Friday, February 8, 2013

Third Annual Blog Report


Google Analytics map overlay showing the countries where visitors have been located, keyed in shades of green. Almost identical to last year, mostly just shuffling around in Africa.

Late again, but here's the annual blog report for the period Nov 18, 2011 to Nov 17, 2012. An amazing thing happened in October: the blog passed the half-million mark of page views! That means over a quarter million views in a single year. Thanks to all of you who keep coming back! I hope to keep it worth your time.

This year I focused an enormous amount of time and energy on three things: doing demos, teaching classes, and getting a new job. Many weekend and evening hours of preparation building workbenches and appliances, gathering and restoring tools, then conducting the demos and classes.

In addition to the ones I've mentioned on the blog, I also had a half dozen private class sessions at the barn and people's homes. Then preparing for the job change consumed an equal number of hours for over a month.

These were certainly important to me, but the result is fewer posts about projects and techniques, which are the real intent of this blog. So I'll be making up for that this year. I've always got 10 things at once running through my head, and never enough time for them all!

Previous annual reports for comparison: first and second.

YouTube Statistics
One fascinating new statistic this year is the number of YouTube views I've gotten, now over 200,000 total lifetime. The Roubo workbench part 1 is a perennial favorite, with over 128,000 views. I get notification emails daily of new subscribers to my YouTube channel.

Now, people lose interest pretty quickly, because total minutes watched is 286,000 for all my videos, and 186,000 for the Roubo video, averaging less than 2 minutes watched per video overall. But by zooming in on date ranges, I can see that plenty of people are watching through to the end, from all over the world.

I haven't enabled ads on the videos, because I don't like the way they overlay the image. I go to some effort to frame and edit my videos, I don't need that cluttered up by random ads.

You'll see ads appearing on some of them, due to YouTube's copyright infringement policy. It turns out that some of the music jingles that Apple bundled with iMovie on the Mac don't include rights for public distribution, so you run afoul of copyright it you use them.

If YouTube's copyright enforcement software matches an audio track on a public video with audio claimed by a copyright holder, they serve ads on the video and pay any revenue to the copyright holder.

I need to repost a couple videos with the infringing music stripped out to avoid the ads. I've started using music from http://audionautix.com/, created by Jason Shaw for the express free use by other websites as long they credit him.

My thanks to Jason, and I encourage anyone else needing background music to use his stuff. The benefit to him is that he gets exposure for his professional paid work.

YouTube does have a paid audio usage service called AudioSwap, but when I tested it out 4 months ago, I considered it a total failure. It didn't mix well with the existing audio and didn't allow multiple music selections, plus it still overlaid ads on the video. It might be useful to dress up unedited cell-phone videos, but not for the instructional videos I'm doing.

Comment Spam
One thing raising its ugly head this year was the scourge of comment spam.  I get emails notifying me of comments posted to the blog, only to find out they're some vague or random text with a link to a website embedded in it.

Googling this text shows the same comment posted to dozens or hundreds of other blogs; some are polluted with endless miles of this junk. A couple months ago it was just 1 or 2 a week, but has grown to the point where I'm getting half a dozen a day.

The purpose of this is to improve placement of the linked website in search results, since search engines typically rank pages by the number of links to them, the idea being that more links implies that a site is more relevant and useful.

In the usual sociopathic behavior of the spammer, this practice spews these bogus comments all over the web to try to convince the search engines that the sites they link to should rank higher in the search results, like stuffing a ballot box.

This is known as "Search Engine Optimization", and is related to the email spam advertising improved search ranking for websites. The way they do it is to fill the Internet with crap.  As Theodore Sturgeon said, "90% of everything is crap."

There are SEO companies who probably provide legitimate services, so I won't paint them all with a broad brush, but as usual it only takes a few bad apples to tarnish a whole industry.

Fortunately, Google's Blogger software has been pretty effective at filtering this crap out. I get an email notification, but then when I check it, the comment has already been classified as spam and removed from the blog, just awaiting my approval for permanent deletion.

However, it has escalated to the point where I've found it necessary to disable anonymous comment posting. Hopefully I won't have to disable commenting completely or use some alternate mechanism. I only get a few real comments a month anyway, and people can always email me, but I like having it available as a feedback mechanism to allow others to participate publicly.

The Data
Last year got over a quarter million page views, 50% growth over the year before, with 40,000 more visits, 68% growth. Unique visitors grew by 80%. The pages per visit and average visit duration are down slightly.


Visits for the period Nov 18, 2011 to Nov 17, 2012.

I'm averaging over 290 visits per day, with over 750 pageviews per day. That's over 23,000 pageviews per month. Last year, these numbers were 200, 500, and 15,000.


Traffic sources.

Searches hitting the blog were too varied to try to summarize. That indicates to me that it's serving as a good general resource.

The number of sites referring back to the blog has grown quite a bit. In addition to search and email sites, I filtered out the various multi-country versions of referring sites to pare the list down to the actual sites linking here, though that throws out some of the visits. But you still get the general idea.

Many of these sites are worth checking out if you like this one. Some of them are more general-interest sites that happen to link here. My thanks to those sites driving traffic here!

Two that caught my attention are Pinterest and No Tech Magazine. Several people have pinned some of my photos on Pinterest; in some cases my humble basement workshop shows up in the middle of beautiful architectural, design, and landscape photos that look like something out of Architectural Digest.

No Tech Magazine is an aggregator site collecting links on low-tech solutions, with all kinds of fascinating stuff.

The most flattering link was in Fine Woodworking editor Asa Christiana's blog post about Will Neptune's SAPFM Cartouche Award ceremony last month. Asa wrote about the tribute given by Will's shop partner, Freddy Roman, and linked to my profile of Freddy. I noticed it when I saw an increase in referrals from the FW website in the statistics. Thanks, Asa!

Referring Site Visits
popularwoodworking.com 8519
unpluggedshop.com 6120
sawmillcreek.org 3267
paulsellers.com 1555
blogger.com 1328
reddit.com 1316
thejoinersapprentice.com 1306
sapfm.org 1064
forums.woodnet.net 969
thejoinersapprentice.blogspot.com 910
norsewoodsmith.com 897
carlswoodworking.wordpress.com 840
notechmagazine.com 805
pfollansbee.wordpress.com 747
rpwoodwork.com 570
villagecarpenterlinks.blogspot.com 526
owdman.co.uk 518
lumberjocks.com 502
ukworkshop.co.uk 498
fullchisel.com 478
galoototron.com 457
plus.url.google.com 428
bob-easton.com 359
gnhw.org 357
pedder-altedamenauskiel.blogspot.com 346
logancabinetshoppe.com 299
holzprojekte.blogspot.com 294
toolsforworkingwood.com 286
charter.net 283
woodworkforums.com 279
milwaukeemonastery.blogspot.com 263
t.co 257
planeshavings.blogspot.com 248
handtoolwoodworking.wordpress.com 238
pinterest.com 236
holzprojekte.blogspot.de 207
workbenchdiary.com 190
forum.lescopeaux.asso.xooit.fr 188
woodtalkonline.com 176
blendedwoodworking.com 172
theparttimewoodworker.blogspot.com 172
oregonwoodworker.blogspot.com 171
giantcypress.net 167
beernlathing.blogspot.com 165
brasscityrecords.com 163
theloveofwood.blogspot.com 162
gooldworkshop.blogspot.com 140
mansfieldfinefurniture.com 140
renaissancewoodworker.com 130
tonisarjus.wordpress.com 127
tomsworkbench.com 112
lie-nielsen.com 110
sheworkswood.com 95
timberframe-tools.com 93
chairnotes.blogspot.com 85
woodwurm.de 82
billyslittlebench.com 81
taylorgarage.com 79
woodfever.net 76
artisanco.com 70
toolemerablog.typepad.com 70
youtube.com 63
arcadilegno.it 61
finewoodworking.com 61
frugalwoodworking.com 56
insidetheworkshop.blogspot.com 56
kotiverstas.com 56
ferrinwoodworking.blogspot.com 54
forum.index.hu 52
periodcraftsmen.com 49
accidentalwoodworker.blogspot.com 47
joecrafted.wordpress.com 44
woodworkingtalk.com 44
talkfestool.com 40
lesfousdubois.org 39
messimerwoodworking.wordpress.com 38
novicewoodramblings.blogspot.com 33
sheworkswood.blogspot.com 33
taylorbenchworks.blogspot.com 31
camberedblade.blogspot.com 30
feedly.com 30
themedievalwoodworkerlinks.blogspot.com 30
luv2sharpen.blogspot.com 29
gmoser.net 28
oldtools-woodworking.blogspot.com 28
swingleydev.com 27
dogpile.com 26
fundamentalsofwoodworking.com 26
legnofilia.it 25
woodworkuk.co.uk 25
netvibes.com 24
oldunplugged.workingwood.com 24
evenfallstudios.com 22
woodbyhand.blogspot.com 21
holzprojekte.blogspot.it 20
newtonwoodworking.com 20
twitlonger.com 20
vf-tv.ru 20
duckduckgo.com 19
thesawdustsurfer.blogspot.com 19
designbuildshow.com 18
stumbleupon.com 18
zkprojectnotebook.wordpress.com 18
handtoolschool.renaissancewoodworker.com 17
marmadera.foroactivo.com 17
p1675.superclick.com 17
pulsenews 16
larrysworkshop.wordpress.com 15
thelightheartedwoodworker.com 15
trialanderrorwoodworker.wordpress.com 15
delicious.com 13
gnhw.cloverpad.org 13
instapaper.com 13
m.facebook.com 13
statcounter.com 13
toolerable.blogspot.com 13
closegrain.com 12
nasamaximo.com 12
newbritainboy.wordpress.com 12
woodworking.nl 12
blog.lostartpress.com 11
centurylink.net 11
handtoolschool.net 11
millcrek.wordpress.com 11
swagbucks.com 11
billyslittlebench.weebly.com 10
tatteredjeansandsawdust.blogspot.com 10
thefluffywoodworkerblog.blogspot.com 9
thewoodwhisperer.com 9
ticovogt.com 9
warsztat-domowy.pl 9
workshop.electronsmith.com 9
byggahus.se 8
draft.blogger.com 8
ikki.twis.la 8
regretsy.com 8
shopsmith.net 8
sitextool.com 8
cafe.naver.com 7
cro-wood.com 7
dvergin.org 7
escapistmagazine.com 7
inbox.centurylink.net 7
indiegogo.com 7
santanna620.wordpress.com 7
xalapa.tallereslibres.org 7
jeffbranch.wordpress.com 6
pinboard.in 6
ravinheart.com 6
thesawblog.com 6
warsztat.boczi.net 6
woodchippieswoodshop.blogspot.com 6
armstrongmywire.com 5
gibsonwoodworking.com 5
holzprojekte.blogspot.co.at 5
linkedin.com 5
pearltrees.com 5
symbaloo.com 5
talktalk.co.uk 5
toolbar.inbox.com 5
urlopener.com 5
woodlooking.blogspot.com 5
www.forex-ninjas.com 5
enhanced.charter.net 4
forex-ninjas.com 4
getpocket.com 4
gmodules.com 4
mediacomtoday.com 4
mycenturylink.com 4
nicolawood.typepad.co.uk 4
readitlaterlist.com 4
tumblr.com 4
twittergadget.com 4
arianna.libero.it 3
blog.woodworking-magazine.com 3
disqus.com 3
ecosia.org 3
familywoodworking.org 3
gildedrain.blogspot.com 3
golink-directory.com 3
greendoorshoppe.blogspot.com 3
hammcrafted.com 3
heyhousesnursery.easysearch.org.uk 3
iconfactory.com 3
mathias-sys.com 3
multipleurlopener.com 3
newlegacywoodworking.com 3
portal.tds.net 3
reader.mac.com 3
reddirtwoodshop.blogspot.com 3
scrgeek.com 3
twitter.com 3
villagecarpenter.blogspot.com 3
baidu.com 2
blog.lumberjocks.com 2
blowery.org 2
cincinnatibell.net 2
excrusader.tumblr.com 2
holzprojekte.blogspot.com.es 2
hootsuite.com 2
images.google.com 2
ltd.amphenol-tcs.com 2
luv2sharpen.blogspot.ca 2
madebyjohn.blogspot.com 2
markrhodesfurniture.co.uk 2
mediocrewoodworking.tumblr.com 2
notify.bluecoat.com 2
plusnetwork.com 2
portal.wowway.net 2
proteanstrategy.com 2
resilientcommunities.com 2
sensis.com.au 2
speeddial2.com 2
ssbpnet.pbworks.com 2
start.toshiba.com 2
store.lumberjocks.com 2
thewoodlab.wordpress.com 2
traditionalskills.wordpress.com 2
uk.foxstart.com 2
webcrawler.com 2
alert.scansafe.net 1
americanwoodworker.com 1
analyzebacklinks.com 1
apps.futur3.it 1
aspiringwoodworker.com 1
backlinkwatch.com 1
beta.indiegogo.com 1
bowsaw.wordpress.com 1
cdc.gov 1
cf.devilfinder.com 1
chesapeakewood.wordpress.com 1
claro-search.com 1
courrielweb-4.videotron.ca 1
crm.webeventseurope.com 1
dashboard.bloglines.com 1
de.creo.ptc.com 1
domainnotfound.optimum.net 1
es.reddit.com 1
favp.com 1
feed43.com 1
feeds2.feedburner.com 1
finecomb.com 1
firstlightwoodworking.blogspot.ca 1
foromimecanicapopular.com 1
fr.reddit.com 1
greendoorshoppe.blogspot.ca 1
greendoorshoppe.blogspot.co.uk 1
holzprojekte.blogspot.ch 1
home.myhughesnet.com 1
home.suddenlink.net 1
images.google.de 1
images.google.mu 1
info.co.uk 1
info.com 1
infospace.com 1
insidetheworkshop.blogspot.com.au 1
japanesewoodworking.com 1
login.radian6.com 1
luv2sharpen.blogspot.pt 1
m.reddit.com 1
m.youtube.com 1
mattters.com 1
metacrawler.com 1
midco.net 1
mysearchresults.com 1
optimum.net 1
plus.google.com 1
portal.acushnet.k12.ma.us 1
pulse.me 1
rememberthemilk.com 1
rmurphyknives.readyhosting.com 1
rockler.com 1
sites.google.com 1
slowfoodottawagatineau.org 1
start.funmoods.com 1
store.gardentenders.com 1
suche.t-online.de 1
tabpin.com 1

As before, to try to reasonably gauge which countries actually have interested readers, for countries with fewer than 10 visits and 10 pages per visit, I threw out any where the average time on site was less than 30 seconds. This year that leaves 118 countries.
Country Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on Site (sec)
United States 70156 2.49 213
Canada 7957 2.57 215
United Kingdom 5390 2.52 232
Australia 2803 2.46 220
Germany 2334 2.64 181
France 1669 3.15 207
Sweden 1127 1.93 133
Netherlands 940 3.04 222
Spain 922 3.61 299
Italy 880 3.12 260
Finland 782 2.84 237
New Zealand 658 2.03 154
Ukraine 647 1.97 75
Romania 576 2.31 148
Poland 557 3.97 308
Belgium 544 3.17 296
Brazil 523 4.57 442
Argentina 489 3.1 292
Mexico 488 4.1 350
Russia 404 4.38 376
Croatia 326 2.67 303
Czech Republic 295 4.89 363
Portugal 290 2.48 244
Estonia 271 2.75 206
Philippines 246 2.62 258
Chile 237 5.15 459
South Africa 235 3.12 254
Thailand 226 3.37 458
India 224 2.07 126
Ireland 213 2.77 248
Israel 205 3.18 309
Taiwan 200 3.55 350
Switzerland 196 3.84 333
Denmark 192 3.95 419
Hungary 179 3.22 149
Austria 158 2.34 112
Greece 153 3.46 300
Japan 143 3.31 321
Norway 141 3.94 302
Malaysia 135 1.8 106
RĂ©union 108 1.4 150
Serbia 108 2.99 148
Indonesia 106 3.18 421
Turkey 103 2.94 181
Hong Kong 94 4.64 538
South Korea 90 2.52 150
Lithuania 81 5.44 433
Colombia 79 2.95 240
China 70 3.06 339
Guernsey 59 1.63 94
Trinidad and Tobago 59 1.73 153
Bulgaria 57 5.02 298
Slovakia 57 1.95 118
Luxembourg 56 1.57 106
Ecuador 54 8.09 1322
Qatar 44 2.05 168
Slovenia 42 2.81 220
Egypt 40 2.4 244
Costa Rica 39 2.74 208
Singapore 39 3.21 245
Pakistan 35 3.69 308
Puerto Rico 35 4.74 417
Venezuela 35 3.83 255
Iran 32 3.06 166
Belarus 31 2.23 116
Saudi Arabia 31 2.19 135
Vietnam 29 2.17 239
Iceland 28 1.43 32
Peru 27 6.52 600
Barbados 26 5.08 581
United Arab Emirates 24 1.38 20
Latvia 24 3 396
Mauritius 24 1.79 108
Jamaica 20 1.15 39
Macedonia [FYROM] 19 1.84 19
Uruguay 18 6.17 907
Dominica 12 4.92 254
Algeria 12 3.17 334
Malta 11 1.91 25
Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 2.6 53
Cyprus 10 3 290
Guatemala 10 2.7 114
Jordan 9 4.33 331
Kuwait 9 2.22 380
Bangladesh 8 1.12 56
Ethiopia 8 1.75 52
Kenya 8 1.25 171
Moldova 8 5.5 507
Nigeria 8 2.38 93
Morocco 7 1.71 179
Afghanistan 6 1.33 55
Ghana 6 2.17 266
Libya 6 1.67 77
Tunisia 6 1.67 11
Armenia 5 2.6 302
Bahrain 5 3.6 116
Iraq 5 5 287
Cambodia 5 2.4 113
Madagascar 5 5 435
Netherlands Antilles 4 5.75 393
Georgia 4 4 287
Nepal 4 1.5 49
Oman 4 1.25 46
Syria 4 7 502
Honduras 3 1.33 69
Mongolia 3 2 59
El Salvador 3 2 61
Uganda 3 4.67 229
Botswana 2 3 172
Panama 2 2.5 47
Paraguay 2 2.5 667
Albania 1 2 269
Bolivia 1 2 154
Bahamas 1 3 77
Cuba 1 9 2967
French Guiana 1 9 665
Montenegro 1 2 110
Palestinian Territories 1 4 178

Revenue from Google Ads and Amazon Associates links was actually up enough to buy a few nice tools. My general goal is to make the hobby pay for itself, and along with class fees, it's starting to approach that point (ignoring all the money I've spent over the past several years to get there!).

A work-related note: I've learned Python programming for my new job, and I was able to generate the HTML for the above tables with just a few lines of Python. It's quite a fun and powerful language to work with.

With it's list comprehensions, lambda functions, and object-orientation, it's like a cross between Lisp/Scheme and C++ with STL. I love the dictionary support. The interpreter and dynamic binding encourage rapid experimentation and refactoring.

My primary tutorial, a fantastic resource for experienced programmers, was Mark Pilgrim's free ebook Dive Into Python; it's full of cross-references to other good online resources.

The data for the tables comes from exporting Google Analytics reports as plain text files, which I then fed into the Python code.

6 comments:

  1. Take a look at pandas (http://pandas.pydata.org) it has some integration (or it will soon) for Google Analytics for some really great data analysis.

    If you ever used R, it'll feel familiar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks great, Steve. You're #'s are kicking my numbers butt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am glad you explained the tables because I was wondering. I have always been impressed with your traffic and I'm glad you are making headway with Google Ads.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! Your blog seems to be doing pretty darned good.

    I love looking at the statistics from my website to see where the traffic is coming from.

    It is too bad that spam seems to be flooding blog posts lately. I notice the same thing. Blogger does do a good job of filtering them out. I think about 5% make it through on my site. So far I haven't seen it necessary to block anonymous posters... yet.

    ReplyDelete
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