Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mysterious growth in visitor numbers from China

Readership statistics according to Blogspot
It is now 3 years since I started this blog and so I decided to review the visitor tracking statistics. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was an apparent dramatic increase in the number of page views near the end of 2012.

This surprised me since I hadn't changed my blogging habits in any significant way. Therefore I decided to dig a little deeper. When I started the blog, I enabled Google Analytics tracking because the statistics provided by the Blogspot platform was much more limited. It turns out that the statics provided by each tracking platform were quite different and Google Analyitics doesn't see any  similar growth in visitors.

To understand why there might be a difference you need to understand that Google Analytics works by executing a snippet of JavaScript in the visitor's browser. Almost all browsers today support JavaScript soI would not expect many normal visits to fail to be registered. However, visits to the blog that come from automated programs won't register. It seems that there has recently been a huge leap in the number of visits to my blog that come from automated bots.

The other thing that has changed is the location that the visitors come from. When I looked at the location of my visitors from 2011 most of my visitors came from Ireland (which is not a surprise) and  I had no readers at all from China (I assume that this was because the great firewall of China was blocking access to the Blogger platform). However, I got my first visitor from China in 2012 and they now represent the a very significant proportion of the visitors (according to Blogger statistics, but not according to Google Analytics)

There is definitely something dodgy going on, because I don't think that I am suddenly popular in China. Perhaps this article from the BBC gives some clue.


  1. A few people asked me if Google Analytics has any record of visitors from China.

    It does have some, but very few. According to Analytics, China is #42 in the list of countries from which my blog gets visitors.

    1. Great news Brian, i am happy for you. you can try to track visitors and target new user with help of report.

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