I may have been blogging for over a year now, but that doesn't mean I know what I'm doing.
For instance, I just recently discovered the "Stats" bar on my blog (I'm assuming this is something only I, the blogger, can see), and have quickly become fascinated with analyzing the blog's statistics. Well, as much as a non-math-inclined person like myself is able to analyze them, at least.
The results are both encouraging and disheartening. I can see in cold, hard numbers when a blog entry has been viewed frequently, and when it's barely been read at all. (Was it something I said? Did you hate the title? Am I losing my touch? Paranoia is setting in.)
It's not all bad. Here are a few interesting (to me, at least) facts I have gleaned from the "Stats" bar on The Plural Of Hyena blog:
1) As Of This Writing, There Have Been 5,371 Total Page Views For The Blog. This number, unfortunately, does count my own page views (which hopefully don't consist of half that number!) because I haven't yet figured out how to exclude my own "hits" from the total. I see where I'm supposed to click to exclude my numbers, and I've clicked it, but for some reason it doesn't work. Anyway, being the armchair statistician that I am, I can quickly figure out that my blog has been viewed an average of 14.7 times per day over the roughly 366 days of its existence thus far. Approximately 1,269 of those page views took place last month alone, which is an average of about 41 page views per day for the month. So, either I was going back and editing them a whole lot, or people are actually reading this masterfully written prose junk. Go figure!
2) The Most-Viewed Entry All-Time On This Blog Is "Things I Find Fascinating #3: Zebras And The People Who Love Them." (Incidentally, when did I stop numbering those? Oh well, who cares!) To date, there have been a total of 1,798 page views on this entry alone. What's that all about? Well, it could be that, in that post, I used the word "zebra" a total of 26 times, and massive occurrences of one word in particular like that can cause the page to show up higher in search engines for specific words, like the word "zebra". Which brings me to...
3) The Words People Are Actually Searching For When They Unfortunately End Up At My Blog. You'd think they'd arrive here by searching for words that are actually in the blog title, like "plural" maybe, or definitely "hyena." Not so much, actually. Approximately 165 page views originated from a search for "baby zebra" – this was the highest number for any word or phrase. "Zebras" generated another 157 hits, "riding a zebra" another 110 hits, "zebra riding" another 74 hits, "baby zebras" another 69 hits, "zebra" another 66 hits, "riding zebras" another 52 hits, "riding zebra" another 25 hits, and "zebra baby" another 19 hits. The only word or phrase that was not in any way related to zebras off the top searched-for words was the name "Googie Withers". You may or may not remember, but actress Googie Withers was one of the recently deceased celebrities I profiled in my "Personal Reflections On Dead Celebrities: 2011 Edition" post back in July of last year. Oddly enough, none of the top searched-for items was "fascinating" or "perusal" or "war and peace" or any other words and phrases I use often on this site. Just zebras. All zebras. (And Googie Withers, of course.)
4) Sites And URLs Sending The Most People To My Blog. It shouldn't be at all surprising that the top URL referring to my site was Facebook , since I always post the links to these on my wall; and I believe the majority of you who read what I put here see the link there first. (But I could be wrong.) Incidentally, also high up on the list were the Byrds' Nest blog (thanks, Stacey!) and the Letchworth Shenanigans blog (thanks, Ashley!). Some of the referring sites look like gobbledygook web addresses to me – maybe spam sites linking to me or something (um, thank you?). Among the other sites or URLs that I recognized were Google (including the US, UK, Canadian, and German sites!) and Linked In. Good to know, I guess.
5) I'm Ten Times As Popular In The United States As I Am In The United Kingdom. To date, 3,816 of my total page views have originated from these United States, and only 358 hits have come from the UK. Oh well, I wasn't really writing for them anyway! Other major countries where I am being read – or at least being accidentally stumbled upon in Google searches gone wrong – are Canada (198 hits), Germany (147), Russia (118), and Australia (99). I'm not quite as popular in India (only 22 hits), Finland (19), Netherlands (19), or the Ukraine (18) – but the fact that people across the world are actually (intentionally or accidentally) seeing this amazing ludicrous blog is pretty mind-boggling!
6) Most People Access This Blog Using A Windows Or Macintosh Laptop Or Desktop Computer. Why is this important? It's probably not, but I think it means I haven't quite caught on with the mobile internet users that much. While Windows (3,484 hits) and Mac (1,516 hits) lead the operating systems list, only 1% each of my blog readers access the site using an Android, iPad, iPod, iPhone, or BlackBerry. I don't especially care one way or the other how people find the site, as long as they find it and enjoy reading it. Just thought someone out there might find it interesting. Because I sure didn't.
7) How High Does The Blog Show Up In A Search? This is one that I didn't find on "Stats," but is something I've been checking periodically over the past year. Currently, if you type in the phrase "the plural of hyena" (without the quotation marks) on Google, you will see this blog listed as the fourth result from the top. The first three listings are from online dictionaries, which I guess makes sense. If you do the same search on Bing, this blog is the first site listed. YAY!
I'm not really sure how to supplant those online dictionaries to make sure I'm the number-one hit on Google, but I've heard that the results are generated by how many times the particular searched-for phrase appears on each website. You'd think that having the The Plural of Hyena as the title heading on every page of the site would be enough. But I guess I'm going to have to work harder at putting the name The Plural Of Hyena into my actual blog posts, so that The Plural of Hyena will show up higher on the list whenever you Google the phrase "the plural of hyena", or any variation of the words "plural" or "hyena", and specifically the phrase "the plural of hyena", or even "plural of hyena" or "plural hyena".
I'll reach the top yet, just you wait! As long as I keep repeating this mantra: The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena, The Plural of Hyena!!!!!!