Friday, 11 January 2013

Blogger Vs FlagCounter PageView Stats

For visitors who come to my site today (the post published date) and inspect my blog stats on my sidebar will see the following,

Blogger vs Falg Counter pageview

keen visitors quickly noticed the vast difference between the page view stats of these 2 counters.

The page views in the upper half of this screen capture comes from Blogger and is showing a count of 2316. The stats in the lower half showing a total of only 259 page views from Flag Counter.

Of course, if you read this post sometime after I published it, the page views of these 2 counters will show different numbers, but 1 thing remains the same for awhile, the 2 figures will be differed by a huge margin (in this case Blogger is showing almost 9 times more traffic than Flag Counter).

Why is Blogger and Flag Counter showing such a large difference in page views counts? I'm glad you ask.

There're 2 reasons:

Firstly, the Blogger's pageviews are somewhat inflated by referrer SPAM. When these referrer spammers 'hitting' my site, their links shows up in the traffic stats. These spammers are operators whose aims are to get traffic by luring unsuspected web users - meaning novice Blogger users like myself - to click on their links in the "Traffic Sources" section of the Blogger stats, thus giving them traffic. A few such spammers reappear on my site regularly include Pregolom from Russia, Kallery from South Korea, and a few others. There's no shortage of web users ranting about Pregolom. Even a youtube page did some spamming before, but had given up after awhile, and no longer appears on my radar screen (meaning Traffic Source stats).

I dug a little deeper into Prelogom, and I found this. And you see that  it's administered by an Aussie company in the Sunshine State of Queensland in Nobby Beach (been there, lovely holiday place). They clearly needs the protection of this Queensland company to protect itself from the very thing that they do so well - spamming. Good thinking, Pregolom! As Pregolom makes itself Public Enemy Number 1, the Aussie battler has its hands full safe-guarding Pregolom. In fact, if you check a different site, say Yahoo or whoever, with the same domain tool, you don't get that disclaimer at the bottom.

Secondly, the above scenario only accounts for about 10 - 20% difference in the stats of these 2 counters. Not the huge difference. This boils down to the difference in the starting dates where these 2 tools begun to record their traffic stats. The Blogger of course begun to record traffic from the 1st date of my blog, which was born around Aug - Nov 2012. So the Blogger page views showing traffic for my blog in the last 4 months or so. On the other hand I installed my Flag Counter only this week. And the Flag Counter shows my traffic from the last few days, and is spammer-free traffic. This is how I come to this conclusion. My Blogger stats is telling me that I have some traffic from South Korea in the last few days, but I didn't get any South Korean flags at all.

Unfortunately, Flag Counter has no access to Blogger's internal stats, so it could only keep count of my traffic from the day I installed it. I wish they have access to the internal stats, but they don't. Because my site is still new and so the difference is huge. But in a few years the 2 stats will narrow. By then, I might even get rid of the Blogger page view counter. It will live for another day for now.

The referrer spammers' traffic, which account for less and less of the total traffic as time goes by. In the 1st month, the spam traffic accounts for 80% of my traffic. Now it's about 15 %. I have a feeling that they will fade into the background as white noise in a few months time.

One of the reason I installed Flag Counter is because it's not only let me share my traffic info with my visitors, it's also looking quite pretty. A nice decoration for my blog. This counter also shows spam-free traffic, which is quite handy.

Many people didn't just get it for serious traffic data, they're part of the hobby fun of collecting flags around the world. I was tempted too to join in the party in the Flag Counter forum to get my hands on some exotic flags. I resist my urge as this fun flag collection activity will distort my real traffic analysis. And I want to study who my readers are from organic traffic data.

Oh well, maybe one day when I get so much traffic (finger cross) that I could start collecting some exotic flags without having too much impact on the traffic analysis.

UPDATE (10 March 2013) After sitting on the side line for awhile, I've decided to join the Flag Counter forum for the flag collecting party. Ok, it isn't just about flag collection. In addition to this fun activity, it could also lead to getting more visitors to your site. When they visit your site (to give you their flags), they might like what they see on your website/blog and decide to become returned visitors (you'll never know). In fact, I've discovered some interesting sites this way. So it's entirely possible other forum members would find your sites interesting.

While it isn't the most efficient ways to get new visitors, it's doing 2 things at the same time (increase flag and visitor numbers). And have fun doing it (if that's your idea of fun). Who know, you might even make some friends there.

UPDATE  (5 May 2013) I have taken off the Blogger Page Views counter. As I said in this post above, the difference between Blogger page views count and Flag Counter page views count is going to narrow to the point that their differences is negligible. So there's no reason to keep 2 counters showing the same (more or less) page views count.


  1. This is the culprit and owner of the spam, Trustle Ree on Facebook:

  2. Its a very informative post, i read it a found new useful stuff that is very useful for me.Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. Good post. Please inform if you could find the solution of the flag counter not counting from the beginning of the blog and only counting from the day it is installed. Thanks and regards.

    1. Sorry. I have no knowledge of this.

      Sounds like this is a question you want to direct to the flag counter community or their support staff.

      I imagine to count form the start of the blog rather than the day of the installation, they must keep your stats when you uninstalled the flag counter at some stage. I assume when you uninstalled, your stats would be deleted. In that case, there's no way of getting your flag counting stats back.