A while ago I wrote about my web page counter Site Meter and again about dabbling with Ad Sense, Google’s service to provide ads on web pages and pay the owners of the websites for people who follow those ads.
Lately I’ve been getting nearly 100 clicks on my website a day. This is a lot for a personal page, I think (and more than the Covered Bridge and Sidney Lanier websites got combined though I only had counters on their home pages). I can track which web pages on my site get the most visits. Hands down, as I have written before, it is the DeJumbler page that has a MS Word document that unscrambles words for you. I have no way of knowing if people are really using it or not, but I do notice some frequent returns by fairly unique domains like www.stgenevievek-8.com.
Another thing the meter does is tell me what the web address of the site that referred them to me. For instance sometimes mac.fiveforks.com will show up since I have links to my site on my blog. But more often the referring URL is a web search engine like Ask Jeeves or Google. Even better, the URL includes additional information like what search terms people were using when Google or Ask Jeeves gave them my website. For instance, this might be the referring page:
What you can get out of that is that the person used two words in their search “word” and “unscrambler”. If you follow the link you will see my page shows up about eighth on that page. If they change the search term to “letter” and “unscrambler” then I show up first.
It used to be that I never got hits from Google at all, just Ask Jeeves. For whatever reason, Google hadn’t found my site. That changed when I decided to put some Google advertisements on my DeJumbler page. Soon thereafter I started getting hits from Google. And of course Google is used by a lot more people than Ask Jeeves so when that happened visits to my site went up by several fold from 20 a day to 100 a day. This works to Google’s advantage to send people to websites where Google’s ads live. It works to my advantage too because one out 100 or so visitors will click on an ad so now I get a click almost every day (about 3 cents a click; so far I’ve made $4.67). I also went ahead and added advertisements to my iPod battery pack page which seemed to be getting more traffic lately.
For a few weeks I dropped off of Google’s radar and my page visits dropped back down. But then recently I’ve come back with a vengeance. Now I am getting referrals to more of the pages on my website (see statistics for pages visited or referrals). There are tons of statistics. You can also see how many pages a particular visit views. Paydirt would be if they visit more than one page, otherwise it might just mean that they aren’t finding what they are looking for. From time to time I’ll see someone who really stays for a while, but not that often.
It’s very interesting to watch, almost as interesting as watching Delta stock go up and down (mostly down). But I think the most amazing and maybe conspiratorial part of the whole thing is watching how Google seems to be steering people to my website because I have Google ads there.