Kiwiblog tops Open Parachute mess

Kiwiblog tops the blog rankings for this month but the numbers look very unreliable, highlighting the difficulties in measuring blog popularity.

Lynn Prentice foretold this two weeks ago in Kiwiblip!

Either Kiwiblog had a very large social media blip starting on the 19th, going into the 20th, and still running today in the early hours of the 21st. Or  something is really wrong with Sitemeter, or there is a irritating bug somewhere bloating the numbers.

David Farrar commented:

My ISP mentioned to me on the 19th there was a fairly serious DDOS attack from China. They blocked a dozen or so IP addresses. Looks like it has been ongoing.

Ironically Whale Oil numbers look ‘normal’ for them but some of the others look like nonsense.

Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Kiwiblog 1548697 3577649
2 Whale Oil 1330186 2800038
3 The Standard 238368 501340
4 The Daily Blog 174442 288345
5 No Right Turn 101646 532892
6 OracleNZ by Francisco Munoz Alvarez 61225 71566
7 Liberation 35155 191265
8 Sciblogs 34619 230987
9 Liturgy 21606 34118
10 No Minister 17655 23198

The last two look about what I’d expect, and The Standard and The Daily Blog look about where they would normally be, but other numbers are huge compared to past months.

Here is the May top ten:

Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Whale Oil 1295015 2760736
2 Kiwiblog 337504 606379
3 The Standard 253030 537315
4 The Daily Blog 189390 315321
5 Auckland Transport Blog 44076 45167
6 The Dim-Post 42253 56863
7 Sciblogs 36117 46908
8 NewZeal 25167 32534
9 Liturgy 24819 40495
10 No Right Turn 22717 30555

The Open Parachute blog rankings for June are nonsense, as they acknowledge.

Big problems with Sitemeter

The problems with SiteMeter are even worse this month. No data could be obtained for about 50 blogs using SiteMeter. People have also reported strange results. So if you wish to query the information in the table I suggest you check out the data in the SiteMeter pages.

So blog rankings look more unreliable than usual.

Your NZ has had a record month according to the internal stats:

YourNZAug-June2015The actual numbers are hard to compare so I usually just watch movements.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Leave a comment

9 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  2nd July 2015

    Thank you for providing so much to think about 🙂

    Reply
  2. kittycatkin

     /  2nd July 2015

    I mean generally, not on this post, which is a bit beyond my numeracy skills 😦

    Reply
  3. Pete Kane

     /  2nd July 2015

    I wonder what some advertisers on the various Blogs think of the reliability of ‘reported/logged’ traffic. But, I guess its up to them to weigh up such matters in the commercial context. What I hope though is that people take into account any “rating shenanigans” by the Political Blogs when assessing their overall integrity and reliability. Thankfully, not an issue for the readers and commenters at this site.

    Reply
  4. Missy

     /  2nd July 2015

    Interesting to see the comment from David about the DDOS from China, as anecdotally there have been a number of issues in China accessing foreign sites, and I had issues a few weeks ago getting on to Kiwiblog from here. There has been some talk on expat blogs and in expat magazines about the ‘Great Cannon’ which is apparently the Government blocking certain overseas sites that require signing into, and re-directing to other random web pages – I wonder if this is connected to the DDOS, as Kiwiblog is one of the sites I find regularly blocked in this way, as well as often just not being able to access it, or it is running very slow (I just put that down to my slow ‘super fast’ internet here – I term it that way because it is advertised as super fast, but is in reality super slow.

    I am not technical so don’t really understand how this all works, but it does seem coincidental it was all happening around the same timeframe.

    Reply
  5. The public stats for The Standard and Daily Blog are on Statcounter rather than Sitemeter. And Whaleoil converted over a few months back from SiteMeter to StatCounter.

    The problem occurred in the middle and end of the month, and then at the end of the month. The most likely base reason is something hijacking the javascript (probably some kind of DNS attack?)

    It looks like a repeat of a problem from December last year…
    See
    http://whatdoino-steve.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/sitemeter-out-of-control.html
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/06/a-blog-bug-squashed-sitemeter-compromised-malware/
    etc…

    My experience with Sitemeter was that it was grossly inaccurate because it’d stop working or start working too much at least once a year. I dropped it about 3 years ago. Historically, apparently Sitemeter went unreliable after it was brought by one of the internet giants (Yahoo from memory) who have been cheerfully ignoring it ever since. It went from being about the bets in 2007 to complete trash now.

    Open Parachute should just ignore it as well. It seems to have big issues every 6 months or so these days.

    Statcounter and google analytics are generally pretty good. WordPress stats usually work ok (that varies when Akismet gets overloaded around xmas). But generally they agree roughly with each other on page views to within a a few thousand per month (ie less than 1% inaccuracy). I haven’t tried some of the others around simply because Google analytics is the standard required by advertisers and anyone with an interest in what is happening on their site, and statcounter is adequate for providing a public interface for Open Parachute.

    The ‘visits’ (or many other names) are just useless and are grossly inaccurate. When they are supposedly measuring the same thing (as statcounter, sitemeter, and analytics are meant to be doing), they usually vary by up to 50% making them useless for doing intersite comparisons.

    “Visits” are incredibly sensitive to visit durations, which means that they count a 10 second glance at a single page as being exactly the same as reading 30 pages over 1800 seconds. This gets brought home to anyone with a brain when they look at the frequencies of visit lengths that analytics provides, and the paths walks from the landing page to the exit pages.

    So PG, just show the page view scale. That is the only valid comparable figure between most sites because any site that tries to irritate their readers with micro-pages and forced clicks doesn’t keep their audience for long. The only other figure that is of particular interest would be the unique visitors (ie not visits) where the visitor was on a page for more than a few seconds and or looked at more than one page in a time period. That gets rid of the flick-ins from search engines.

    Reply
    • Thanks for that info.

      Open Parachute ranks by Visits/Month so that makes their pecking order, especially below the top few, a bit of a waste of time.

      The scale I showed above was page views for here. I think Visits only counts search engines once and you can get many hits via Google in particular, some will be very brief but that’s how a lot of people find stuff.

      Comparing blogs is sort of interesting but based on stats alone it’s just a rough indicator (except Open Parachute this month where it’s nonsense).

      I know different ways I could increase the stats here substantially but I don’t want to change the design and content just to try and clock up hits that don’t matter for what I’m doing here.

      Reply
    • I sometimes compare sites with Alexa but it seems to have odd results at times. Your NZ has just jumped up the Global rankings, a few months ago it was always above 1 million, now it’s halved to 598.935. I’m dubious about a move like that. and won’t get very excited about it.

      Reply
      • There was a post I wrote back in 2008… ummm
        http://thestandard.org.nz/playing-with-rankings/

        Basically I found that alexa was a complete waste of time. It depended on people adding a plugin to their browser that had no benefit to them, and which provided a security hole. So anyone sensible doesn’t..

        That left the people daft enough to still use Internet Explorer 🙂

        A single person could easily distort the Alexa rankings on even quite active sites. Which I proceeded to test.

        I don’t bother looking at Alexa.

        Reply
        • I haven’t added any Alexa plugins. I just look at what they say as one of a number of imperfect site comparisons.

          It’s easy to distort stats using any measure. That’s why I don’t bother trying to get into the Open Parachute rankings, which are obviously unreliable this month and are always only a rough indicator.

          Reply

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