The numbers recession we’re not having

March 10, 2009 — Leave a comment

Just a short(ish) note to anyone who is following our numbers at the moment.

Over the weekend (Friday US time to be precise) I upgraded to WP 2.7.1 and we started having problems with our stats.

At first, I thought that OMG our unique visitor count was crashing. Indeed, if you look at the data, you’d conclude the same thing. Our unique total dived, and yet our pages per visitor number doubled. Indeed, we’d normally do roughly 1.5-1.8 pages per visit (a recent high was 2.4). Instead, we’re doing 3.0-3.3 at the moment. I’d love to believe that this is true, but it isn’t.

The story is that something with Disqus and Facebook has caused the referral data to go haywire. I’ve been working with Daniel Ha at Disqus to sort it, although at the time of writing it’s still borked. Also thx to the team at Clicky for getting involved.

Basically, our unique data is flawed, but our page view data is good. How I know this? The ad count has been in line with the page view data from Clicky and Google Analytics.

My very real concern is that we’re heading south in Quantcast at the moment, and the page views don’t match that line. The primary line in Quantcast is visitors, not pages views. It also sucks from a personal view point because I can’t accurately track live stats at the moment: half of our referrals show up as Disqus or Facebook Connect.

We did experience our usual beginning of the month slump…without fail the last 6 months, we start slow, but it’s not nearly as bad as some public stats show. For example, the US Monday March 9 at the time of writing was just shy of 100k page views (I hope it slips over 100k for the full day). That’s our biggest day since Feb 12.

Hopefully fixed soon.