn" is amusing, I would like to echo for DK what I said to Guido: all this waffle about hits and views smacks of preening and it's most unseemly.

Mind you, if it pisses off the fascists of the left, then it can only be a good thing.

Now I don't know whether I support it or not. :o(

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

So have you got a bigger one Tim? Are you too shy to show it? Mine is throbbing with visitors. Don't know how to measure it? I like to show mine to everyone. I'm very proud of it, absolutely and uniquely.

It is a pissing competition. You started it and you lost.

G'night.

Tim said...

Hm. I don't have a tag/category for you, Paul. Perhaps I don't obsess enough.

(Oh, hello Iain. Loving the projection. You're on a roll tonight.)

But enough of that and your other attempts to belittle, undermine and goad me into a pointless pissing competition that's your idea and not mine, let's get back to the question:

Oh, wait... you just answered it with your teeny screen capture while I've been finishing this post:

Iain HAS been presenting the total of visits as the total of unique visitors... and so have you, you naughty scamp.

You claim here that you had "366,364 unique visitors" when in reality this figure represents the number of *visits*.

The number of unique visitors was actually somewhere around 78,000 as your own screen capture shows. And you were to busy waving your cock around to notice.

(I do apologise for underestimating it in a recent post as possibly being around 50,000... but neither of those figures is anywhere near 350,000+, is it?)

You can bitch all you like about page impressions being the key to banner success blah blah blah, but the fact is that a visit is not a unique visitor... and for months you have been presenting the (much higher) figures for one as the figures for the other.

You and Iain cheated, and you got caught. It happens. Take it like men.

dizzy said...

This thread rocks, you can't beat a good flame war to liven up the morning. Any thread that gets Iain swearing has to be worthy of Hall of Fame status. All the bases in this thread clearly belongs to DK, and it is teh win!

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

No Tim, as I have explained above, there are three metrics: hits, uniques and absolute uniques.

Universally accepted terms by all in the industry. Same as used by, for instance, the Guardian when it claims 16 million uniques. According to my research it is actually more like ~360,000 absolute unique visitors from the UK.

Now, show us your figures and stop playing semantics. We report the figures accurately. If you don't understand, or deliberately choose not to understand the terminology that is your problem. Like I said, why don't you start a campaign to change the way the whole internet industry reports traffic figures?

There are good reasons for using all three metrics. You get the total audience, the frequency of return and the stickiness of the site.

So for instance ConservativeHome and PoliticalBetting have higher page views than Guido and Iain because people bounce around their site a lot. They accordingly prefer to report pageviews, not uniques. Fair enough. PoliticalBetting gets well over million quite often.

C'mon out Tim, show us your numbers. Size doesn't matter to you does it? Bet when people come and see they get so bored they don't come back.

It would be interesting to know the ratio of absolute visitors to page views, the lower the ratio, the more it implies that people find your site boring and tedious. C'mon, show us your boring-ratio.

You love throwing cheat and liar out. Facts are facts, you write that the most popular posts you write are about Guido, you even set up dedicated blogs about Iain and Guido. You have spent years slagging Iain and me off almost daily and pathetically trying to leach traffic on the back of our popularity. It is eating away at you.

We had to ban you from our comments because you trolled day and night.

The only thing that has been exposed here is your bitter jealousy at your failure to become popular in your own right. The lack of recognition is a mortal wound to your vanity.

You saw yourself as the self-styled guru of the "political weblog movement" that only existed in your head.

You have no authority to dictate to others how they should run their blogs. Your demand for a non-existent "right of reply" and trackbacks is really a demand for access to the audiences we have built up by hard work. Well we don't want you boring them away with your obsessions.

Now, show us your numbers and tell me Tim, why is your blog so unsuccessful?

dizzy said...

Yep, thread still rocks.

Tim said...

I've already shown you my numbers. I've been doing so from the very beginning of this.

Sure, you report the figures accurately, but you misrepresent what they mean; a VISIT is not the same as a VISITOR.

You and Dale have been taking the figures for the number of visits and presenting these as the number of visitors, thereby giving the impression that you have 5 to 6 times the number of visitors than you actually do.

Can't you see that my figures don't even enter into it?

And, in light of all of this, you really look like a bloody idiot carrying on about how big your cock is when you've been using the metric figures as an imperial measurement.

You cheated. And you got caught.

I was foolish of us to let you get away with the former, and it was foolish of me to think you'd be a man about the latter.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Where are your numbers?

Stop repeating yourself. Nobody cheated, we boasted about our really good and really accurate numbers. Get over it.

Now what is your bore-to-death ratio?

dizzy said...

Inference of intent masquerading as truth. That is truly hilarious in a retarded monkey type way.

dizzy said...

I want to see the bore ratio too. Perhaps it should be renamed the "Can you get to the end of a post without sticking needles in your eyes" ratio instead though.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iain Dale said...

Ireland is a fucking liar. Look at the latest thread on his blog for proof. The man has no clue. He still won't provide evidence for his claims about his own traffic, yet wilfully ignores the fact that the rest of do just that. What a joke of a blogger. How can anyone take the idiot seriously?

Tim said...

[typo fixed]

If you look up, you'll see plenty of numbers in this thread and in the post DK links to in the post above it. You're asking for something that's already been provided (without you having to ask for it) in a clear attempt to muddy the waters.

You've been claiming 350,000 unique visitors a month, when in reality it's closer to 75,000

Iain has been claiming 250,000 unique visitors a month, when in reality it's closer to 50,000

But you can't admit that, because those misrepresented figures feed right into MessageSpace's promotional strategy, don't they?

Iain Dale said...

Liar. The whole sector has always used unique visitors as a measure. before I switched to Google Analytics I used Extreme Tracking who had that as the ONLY measure (apart from reloads). They still don't use Absolute Uniques. When I started using Google Analytics I started quoting Absolute Uniques.

Why are you lying? Is it again to start a flame war (which you have succeeded in doing beyond your wildest dreams I suspect) to drive traffic to your incredibly tedious blog?

Thought so.

dizzy said...

I know I keep saying it, but this thread is gold.

Tim said...

Iain, you just don't get it, do you?

This isn't about my numbers, it's about your numbers, and - deliciously - you provided the evidence that you'd been presenting visits data as unique visitor data, so no-one can question the veracity of my claim.

But that's not going to stop you from trying it on, is it?

Yes, you often threw an 'absolute uniques' figure out there from time to time, but you headlined your statporn posts (example) by presenting the number of visits as the number of unique visitors.

The only liars here are you and Staines, and I proved it with your help.

Meanwhile, you've got sweet bugger all. In fact, it's quite possible that you only have a fifth of sweet bugger all.

:o)

It's shockingly clear water you're in. You're going to need more mud than you have at present if you want to hide the truth.

Toque said...

Thanks for this DK. I tried following this debate on Bloggerheads but found the sheer number of hyperlinked back references too many to cope with.

I haven't laughed so much for a while.

One question: Who cares?

Iain Dale said...

You just don't get it do you and have to persist in your lies and vendettas. I have not misrepresented my figures in any way shape or form. If you believe I have then you are accusing virtually every other blogger who quotes their stats of doing the same. And only you are correct - oh, by the way, where's the proof of your own figure? You still haven't provided any. Why are you right and the entire rest of the blogosphere wrong. You have been found out to be the liar you always have been.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

To the question "Who cares?" Tim does. Very, very much. In truth all bloggers do. I know I do, I know Iain does. That is why we are not going to let Tim get away with this crap.

I'm not sure if Tim is being genuinely stupid, just doesn't understand or is actually just misrepresenting it deliberately to fit his "everything Guido and Iain say is lies" meme.

His original thread makes it clear he doesn't understand the data.

The unique vistor count is correct and reported according to industry norms. Just like the way the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail etc. report their figures.

Now the absolute figure - which we have also given - is lower. That is clearly a different metric. It tells you nothing about the daily traffic.

The fact is Monday to Friday between 10,000 and 20,000 a day come to Guido's site. Every day of the week. Weekends I have off.

Not sure about the relevance of MessageSpace, which sells our ad spots, they care about page views, the even higher number.

Now where are your figures Tim, oh guru of blog transparency?

Show us the evidence of your claims. We have given you the drilled down data, fuck if you weren't such a loon I would give you the login and password to the analytics so you could just sit there and look at the numbers month-after-month, year-after-year and weep.

Now we have established that you didn't understand the data, that both Iain an I have accurately reported the data, that you don't understand the terminology (as used by everyone in the online industry) and that you don't want to give your equivalent numbers.

Why should we bother to take your whinging seriously?

Kate said...

Well I'm a non-interweb expert, and the difference between 'visits' and 'unique visitors' seems easy enough for me to grasp, so I'm not really sure why Guido and Iain seem to be having so much trouble with it. But - coming from a position of impartiality in this longrunning online feud - this thread does make me lose any sympathy I previously had for them. They both come across extremely badly.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Thanks, Kate for your input. Do you live in Guildford?

Try not to get caught in the crossfire, this thread is really for combatants only.

Tim said...

"Not sure about the relevance of MessageSpace, which sells our ad spots, they care about page views, the even higher number."

No, MessageSpace are presenting unique visitor data - made up primarily of the data from your deeply flawed claims - as the jewel in their crown:

MessageSpace: Publishers on the MessageSpace network show 4 million adverts a month, to more than 700,000 unique readers.

You're rumbled, Paul. Admit it.

And, as I tire of telling you, I have already presented my data and you're not going to be allowed to spin your way out of it by declaring this to be a pissing competition.

PS - Nice smear and threat from Paul to Kate there. You're all class, Staines.

Iain Dale said...

Kate, Tim Ireland as written 250 separate blogposts about me on his obsessive blog. If you visit this link

http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/04/march-statporn.html

you will see that it is me who understands it and have been quite open about my traffic unlike Ireland who refuses to provide evidence for his own claims.

Iain Dale said...

Tim, you have indeed presented your data. With absolutely no proof of what you are asserting. Unlike Guido. Unlike me.

Toque said...

To resolve this I would suggest that Tim, Iain, Guido and Dizzy all put a publicly viewable sitemeter on their blogs. It's not perfect but it's quantitative enough to resolve the pressing matter of who has the biggest willy.

Tim said...

Toque: This isn't about who has the most visitors, but how Dale and Staines have been massively overstating how many visitors they get.

Iain: Same answer. Hope it sinks in.

Toque said...

I realise that Tim, it was a facetious comment.

A publicly viewable sitemeter on each of the warring sites would provide a perfectly adequate comparitive analysis in order to resolve this ongoing and tiresome quarrel.

To be frank you're - all four - too talented and opinionated to be wasting your time with this sort of thing when political life in the UK is at such a low ebb.

Tim said...

Ah. Ta.

My position is that Dale and Staines, after declaring themselves kings of the blogosphere, undermined a lot we could have done about the increasingly poor connection with politics.

But perhaps after today we can finally move on, leave them behind, and try to fix what they've broken.

Iain Dale said...

Tim, come on, show us your proof. What are you afraid of. Have you been telling porkies again?

Tim said...

Iain, you provided the proof, and you're making a fool out of yourself by pretending otherwise.

You headlined your statporn posts (example) by presenting the number of visits as the number of unique visitors.

You've been claiming 250,000 unique visitors a month, when in reality the figure is closer to 50,000

You cheated and you got caught. Admit it.

Iain Dale said...

You are delusional. I have provided the proof for my figures. Since I started using Google Analytics I have always given Absolute unique figures and even stated that this is the better guide.

You, however, have provided no proof about your own traffic assertions, not even telling us which hit counter software you use. You tell us you have 46,000 absolute uniques but don't back it up. Why should we believe you?

Go on, give us a Google Analytics screenshot.

dizzy said...

"To resolve this I would suggest that Tim, Iain, Guido and Dizzy all put a publicly viewable sitemeter on their blogs."

Why should someone that doesn't do stat porn post public links to stats?

Tim said...

Iain, for the last time, this is not about my figures, but about you and Staines misrepresenting your figures.

Still, I can appreciate why you and Staines would want to turn this into the kind of pissing content that most bloggers would turn away from in disgust.

That you have mentioned the 'absolute' figure almost as a throwaway line in places does nothing to detract from the clear fact that you've been headlining your stat porn by claiming that the number of visits you receive is instead the number of visitors you receive:

Look:

Iain Dale: "February saw 231,064 unique visitors"

Iain Dale: "March saw 239,368 unique visitors"

You provide the evidence on your own damn site and you're asking me for proof about something that has nothing to do with this.

Refreshing a web page a few times does not make someone three different people.

Think about that and let it sink in.

PS - This is, without a doubt, the thread of the week, month and year. Will it make your Daley Dozen?

Toque said...

Why should someone that doesn't do stat porn post public links to stats?

Hairy muff. Then there are just three protagonists.

Iain Dale said...

You really are thick. But at least you have now admitted that I have talked about Absolute uniques.

You started this on your March Statporn thread where you made unfounded assertions against me and others and trailed our your own stats as they were gospel, yet you failed to back them up. Yes it is about you, because it is you who made the allegations and can;t back them up with evidence about your own assertions on your own stats. You've been found out and you know it.

Tim said...

Ahahahahahaha!

Iain, I don't DO stat porn any more. The cock-waving you and Staines have been doing every month turned me right off my annual report. Contrary to what you might think, I don't want to be anything like you, and I don't secretly lust after you and what traffic you DO have.

When I blogged my stats the other day, I was copying YOUR method and style for April Fool's Day. I didn't provide proof, because you didn't until yesterday... and look where that got you!

And yes, you gave a passing mention to 'absolute uniques'. Perhaps you should instead have used the term 'absolute unique visitors' more often and led with a claim of 250,000 or so unique visitors less often. Then less people would be inclined to think that you've been deliberately deceiving people.

This is not about my stats. It is about your deception. And the longer you carry on with the projection that I'm a liar and a fool, the more you look like a liar and a fool, because everybody with a brain can see this for what it is:

You've been claiming 250,000 unique visitors a month, when in reality the figure is closer to 50,000

That my already clearly stated figure for absolute unique visitors is less than 50,000 matters not one jot.

But I will, if you like, provide the login details for my Google account so you can see for yourself how big my cock is.

Paul Walter said...

I bet this thread has had a lot of visitors.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

['nother typo fixed]

Lots of visits, too.

;oP

And far too many visitors than Dale and Staines would like, I'll wager. Neither of them are linking to this thread that they assure us is All Of Teh Win for them.

Incidentally, this thread is a perfect example of how Dale and Staines will NEVER admit outright to getting something wrong or being caught doing something naughty... and it includes many of the standard techniques they use to get around such difficulties.

Kelly Nightingale said...

I am the managing director of EOS Online Media Limited, we trade as "MessageSpace". I really do not want to get into this argument but the figure quoted for our traffic (700,000 unique visits) was based on data mined from a cookie placed across our network in May 2007. We use the easily verified industry accepted IAB standards and protocols in our reporting methodology.

For the record, and it is a checkable public record, Paul Staines is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been. Paul helped raise the start-up funding for us and that was made public at the launch. Paul is usually happy to help, counsel and assist in any way he can. It is probably fair to say that the Guido blog accounts for a fair part of our revenue stream. Paul has at times happily done sales pitches for us and introduced MessageSpace to customers, as have most of our leading blogging partners. We sell advertising on many other higher traffic websites. Every month MessageSpace pays thousands of pounds to bloggers of all shades, helping to sustain and support the British political blogosphere. All three main political parties have been our customers. Noticeably more advertising revenue has come from the Labour Party than the Conservative or Liberal Democratic parties. Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick have advertised using MessageSpace, but Boris has not (yet). Unions are big advertisers, campaigning groups and charities like Friends of the Earth and War on Want also advertise with MessageSpace. A lot of the advertising is IP targeted, so unless you are in Westminster or Whitehall or wherever, you will not see it. I know for a fact that the full time staff of EOS Online Media Limited includes one Labour Party activist and one Liberal Democratic Party activist. The others, including myself, are not involved in party politics. EOS Online Media Limited is a company registered for VAT and paying taxes and making statutory filings like any other UK company. We also provide some young people with jobs in an exciting high growth industry.

It would not, in my opinion, be viable for any blogger to run an advertising sales operation based on one site alone, MessageSpace makes economic sense for the British blogosphere, because it spreads the cost base across a bigger audience to our mutual benefit. If you are selling ads you count how many ad spots you deliver. Currently MessageSpace has between 8m to 12m spots a month to sell depending on traffic conditions. That is a great proposition for our customers.

Kate said...

I'm behind the times now, but: why Guildford?! I live in London, Paul. Is it relevant?

And Iain: yes I've read your posts on the matter, I regularly read all of the blogs involved and quite a few more. That doesn't mean that I agree with your take on the data you've presented.

I agree with Toque that there are far better things to write about than statporn, but otoh it's good to see people finally engaging with this issue rather than sniping and making sly digs, which has been going on for months now and imo spoiled a lot of the enjoyment of the political blogosphere.
Thrash it out and have done with it, is my view!

Tim said...

MessageSpace SPEAKS!

"The figure quoted for our traffic (700,000 unique visits)"

Sorry, have to pull you up right there:

MessageSpace: Publishers on the MessageSpace network show 4 million adverts a month, to more than 700,000 unique readers.

If you'd care to clarify this minor discrepancy, we can move on.

You appear to be equally confused about visits and visitors, and it wouldn't do to give a false impression to potential advertisers, now would it?

Tim said...

Take your time. It's either one or the other.

:o)

Devil's Kitchen said...

Tim,

To be fair, as you know, I use Statcounter. As you will have seen from the screenshot that I sent you (after my stats were analysed by Tim in the linked post), Statcounter has the headings Page Loads and Unique Visitors.

When I started out, I had little idea about counters (I only realised that they existed about 8 months after I started) and I have become a little more savvy over the last few years.

However, it might be said that it is quite valid for Iain and Guido to claim Unique Visitors and that they people really overstating the claims here are Statcounter (I can't remember what the other hitcounters state it at and can't be bothered to look right now).

DK


P.S. For the record, my Absolute Uniques, from Google Analytics, for March was 20,505.

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.P.S. Sorry, hadn't set the date range right; absolute uniques was 20,431.

And for the avoidance of further doubt...

51,130 visits.

66,634 page views.

1.30 average pageviews.

83.09% bounce rate.

34.57% new visits.


DK

Tim said...

No, it's quite clear that Iain Dale took the stats for 'visits' from Google Analytics (not Statcounter) and gave that as a figure for 'unique visitors'. Staines did the same thing.

There's little room for confusion.

Iain Dale said...

Can you not see what an idiot you are making of yourself? Extrem Tracking calls these figures Unique Visitors. So does StatCounter. Google Analytics uses the term Visitors but they are one and the same thing. Google counted 239,000 for me in March, Extreme counted 241,000. If I wanted to inflate my figures, which I do not (I even made public a drop in pageviews) I would have quoted the Extreme figure.

Now, go and change the question, like you normally do.

Unity said...

EOS Online Media Limited is a company registered for VAT and paying taxes and making statutory filings like any other UK company.

But not, it appears, registered with the Information Commissioner as I can find no entry on the Register of Data Controllers for either EOS Online Media Ltd or Messagespace.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Confused of S. Yorks said...

Iain, so basically you didn't check to see whether you were comparing apples with apples, pears or bananas before going on about how big your orchard was.

Now in your case I would find a plea of ignorance to be a plausible reason for the confusion caused by your failure to understand the detail of the numbers you quote. After all, it's not as if you're a blogging expert or anything like that.

And I know that detailed research isn't your particular forte either, so it is only to be expected that you wouldn't bother to investigate the various definitions used before quoting figures.

But really Iain, isn't it about time you put down the shovel? After all, I'm sure most people are more interested in the revelations contained in Kelly Nightingale's comment above.

Mark said...

Third time lucky if this doesn't work I may as well give. *sigh* It works in the preview...

From Google Analytics: "Analytics measures both visits and visitors in your account. Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors."

Look - I don't know what's going here. But I have worked as manager of several major consumer sites over the last 14 years. From the consumer media ad sector Unique Users (i.e. individuals, not returning visitors) is a key metric (although Page Views is what ultimately sells).

Looking through this stuff I don't know where the confusion's coming from. Ian Dale's blog was was viewed by 53,255 individuals in March with a (broad) average of 4.5 return visits per user per month.

Tim said...

Iain, you really are being silly:

"Extrem Tracking calls these figures Unique Visitors. So does StatCounter."

We're talking about your use of Google Analytics.

"Google Analytics uses the term Visitors..."

No, they use the term 'visits'. Look.

"... but they are one and the same thing."

No, they are not:

Unique Visitors (or Absolute Unique Vistors) according to Google themselves: Unique Visitors represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.

Visits (or Sessions) according to Google themselves: A period of interaction between a visitor's browser and a particular website, ending when the browser is closed or shut down, or when the user has been inactive on that site for a specified period of time.

You took one thing and presented it as another. As a result, you vastly overstated the number of unique visitors.... and you've been doing it for quite some time.

Now, if you've got nothing of substance to add, please be quiet and let Mr Nightingale have his say.

(waits for Kelly)

Iain Dale said...

Er, yes they are. Indeed they must be because every month extreme tracking and Google Analytics are within a couple of thousand of each other. If what you allege were true, they would be no way similar.

Toque said...

Guido,

Yes size does matter to a degree. None of us would blog if no one read.

But for me the quality of reader - whether I'm hitting my target audience - is more important than size (quality not quantity). Because I blog mostly on The English Question I am content enough to receive hits from the politics departments of UCL, Belfast, York, Strathclyde and Hull. And this I do. Not that many bloggers other than me (if any) are referenced in academic papers and books on the constitution.

If I feel something is vitally important and needs to be highly visible in the public realm then I can reach a wider audience by writing for a more broad-based blog such as Albion's Seedlings or Our Kingdom. Or I can ask one of the 'big boys' to flag the story.

Being non-partisan and blogging essentially, and obsessively, for a small community of English parliament activists probably does condemn me to low stats, but I think that there are a lot of bloggers like me that aren't as bothered by low figures as you assume we should be.

Being wildly popular is only good if you are wildly popular amongst good people.

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

The action has now moved to a new thread above.

The picture tells it all.

Unity said...

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad tiding, I've just checked and Messagespace's adserver is on the Adblock Plus blacklist, which means that unless they're using an Ajax based delivery system which checks for the presence of an adblocker then neither the pageviews or unique visit/visitor stats can be taken as an accurate measure of the number of people seeing their adverts.

As about 45% of my own traffic arrives via Firefox, running neck and neck with Internet Exploder, there's a high probability that many of Messagespace's 'uniques' never see any of their advertising.

Tim said...

Iain:

You took one figure from Google Analytics and presented it as another type of figure. What your Extreme acct. may or may not show is not relevant, especially because you may be equally confused about *those* figures.

If you haven't got anything of substance to say about that, PLEASE BE QUIET.

We're waiting for Kelly. If you're talking out of your arse when he gets here, we may miss what he has to say.

Guido:

If you don't mind, I'm going to stick with this thread until someone who (*cough*) actually represents MessageSpace explains this.

Nice try, though.

[OT: Hey does everyone remember another picture that told the story?]

matgb said...

I agree with Toque's last comment. Back when about a third of my content was on devolution issues, his blogs were top of my "must read" list. Now I've cut back on my politics content and write a general interest blog aimed at friends, I have a couple hundred regular(ish) readers and I'm happy with that, the quality of the comments is excellent and I always learn something.

Back when I was counting stats, I knew I was doing fairly well for the time, but nowhere close to the "top" bloggers. But I always had an audience—if I needed to get the word out DK, Tim and even Iain would link in, and it happened.

Thing is? Guido, two years ago you claimed “Guido’s blog readership now matches Private Eye’s circulation” but was basing that on unique visitors from Statcounter, at the time the Statcounter cookie reset every 6 hours, so I’d count for a chunk of that “circulation”. This was on a post specifically asking for people to advertise with you.

I know you knew what you were doing, but it was effectively misrepresentation and could be read by some as being dishonest. That your more recent 'statporn' comes from a more reliable counter is good, but I personally could do without seeing stat posts across the board.

It's not how many read you, it's who. Guido's target audience is politicians and journalists, with a secondary audience of eyeballs for his adds. Iain's target is similar with an additional eye on candidate selectors. Tim's is deliberately other bloggers (hence discouraging comments but encouraging trackbacks), Toque's is constitutionalists, a bunch of people aim at party activists, me at my friends (and now party activists as well).

We're all different, that's good. Waving stats around is irrelevent unless you're pitching at advertisers, in which case honesty matters. Yes, advertisers pay for page views not unique visitors, but the more recent data on total uniques per month is much much smaller than the likes of, say, Private Eye. Let alone The Spectator or the actual newspapers.

Still, the comments I'm getting emailed are rather amusing.

MatGB said...

Oh, Guido, apologies for my remark about my comment disappearing above, must've been while you had moderation on or summat, it's there in that link clearly now.

Iain Dale said...

I did nothing of the sort as well you know. Your misrepresentation of the truth is very damaging for you.

The Extreme figures are almost identical to the Google figures. The reason? Because they count the same thing. They are the same month after month after month. Why do you continue to lie about them not being the same thing. You must know they are. Your malicious behaviour towards me is blinding you to the truth.And not for the first time.

dizzy said...

This thread is now starting to remind of Prawn Cocktail flavour crisp against Prawn Cocktail flavoured crisps. The only difference being that it doesn't leave your fingers smelling of fish - unless you're multitasking at the keyboard with a friend.

Tim said...

Iain, are you actually denying that you took one figure from Google Analytics and presented it as another type of figure? Seriously?

Iain Dale said...

It's the same fucking thing. get it into your head. On Extreme Tracking the same figure was 241,000. They call it unique visitors. If I had wanted to misrepresent, I'd have gone with that, wouldn't I? Well, wouldn't I? Jesus wept, you are obtuse. I repeat (for the nth time), if they were different, then one figure would be substantially lower than the other every month. But every month they are the same give or take a thousand or two. Why can't you understand that?

Tim said...

*sigh*

Iain, I have no idea how you have Extreme Tracking set up in terms of 'unique' assessment and you said yourself that Google Analytics is "the better guide"

So now what you're telling me, after several instance of falsely suggesting that I am moving the goalposts, is that you want to move the goalposts!

You took the exact figure that Google Analytics gave for VISITS and you falsely presented it as a count for UNIQUE VISITORS.

You then use 'absolute uniques' as a throwaway line/statistic... but your lie is the headline. A tactic used by most tabloids, as I'm sure you're aware.

"I repeat (for the nth time), if they were different, then one figure would be substantially lower than the other every month."

No, it's NOT conditional on the stats you claim to have from another provider; the two things are just different. Full stop:

Unique Visitors (or Absolute Unique Vistors) according to Google themselves: Unique Visitors represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period.

Visits (or Sessions) according to Google themselves: A period of interaction between a visitor's browser and a particular website, ending when the browser is closed or shut down, or when the user has been inactive on that site for a specified period of time.

You took one and called it the other. You yourself provided the proof, and so did Staines.

And you're standing there calling me a liar, calling me stupid, and demanding proof about something that has NOTHING to do with this?!

Forget you, clown.

You cheated and you got caught. Both of you. And your reaction to it all is most illustrative.


You've been caught bang to rights but STILL you deny everything. FFS, my kids behave better than you, even when they're chock full of sugar and E-numbers.

Lobster Blogster said...

Kelly Nightingale seems unfamiliar with the content of his own website.

On http://www.messagespace.co.uk/blog/advertisers/ at page 23 it says:

Currently MessageSpace adverts receive 6 million monthly impressions from more than 800,000 unique readers.

In his comment above, Mr Nightingale seems to have lost 100,000 and has confabulated "unique readers" with "unique visits".

If, as he claims, MessageSpace's figures are "easily verified", could he indicate an independent way in which I could do that?

Iain Dale said...

You have kids? Jesus. They must be so proud of their father. All he can succeed in doing is starting flame wars with people he is jealous of.

Way to go, Daddy.

On the substance of the issue, see my previous comments. I am not going to repeat myself again. You;re either too stupid to understand basic English or being plain malicious. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it's the latter.

Tim said...

Iain, I fail to see where you think personal comments like that are going to get you. I made a fair comparison based on your actions. You responded by misrepresented my position (the flames are coming from your team, matey-boy) and used your invention to question my fitness as a father.

"I am not going to repeat myself again."

Actually, I'd rather you just stopped talking. You're only hurting yourself, and a lot of us are waiting for Kelly Nightingale from MessageSpace to clear up the small matter that has Staines so desperate to move us to another thread.

Confused of S. Yorks said...

You've got to love it when failed Conservative parliamentary candidate Iain Dale resorts to personal abuse. It does make one wonder whether there might not be some justification behind Tim's allegations of sock puppetry by Iain.

Make an accusation critical of Iain, such as Justin's "mincing words" comment, and whoosh, Iain flies off the handle throwing accusations of homophobia about. Yet it is fine for him to criticise someone's parenting skills.

And in terms of online achievements, apart from your allegedly huge stats, what have you actually achieved? Organised any protests against repressive legislation? Got MPs across the political spectrum blogging? Nope, didn't think so.

It's just "look at me, aren't I great" and "wooo look at my stats", not forgetting "go me, the great blogging expert". Sad, sad, sad...

Jag Singh said...

Apologies for being late - I've been busy with work. At any rate, I'm more than happy to clarify, and if anyone needs any information - please e-mail me via jag.singh [at] MessageSpace .co.uk
Firstly, the information on the MessageSpace site (which also happens to be undergoing a major changeover) is actually out of date on some pages.
In March 2008, we delivered 7,682,417 ads across the network. Traffic patterns vary (summer/silly-season is usually slow, party conference season is ridiculously large), and after adjusting for a few more seasonal variations I came up with the average 9.47 million impressions a month figure (this doesn't include traffic from our other partners). Please note that ad impressions do not translate into page views. We're talking about individual ad impressions, and there are some publishers who do not carry ads on certain pages. I don't want to get into an argument about rank correlation and ARIMA methods, so let's just continue.
So, we have 31 active publishers on the network - Iain Dale's Diary and Guido Fawkes' Blog are two of them. They provide MessageSpace with a considerable amount of inventory, but they aren't the only ones that reach out to the audiences our advertisers crave. Because we utilise ad beacons, ads that are blocked by any ad-blocking solution (regardless of interception level - network/terminal or browser) are not counted as part of our figures. We also utilise dynamic cookie probing to maintain the integrity of any campaign we run (for example some of our advertisers don't want users seeing the same ad more than 5 times in a given day - we've solved this by sending a test response to the visitor with a cookie that is designed to trigger another request back to us). We've also discovered another way of tracking unique users: by identifying requests from a new visitor and sending that visitor links that pass a unique ID as a GET parameter. This is, however, unstable and only works on MessageSpace properties and websites (so none of publishers, in other words).

At any rate, here's how MessageSpace computes our “absolute unique” ("people") figures. The last time we did this was in May last year (2007), over a 2 week period:
We dropped one cookie onto every machine that downloaded/viewed a MessageSpace served-ad (if it allowed cookies). We took note of an additional variable when performing our calculation: the user's IP address. We dropped just over 380,000 cookies over that two week period, which means more than 380,000 browsers had cookies enabled within their respective browsers. During that same time-period, we served just over 1.46 million ad impressions (two weeks). We delivered more than 4.1 million impressions throughout the entire month of May.
On an average traffic day, 88.59% of our visitors have their browsers set to allow cookies. I did not factor in the other 11.41% into the 380k cookies deployed figure, simply because I thought it would be easier to negate the effect of people clearing their cookies and logging on from two separate machines (I arrived at a 16.33% figure after trying to factor out a few more parameters, including people who cleared their cookies more frequently than Google's one month average, but those correlation calculations became a bit more fuzzy, so I left it out). Please note that I did consider all possible variables - including the fact that some publishers do not continuously take ads every single month (two publishers went through a major upgrade of their code, and as such did not run ads for a few days within that testing period). The cookie was not used for any other purpose, and was deployed via our regular blog publishers and one other partner site.
I've had to leave out a few more specifics as to how we went about doing this (proprietary information, folks - we have to play by the same rules Google, Apple and Microsoft set), but we very specifically wanted to ensure that people who visited Bloggers4Labour and then Labourhome a few days later were counted as one person. This would be comparable to the absolute unique figure provided by Google Analytics and Microsoft's adCenter Analytics (Gatineau). There's no way to achieve 100% accuracy without utilising more intrusive forms of detection (from the user's perspective). So how did we arrive at the "over 700,000 people" figure? We looked at the factors behind the first 380,000 cookies, and then attempted to carefully forecast [using some of the methods described above] that at least 320k more cookies would have been deployed over the remaining period (the first two-week period happened to coincide with Blair's resignation announcement, but because it was expected at any moment the surge of traffic continued. This surge was sustained because it seems the blogosphere went wild about how well/badly Gordon Brown would perform as PM). One of the interesting insights I gleaned from this was that while there does indeed exist a small sampling of blog visitors who visit often (there is a difference between a visit and a visitor, in my guidelines), there is a much larger grouping of people who visit once a week, to get their daily dose of blogosphere-induced reality. Additionally, we've found that some visitors to our network do not visit any other sites on the network - sites like Labourhome, NHSBlogDoc, Pink News, etc tend to attract people who never venture into the world of Guido and Iain.
One final point re: Hitwise. Our audience is heavily skewed toward users on corporate networks - large LAN/WAN configurations, like the Houses of Parliament, Government departments, Universities, Corporate HQs, etc, all of which tend to pop-up as one network address (public IP address) in server logs. I have spoken to several senior Hitwise people and they have acknowledged the fact that some of the data they receive from ISPs is slightly faulty. I can't go into specific cases, but a comparable example would be that every single user on the parliamentary estate's network would be counted as one user - and I'm willing to bet that skews data considerably. This also has implications for the calculation re: people checking sites on more than one computer - since traffic significantly decreases after 6pm, it's safe to assume that this isn't a major problem (it's still a problem, and until we all start using our ID card numbers as our OpenID, we won't be able to guarantee anything).

Jag Singh said...

I also forgot to mention, MessageSpace ad impression figures are as accurate as DoubleClick’s platform. We’ve run several campaigns (the Coop’s Big Ask, the Economist mag, etc) and the figures from our adserver and the agencies’ adservers have matched up.

Sim-O said...

Statp0rn: It's simple FFS!

Just my tuppence worth.

Lobster Blogster said...

Thanks Jag. You have confirmed to me that MessageSpace manufacture their visitor statistics out of thin air.

If Britain were to enter a Bullshitting team into the Beijing Olympics, would you consider joining them? I think you have just put in a qualifying performance.

Tim said...

So what you're saying, Jag, is that your figures are dew-picked from two weeks in May 2007, keenly extrapolated, hardly audited, sealed in a succulent, Swiss, quintuple-smooth, treble-milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose.

May 2007 was a very busy month in blogging as you well know. And yet your projected growth is based on a theory that this heavy activity continued right through the summer holidays and on to the end of a year in which many people - including your own bloggers - have noticed a general decline in blogging traffic.

Tell me, was it this sample or a further sample that led to your use of the figure of "800,000 unique readers" in this PDF document?

Wait... before you answer that question and provide...

a) A comparison of MS sampling technique with that of DC and G, based on information published by DC and G regarding their methods

b) A sampling exercise covering an entire month. Possibly a recent one.

c) The use of three or four different sampling periods to remove seasonality and the inflationary impact of a significant and newsworthy month.

... I want to make good use of that 800,000 figure, because you're going to need it.

When your Managing Director Kelly Nightingale turned up and showed that he too was confused about the difference between 'visits' and 'visitors' (ooh, I bet there were groans of anguish in the office when that happened) he said this:

"We [MessageSpace] sell advertising on many other higher traffic websites."

Websites with higher traffic than Dale and Staines? I'm sorry, but a bit of mathematical difficulty needs to be addressed here.

Dale and Staines continue to insist that they are (and have been) pulling in roughly 250,000 and 350,000 unique visitors respectively each month.

If we take these figures (and yours) as gospel, we have this problem:

800,000 - (250,000 + 350,000) = 200,000

Now what you need to find in that 200,000 figure is more than one blogger with higher traffic than Iain Dale and Paul Staines.

As I said, a bit of mathematical difficulty.

We even have a problem if we take your figures as gospel and apply the far more reliable data from Google Analytics; roughly 50,000 unique visitors per month for Dale and 75,000 for Staines

To be as fair as possible, in this case, we are going to use your claimed figure of 700,000 unique visitors a month, not the claimed figure of 800,000 unique visitors a month:

700,000 - (50,000 + 75,000) = 575,000

To make up the numbers for an additional 575,000 unique visitors a month, you're going to need quite a few "other higher traffic websites". Possibly half a dozen or more. Would you care to list them, along with figures for the number of unique visitors each site gets in a month?

(I want to get on to the whole "Paul Staines is neither a shareholder, director or employee of MessageSpace and never has been" thing soon, but first, let's at least try to get your numbers to add up.)

Tim said...

For the benefit of those following this thread...

The peeps from MessageSpace haven't yet returned to this thread, but Jag Singh has responded in part in comments under this post:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/digitalcontent/2008/04/lies_damned_lies_and_political.html

Some of his comments there 'correct' what his Managing Director said here.

But I'd really prefer it if Jag dropped by this thread and clarified a few things.

[When you're ready, Jag.]

Mike Rouse said...

Threads like this make me glad to be out of the game.

Tim said...

Mike, don't make me (or make me make you) point out the obvious.

[When you're good and bloody ready, Jag.]

Anonymous said...

Iain shouts "go on, prove your figures"...

I recall the days when Iain's response to anything which may have needed a little digging was
"i'm not your researcher".

As for the MSM pulling stories from Guido being the justification for his ego-stats analysis - I just don't buy it. I haven't heard a whiff of anyone in the MSM shitting themselves over Guido. Seriously, not a sausage.

Anyway, off to Inspector Gadget, Chase Me Ladies and Rachel North London. Well, despite the Sun outselling Private Eye, I think we all know that sales do not equal quality, eh?

Carl Eve

Tim said...

I recall the days when Iain's response to anything which required him to back up what he was claiming/suggesting was
"i'm not your researcher".

FTFY

:o)

Morus said...

Best. Thread. Ever.

James said...

Exactly.

"Now in your case I would find a plea of ignorance to be a plausible reason for the confusion caused by your failure to understand the detail of the numbers you quote. After all, it's not as if you're a blogging expert or anything like that."

is the best put-down that there ever was, or ever will be.

kiki said...

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