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May 5th, 2006, 04:11 PM #1Weird Site Stats?? Has it happened to you?
Hi guys (and gals),
Here's the deal: Over the past two days, I've had some pretty big increases in traffic to one of my blogs. The problem is that I do not know where they are coming from (using Statcounter). In other words, the "referrer" section doesn't list anything.
Now, at first I thought it might just be bookmarking, or a single site listing to mine, but the thing is is that the pages that are being visited are pretty popular (They are archived pages and the SE's hit them a lot). So, it's not like I got a mention somewhere and they are all going to the main page.
Unless someone has linked to very popular posts of mine, I can't think of anything else.
Has this happened to you? I know it's not Statcounter's problem, b/c the hosted service's log/stats shows the same thing.
What do you guys think? Very annoying!
May 5th, 2006, 04:21 PM #2
Have you checked out the IP addresses and the activity of these referrerless visitors? Are they looking and acting like normal visitors? Are they checking robots.txt?
Bots and spiders usually leave no referrer, so that's my first suspicion.
If that's not it, perhaps you were mentioned in some sort of offline medium: TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, etc. When I've seen traffic like that with no explanation, I've added a little box to my home page that said "First Time Visitor? Let us know how you heard about us!" with an email link. You'll usually get a few people who tell you, then you can take the box down.
May 5th, 2006, 04:25 PM #3
you might want to check for error pages too. If some hack is checking the gate you will have a tonload o funky errors
May 5th, 2006, 04:32 PM #4
Ahh, great suggestion Michael. Didn't think about that. I think i'm going to throw one up today.
The only problem I have about the possibility that it was mentioned elsewhere, is the fact that these pages are pretty deep. If this did happen, then someone was going through an entire list (if they did - more power to them!).
As far as the pattern, there is none. although I don't know who the referrer is, I can see what part of the country/world they come from, and it's all over the place (mostly in the states - hope that's not a widespread attempt - lol).
Also, they are actually navigating the site, well, a good portion of them are.
Unforutnately, I can't check the error logs. The hosted service is Typepad. They'll show me some pseudo-raw stats, but that's about it. If I begin to see something weird, I'll give them a call.
Thanks for the suggestions. I love a good mystery...
May 6th, 2006, 12:02 AM #5
I had an odd upsurge in traffic from yahoo on the 3rd...one site gets 40-50 uniques a day, on the 3rd I received 750 uniques uusing the same search phrase from yahoo..... staying for 1-30 seconds each time. Odd. Next day it went back to 40-50...Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.
May 6th, 2006, 08:04 AM #6Originally Posted by elbowcreek
Even though the "nice lady" over at the statcounter boards keeps trying to attribute this to xhtml noncompliance (yeesh), I have a feeling it isn't, simply b/c it's also showing the same non-referrer info in my hosted account's logs.
May 6th, 2006, 07:08 PM #7
Well, it turns out that the problem is with Six Apart's Typepad blog service. They finally replied to my email, letting me know that they are aware of the problem, and are trying to fix it.
One little statement on their site would've done the trick, and I wouldn't have wasted a few hours trying to figure it all out.
Oh well, live n' learn.
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