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  1. #1
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Cool Gotta love those ultra-dedicated and patient searchers!
    I've gotta love those searchers who are willing to stick to a "shopping quest" until the end.

    Today I tracked this chain of events after finding a strange referrer in my logs:

    Someone landed on one of those crummy spam pages that use scraped search results for their "content." I would guess that they got to that spam page from some SE.
    So, that's the first hop from the SE.

    ->From there they find my listing, about 5 down. They clicked that (that's what showed up in my logs). That's the second hop...
    ->It's an ancient listing, which now goes to 404sville. So, they get my custom 404 page. That makes the third stop that still is not what they're after.
    ->Then they use my search. Luckily, that product's still available, only the file name of my page has changed, so it comes up. Result page = 4th hop.
    ->Then they go to the merchant. 5th hop!

    They bought it.

    I wish all searchers were that dedicated!

    (If you're curious, it seems to be some type of toy...no special brand, though!)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  2. #2
    lurk
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    Awesome.

  3. #3
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    That's funny...glad you made the sale, after all that!

    - Tim
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  4. #4
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    so we can sometimes get some good out of those bogus search result plus adsense ads sites. Too bad their PR is so poor.

  5. #5
    Full Member garystarling's Avatar
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    Maybe they bought a plastic frog!

  6. #6
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    ow

  7. #7
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    WOW!

    That would be a .02 cents commission and think how funny you would feel when you went to the bank with a check for .02 cents.

    I have never done much good with Link Share merchants - I guess it's all of their parasites.

    But, I'll have you know that I received a check from Link Share for .90 cents yesterday.

    Not too long back I had a check from a merchant for 3,800 dollars and I took that one to the bank.

    I let my wife take the .90 cents one to the bank today.

    I figured I might as well cash it after all of the money I've been screwed out of at Link Share.

    I no longer have any Link Share links on my sites.

    I seem to have a lot of dedicated customers on my sites too. My sites take them to want they want. They don't have to dig through a lot of blab, blab, blab and bull to find what they want.

    I'm glad you got the sale. Maybe the same customer will come back and shop with you some more.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    so we can sometimes get some good out of those bogus search result plus adsense ads sites. Too bad their PR is so poor.~Herb
    Sometimes they can send quite a bit of traffic (especially when they get a good ranking in a category where my own SEO has sucked!). But actually being able to directly track a purchase to a hit from one of them has been a lot rarer...


    That would be a .02 cents commission~BurgerBoy
    Actually it was $3.98 commission! Where'd you get the .02 cents from?
    And it was a CJ merchant...

    Maybe the same customer will come back and shop with you some more.
    I'm hoping the customer will remember me, too, but after seeing so many different sites I don't know if they'll remember which one was which...

    My sites take them to want they want. They don't have to dig through a lot of blab, blab, blab and bull to find what they want.
    Same with mine! The person was probably ecstatic to finally find the product at the other end of a link!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    Full Member Verbalkent's Avatar
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    thats good stuff leader, if you dont mind me asking, what proggy do you use to analyse your logs? (hehe, logs.) I use urchen(sp?) i like it, Ive used click tracks and a few others, i seem to really like urchen now, and wondered if there is something out there better.

    but i think thats great that the searcher went thru all of that and choose you as there destination. that says something special.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    what proggy do you use to analyse your logs?
    I was actually looking at my raw log file (no proggy at all) for that site when I saw that odd referrer. That's what I usually end up looking at. Looking directly is no good for in-depth analysis on a well-trafficked site, but occasionally I spot an oddity like the one I posted about, so I get a kick out of looking directly. Plus it's easier to spot odd patterns...or see if a bad robot has been calling 5 pages per second all night long, stuff like that.

    As for software, I've got Webstat, simply because that's what the server setup comes with. I actually think Webstat is a piece of trash! It doesn't work if the config is wrong, and even when it "works" it only shows the top 10, top, 20, or top 30 results (depending on the particular stat). You'll never find anything that's not "top" with that thing. Offbeat keywords? Forget 'em. Oddball referrer? It doesn't see it. It's got other problems, too, but the "top only" obsession is one I don't know any fix for. And it doesn't work at all on my last few sites (configuration problem), and I haven't made RackSpace fix the config for me because it's such a piece of junk as to be practically worthless anyway...

    I'm actually hoping to find a good program to analyze downloaded raw logs (rather than doing it on the server side). But all the ones I can find want to either avoid log files altogether, or make it so I never get a look at the "real thing." That's no good. I want one program that'll analyze whatever I throw at it--instead of some "hosted tracking" place that wants to charge an arm and a leg for any site that gets a worthwhile amount of traffic. Plus, I don't want to have to put anything on the actual pages, which all those "no log file" solutions (that I know of) require.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  11. #11
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garystarling
    Maybe they bought a plastic frog!


    I figured a plastic frog could not cost very much.



  12. #12
    Devil's Reject Electropulse's Avatar
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    it's funny but looking at raw logs tells you more than a fancy log analyzers.

  13. #13
    Full Member garystarling's Avatar
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    I have recently paid a huge sum for clicktracks, they have a free trial run, but get your money out for the full product (add the www. and the .com for their site).

    Whilst expensive it has enabled me to study user visits very closely - we get about 8,000 a day so early exits and short visit stats are very useful as they tell me so much. It has led to a site redesign - more focussed link placement and dropping useless links that no one clicks on from the front page.

    It can also monitor (or tag) visitors from specific search engines or referal links to see how they stack against each other.

    Some way to go before this program pays for itself but knowledge is power!

    (I have the log file version not the hosted one)

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electropulse
    it's funny but looking at raw logs tells you more than a fancy log analyzers.
    It sure does! But it can get mind-blowing when there's a lot of hits to look at...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    Member infoscott's Avatar
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    This is just idle curiosity, but how is it that you look at the log, and how many entries are we talking about? I program Visual Basic in Excel in my day job, and it wouldn't be hard for me to read in a log text file and populate spreadsheet cells. And I can tweak most of the Excel power tools like PivotTables, consolidate, yadda yadda.

    Do you think it would be worth time spending time on?

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    On my setup, I can either go in on the server-side and look at it through the interface (Plesk), or download the file to my PC and open it in WordPad. Plesk auto-divides the file into site-by-site breakdowns...I'd like to have a single server-wide file as well as that, but with Plesk it's stuck with the site-by-site method.

    How many entries depends greatly on which site it is! New sites have hundreds or less, while established sites have many, many thousands PER DAY. Remember, each hit (hit in this case = any file called up) makes an entry.

    Do you think it would be worth time spending time on?
    I haven't tested the Clicktracks that Gary mentioned, so I don't know how much, if any, improvement could be done there. The main overriding question would be, "can you do it better than what's already out there?" If the answer is Yes, then it's a matter of making it robust enough to handle sites which generate a lot of log entries.

    But I have my doubts as to whether any spreadsheet could handle a week or a month's worth of log data, or in some cases even a day's worth from a busy site (or one that's graphics-intensive)! What's graphics-intensive may be surprising, too--for instance, message boards generate tons of entries, because of all the icons/smileys/avatars, etc. called up. Also along these lines are sites which use CSS files, because then every page view also calls the CSS file--presto, instant double-sized log file.

    Don't forget to add a few ravenous robots to the mix...if nobody looks at a new 20,000 page site except Googlebot, MSNbot (whatever it's called), and Slurp, you've got 60,000 entries right there (plus repeated calls for robots.txt) and no humans have even seen it yet!

    In short, the size for a large site (or one with lots of graphics) could become quite troublesome for a spreadsheet to handle... You could limit yourself to "small sites only" but that wouldn't help us big-site owners, or anyone who gets a decent amount of traffic
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    Member infoscott's Avatar
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    100,000 rows is no big deal. For text file parsing I do all the loading and massaging in VB first before populating the workbook. I once parsed payroll data across 11 worksheets in a workbook, and each sheet maxes out at about 65,000 rows. The parsing into the data structure was about a second in performance, it was populating the worksheets that took about a minute. I could filter the raw lines for file extensions like .css, .gif, etc. and toss them.

    I work with pretty large data sets. Fluor's financials span over 400 legal entities. It's the PivotTables (crosstabs) that require a manageable amount of data.

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