Undercounting Stats

Michael Feldstein posted on Twitter:

Seeing signs that Google Analytics significantly undercounts. Any recommendation for easy, reliable db-based WordPress analytics?

I knew Google Analytics relies on JavaScript to measure what users are doing. Bots typically do not execute JS, so go undercounted. That is OK, probably even great depending on how much they annoy me. It occurred to me browsers now incognito modes, which a desirable feature while in that mode would be to not execute known JS stats.

A response to Michael was:

Maybe try Jetpack? Has analytics built in.

I looked at the HTML for my own site. Jetpack appears to be JavaScript based as well.

Looking at Jetpack’s stats, though, I noticed a significant spike in traffic on September 27th. It got 487 hits compared to around 200 each day two weeks prior and since. Details for that day said my Nationalism post had 267 hits compared to my normal leader the Quotes to Make You Think. This made me curious. So I looked up the same day in Google Analytics. No spike in GA. So I pulled the raw access logs. The hits exist, but almost all were from a single IP. No visits to this page according to GA. Impressively disconcerting. I expected from Google Analytics 1 hit for the DSL user with 200+ hits, maybe 1 for the IP with no reverse DNS, and 0 for the Facebook bot.

Anyway, I looked at various WordPress plugins. I think WP Slimstat is the db-based WP analytics I will check out. It looks mature and seems pretty consistent with what I see in the hits. Too bad I did not add this a long time ago so I can compare Slimstat to GA and Jetpack. Will have to let it collect data and do this again.

Good thing I enjoy this stuff.

Aspiring to a Billion Pageviews

Read this in an article about Reddit,

But Reddit.com is still one of the internet’s most popular sites with over a billion pageviews a month.

I realize a billion is a big number, but I figured even GeorgiaVIEW could be getting half a billion pageviews a month. January 15th to February 14th (our peak 30 day period), we did about 774 million pageviews. In the last 30 days we did about 600 million while some kids are on spring break (sic?).

There must be online learning systems larger than us like University of Phoenix (500,000 students). If they are comparable to us in the amount of online usage they have, then they could be doing over a billion pageviews. UoP is about 60% larger than us, so they should cross over into the Reddit range.

Surely software as a service online learnings sites like Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Pearson Learning Studio, Unicon, and Moodlerooms push more than a billion pageviews?