So The Dog Didn’t Eat My Blog Views — WordPress Did

Maybe you’ve noticed this. You upload a post and a few minutes later, the “likes” start coming in. But wait—your stats page doesn’t show any views for the post. Where did these “likes” come from?

Blog-savvy readers know the likes originate in the WordPress Reader. Readers can read posts and leave likes without leaving the Reader. (Wanna try saying that ten times fast?) Only if they comment will a view appear in your stats.

Excuse me, but this makes no sense.

The stats page is designed to suck us into blogging, especially when we begin. After all, who didn’t do the happy dance when the first readers left calling cards in the form of likes, comments, or follows? Even if someone was too shy to leave a card, that view counter went UP, telling us s/he had stopped by to visit.

All those numbers mesmerize us—daily, weekly, monthly totals, percentages up from the previous week (yes!) or down (nooo, my posts were awful!). It’s no surprise that seeing those numbers rise encourages us to write more posts so those numbers continue UPWARD. And that’s all the better for WordPress, of course.

So why did WordPress do something that decreases those numbers?

I bet anyone who was blogging before this summer’s Revamped Reader Push has noticed something to this effect:

declining views

Hmm, does the curve of this graph resemble one on your stats page?

The weekly graph is even worse. Look at the dive in my views after Week 23.

Ouch, ouch, ouch

Ouch, ouch, ouch

May was a great month for me, and other bloggers report the same. We noticed we were gaining an audience—we could see it in the stats. Then, the summer doldrums hit. This summer was my first in the blogosphere, and I’d heard that views would drop. I even did a tongue-in-cheek post about it. More-experienced bloggers all said the numbers would rebound in the fall. But look at that weekly graph again. Have they?

Over the summer, WordPress pushed the revamped Reader as the easy way to manage blogs and read new posts. There were lots of glitches, and I still don’t use it often. But many bloggers do.

What I’d like to know is why can’t the Reader be programmed to record a site view when someone reads one of our posts? Because now, I have no idea how many people actually read my posts.

When I started this post on the 8th, I checked my stats when that morning’s post went live. And the post had seven likes before a single view was recorded. In the old days, my views would have risen by seven. Now? Nothing, unless someone comments. Only then will the Reader record a view in my stats.

Now consider this—How many others read that post through the Reader without leaving a calling card? Two? Twenty? Two hundred? I have no way to know. As it stands, there were at least seven more views on the 8th than were recorded. Who knows—maybe there were 40 or 50 I don’t know about.

I also now have seven months of irrelevant stats. To compare numbers from pre-revamped Reader to post-revamped Reader is to compare apples and oranges. For all I know, my true numbers are better than they were in May. But I’d never know it from my stats. Maybe one person stays anonymous for every three people who leave a comment. If that’s the case, then on a slow day I might really have 40 views instead of 30. But what if it’s one silent reader for one who comments? Then a slow day is up to 60.

Maybe you see these “missing” numbers if you pay for the stats upgrade package. I haven’t looked into it. If not, those folks are paying for less-than-accurate data. But as the “free” stats stand, they’re basically meaningless.

I’m not out to be the world’s most popular blogger. I’m here to introduce potential readers to the novels I’m writing and to enjoy interacting with them. It’s not like the inaccurate numbers will cost me my job. But I’d still like an idea of how many people actually read my posts.

This is separate from the issue of people reading through feeds and such—and I don’t claim to understand them. I know those won’t necessarily count as views in our stats, either. But could we at least get a better idea of the real numbers within the WordPress community? We’re all doing better than we might think—and maybe we’d write more posts if we could see that. And then WordPress would have more advertising platforms….

Just  a thought.

Christmas 2009, Williamsburg

Christmas 2009, Williamsburg

So do your stats graphs resemble mine? Or is it worse than I think, and I really have dropped so far?! 😉

66 thoughts on “So The Dog Didn’t Eat My Blog Views — WordPress Did

  1. I haven’t looked at my stats in a long time. I know I should pay more attention to how my blog is doing, but in all honesty I have yet to feel like stats tell me more than what the actual conversations I have with the commenters do.

    I know who my regular commenters are, and I know who typically comments on the same day I post, and who might comment 3 days later, and who typically comments 1 1/2 weeks later. It’s like a routine, and it’s kind of neat to see the pattern of my commenters and when they comment. I LOVE getting new followers, but I REALLY LOVE when those new followers read and comment. Maybe I get so caught up in that I forget all about checking the stats to see how my blog is doing?

    My likes/views have always been higher than the number of commenters I have, and while I appreciate the likes/views, I know that the real impact my blog has on other people is when they bother to comment.

    Am I loser to admit I knew nothing about the Great Reader Push? 🙂 I mean, that one went right over my head, apparently. Again, I know I should pay more attention to the stats and figuring out ways to attract more readers if the main point of blogging is to grow an audience and showcase my writing. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to put that on my to-do list. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m kind of like 4amWriter on this. I’ll glance at my visits, but what I pay more attention to are the comments themselves. Have my usual readers stopped by? Any new commenters (which is always a treat, too)? What I have started paying more attention to stat-wise is how people are landing on my site. Since I started marketing, I’ve frequented many forums, and I leave my website address in my ‘signature.’ It’s a nice way to keep track of whether my efforts are fruitful or not. It seems each day I get anywhere from 2-6 hits from each of these sites, so it appears to be useful.

      But you raise a good point. It would be nice to know exactly how many have read our posts. I wonder how many go unnoticed as well when they read our post in their email inbox.

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      • It is easy to read full posts in email, too. And there again, no views get recorded unless someone leaves a comment. One tip I picked up for that is to insert the “read more” gadget into our posts. That way, the full post won’t appear in the email. Instead, there will be a link to “read more of this post.” And that will take someone directly to your blog, and a view will be recorded.

        As I just mentioned to Kate above, the lack of a fall rebound made me consider dropping the blog for a while. While I still had my core group, I thought I might have lost all my “silent” readers. It’s a moot point for anyone who started blogging this summer. They wouldn’t have those old higher numbers in their stats. But what they might not know is that they’re reaching more people than they think. How many new bloggers give up because the numbers now don’t rise that quickly?

        I don’t know if you noticed the changed look yesterday for the “home” page and the layouts for the reader and such, but I’m not a fan. 😉

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        • I did notice the change. It seems these come frequently, even more so on my WordPress phone apps. I just get used to something, and it changes again!

          Thanks for the tip regarding the “read more of this post.” I’ll have to look into that.

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    • Absolutely the best part is the core group that we share comments and discussions with. I hope agents would pay the most attention to that aspect of our blogs. But I’m also someone who gets curious about the numbers and what happens behind the scenes.

      And when the numbers suddenly crashed, I told myself things would pick up in the fall. According to my stats, they didn’t. I wondered if I had lost that much of my audience for good. But then I saw other bloggers saying that they were getting “likes” with no views, and I started checking my stats when a new post went up. And that’s when I realized something had changed. I was still picking up new followers, and most of the usual commenters were still around.

      So my “real” numbers could be back where they were in May, maybe even higher. It just strikes me as counterproductive for WordPress to make this kind of change. I never talked about it openly, but for a while this fall I thought about ending the blog—maybe trying again later when I was closer to publishing. I would’ve still followed yours and others, but wouldn’t have posted. Who knows? Maybe some people did give up as their “views” never came back. They might have thought they weren’t any good when in reality, they might have been doing better.

      The Reader push was also during that whole misguided switch to email subscribing everyone to comments by default. You could easily have missed it. 😉 But I miss the old Reader, and now they just moved Freshly Pressed to it. Yesterday’s redesign is not an improvement to me—I feel like I have to click more to get to the places I want to see. Not everyone is using a smart phone to access WordPress. And the old Freshly Pressed format looked just fine on my iPad. I’m not opposed to change. But it should be for the better! 🙂

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      • All of this, a thousand times, both the post and the above comment. I’m feeling less happy all the time with WordPress as a blogging platform. I think they’ve actually made it harder to manage the blogs I wanted access to, to discover new ones and to know what’s going on with mine.

        I think the worst part of the Reader for me is that it *doesn’t* always show me posts from blogs I follow. I got one in email just yesterday that never showed up in the Reader. What the heck? And that makes me how many others I’ve been missing. I don’t want to subscribe by email to every blog I follow because my inbox would explode trying to deal with them all.

        Some days, I wonder if they’re trying to sabotage themselves. Now, I’m starting to think it’s just the experience of those who don’t pay that they’re trying to ruin. And yes, I definitely noticed the drop off after May, and also considered either dropping the blog or moving it, because I felt like I’d lost most of my audience. Maybe I didn’t, so I’ll stick with it, but WordPress needs to rethink some of these changes.

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        • Hmm, maybe I should do a whole series of posts about the changes…. The reader is more awkward to use, and I don’t trust it for the very reasons you say—it doesn’t always work. And I recently got two emails for two likes that never showed up in my notifications. I reply to every comment—please tell me I haven’t missed some on older posts because I never got a notification!

          I pay for some of the upgrades, and I don’t get any advance word about changes or any “better” treatment that I can see. So maybe the “ignoring” factor isn’t limited. Sigh.

          I am relieved (not glad, but relieved) to hear that other bloggers have seen the same downturn. It really made me question how I was blogging and whether I should be. I still wonder that at times, but it is my only social media presence for my writing. If I stopped blogging myself, I would still follow you and the others.

          But should a blog host cause its users to question whether they should be blogging?

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          • I haven’t had a problem with getting notified of comments, even on older posts. It’s just been some of the posts by others. And I don’t feel like WordPress’s buggy reader should force me into subscribing to everyone by email and driving myself crazy.

            Regarding the idea of a series of posts, that might raise their awareness, but only if enough people did it. I think that’s part of why they actually changed the auto-emailing comment updates. There was sufficient visible uproar about it and posts.

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            • I just mentioned to Margarita below that maybe these are the pebbles that launch the avalanche. If some of my followers with larger audiences would add their two cents, so might others in their wider arenas. WordPress does listen when enough of us speak out—the comment notification fiasco is evidence of that. 🙂

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              • OK. I guess I’m late on commenting on this one, but I had no idea of the changes! My numbers seemed wonky, but I had no idea why. I don’t check my stats very often anymore, because I need to post and move on. But you have a good handle on the data collection and reporting, JM. And because our culture and work world is so inundated and driven by data, you would think the changes would be better, not less user-friendly and/or helpful!

                What is this gadget you can insert into your email readers that allows readers to “read more”? I couldn’t locate that in my dashboard. Is that an “extra” that you have that bog standard users like me don’t have access to, or am I looking in the wrong place? I feel like I need a WordPress tutorial! ; )

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                • The “insert more tag” is on the menu bar when you’re creating a post (up with the bold and italic and such). On my screen, at least, it’s just to the left of the “spell check” button. It’s a weird little boxy thing, but when you hover over it, it says “insert more tag.” Just put that where you want the break to be.

                  It works two ways. One, it’ll show up on the home page of your blog. That makes it easier for people to scroll through more posts since full posts aren’t taking up valuable real estate. And second, it will appear in email notifications (for people who get them). So to read your entire post, the email recipient needs to click on the link. (And that counts as a view in your stats.)

                  I’d say if you’re not currently paying much attention to the stats, you’re doing the right thing. They really aren’t accurate. 🙂

                  I really don’t like the way they moved Freshly Pressed to the reader. I used to check the old one once a day—to look for all my blog buddies who are really good at getting Pressed! But now it’s more clicks and having to scroll down to see what’s new. So I’ll probably stop doing that—and looking for interesting posts by different bloggers. It’s more of a hassle to me. Smart move from WordPress? 😉

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  2. I agree and I hope I get credit for this visit. I dig the map thingy with the temperature slider at the bottom. It makes me dream of world blog domination.

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    • Your comment meant a view was recorded. 😉 Thank you, it is much appreciated! WordPress does so many things that are right—that world map is awesome. How cool is it to know that people all over the world are reading our posts? In reality, there are even more of them than we know—you might be closer to world blog domination than you realize!

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  3. Yes, I think you are right. And actually before June, all bloggers following us had our posts visiting their inbox everytime we post something. But then the WP guys decided that they do not want to have WP users feeling overwhelmed by having their inbox inundated by the posts from hundreds or thousands of blogs they follow. The case is even worse when there are some bloggers who post twice, three times or even more per day, some with even non-sensical and not very interesting posts. Multiply that with a hundred or a thousand blogs that one follows, then you get an idea of how blogging experience can lead one into temporary madness, rather than having fun in a virtual playground. Thus, switching into reader was chosen as solution, but the downhill is just exactly like what you described above.

    Subhan Zein

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    • Actually, I still don’t trust the reader. There were so many glitches with it, and I still see bloggers commenting that it doesn’t show all the new posts by everyone they follow. That’s not good—it defeats the purpose entirely!

      I just wish they could program it to record those views in our stats. Because now, the stats are meaningless. So what is the point of having them?

      And even in the reader, it’s hard to wade through all those posts by people who upload two or three posts a day. I often end up not reading any of them. I mean no offense to those bloggers, but most of us can’t keep up with them.

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  4. I haven’t been blogging long enough to have “pre-revamped Reader” numbers, but I wondered where those immediate likes were coming from. Thanks for explaining it. This post helps me understand the stats a bit more. Still learning 🙂

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    • Now you know that more people may be reading your blog than you realize. 🙂 Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many! But with today’s reader, all the stats can give you is a rough idea if you’re reaching more or fewer people. Which, to me, really defeats the purpose entirely. 😉

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    • It makes no sense. In the pre-Reader days, some views were still missed—if someone read your post in their email or through a feed and didn’t leave a comment, for example. But at least clicking to a blog through the traditional email notification route recorded a view, whether or not someone liked or commented on the post.

      Now? The stats mean nothing. Why bother?

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  5. The other day, when I had, literally, a dozen “likes” on my blog, I registered only 3 views. On another day, when I only had 17 “likes” and even fewer comments, I had 66 views. I don’t understand any of that. I do see, however, that WordPress is making a LOT of changes without so much as a heads up, or even a “look here to find out more” prompt. While I acknowledge that WordPress may do as it pleases with its product, as a product user, I contend that it’s my right to know when the product changes, how it affects me, and my options for acquiescing to that change or not. I’m very unhappy with how all of this is being handled – or not – by WordPress! xoxoM

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    • This post is getting more views that normal—probably because I tagged it with “blogs” and “blogging.” Those are probably bringing in some different readers. I think that sometimes explains an increase in likes for a post—we used a different tag than normal.

      The recent changes (including the recent media upload revisions and yesterday’s layout change on the stats page and moving Freshly Pressed to the reader) would set better with me, too, if we had a head’s up. Really, a simple email to everyone on WordPress explaining what would be done and when would be much appreciated. The sudden appearance of the changes strikes me as too Facebook-like in behavior. And I hate that aspect of Facebook—I’m only a step away from leaving it.

      It took a lot of people complaining about the changed email notifications this summer to get a change made. And I’m not hearing that same level of noise on these changes. So I suspect our opinions won’t matter here. 😦

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      • I think some of that seeming apathy is because we don’t really know where to go with our concerns. I wrote a post about it. My readership is quite small, however, and I don’t think it went very far. I agree that our voices need to be heard, and what we’re asking for should not be a big deal for a communications behemoth like WordPress.

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  6. I never noticed that. I don’t really pay attention to my stats any more. When I first started blogging I checked them incessantly, and to put myself in a frame of mind where I really didn’t care about them any more. Don’t get me wrong, I care that people read, but so many of my hits are people searching for porn or other things that parsing through them becomes an exercise in futility.

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    • Those search terms become fun posts in themselves. Yesterday there was a search on “map of clutter murder” that led someone to my blog. One—what the heck were they looking for? And two—Google thought my blog provided the answer?

      Part of what I wanted to get across here is that, given the inaccuracy of the stats, we shouldn’t bother with them. They were never fully accurate (e.g., feed and email reads not recorded). But with the Reader, they’re even less so. All we know is that some unknown number of people are reading, but we’ll never see them. Sounds like a good set up for an intelligence agency!

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  7. I must confess that I haven’t really used the reader. Since my blog time dropped, I started filtering a lot of the blogs I follow through an RSS reader instead. Then I can head for certain ones if necessary, or read them in order, or a different way.

    I don’t read the stats too much these days. I was more obsessed with it when I did daily posts, but as part of dropping that down, I seemed to lose interest.

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    • And with those feeds and RSS readers, the view numbers were already incomplete. WordPress simply compounded that with its reader. Now when I look at the stats it’s more because of my logical brain’s curiosity about ratios—such as how many likes typically come in before a view is recorded.

      But the lack of an autumn rebound did leave me rethinking my blogging abilities and strategies. Not that WordPress would have missed me. 😉 Still, should their changes make bloggers even consider leaving?

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  8. I admit, I use the Reader to filter a lot of blogs I follow…mostly those folks who post almost every day (or more than every day), because I had to take them out of my email notifications. There were just too many!

    The Reader certainly isn’t perfect (I have noticed a few skipped blog entries here and there, though I don’t know if that’s more to do with spotty Internet/3G reception than anything WP has done), but it does help me stay on top of the blogs I find truly worthy of my time (like that means anything, but, you get the idea).

    You make good points about the hit statistics building energy and excitement for blogging, though, JM…and how that could create more revenue for WP. But, the hits really don’t mean anything. I don’t know why agents and whozits think they matter. As someone else mentioned, hit-registering readers might come to the site looking for porn or whatever…!

    What I find more important are the thoughtful interactions developed with readers. There are maybe five people in the world who take the time to offer their thoughts on my blog, and I value those five people more than any tens (or hundreds or thousands) who just click in and leave.

    One question: Are you serving your own WordPress site, or are you using WordPress’s servers? I know you’ve got your own domain name, but I also know there are a lot more advanced options for those bloggers who host their sites on their own servers. Those statistics you’re looking for might be part of that.

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    • I’m still on the free WordPress platform—I just paid for the upgrade to drop “wordpress” from my URL. The paid servers might be more accurate with the stats. I certainly hope so when you’re paying for more. 😉

      The unfortunate reality of today’s traditional publishing industry is that agents and editors demand a solid pre-existing social media base for any new writer they’re considering. They want proof in hand that the writer will do all the marketing and be available to a readership. We no longer have the luxury to build an audience over the course of several books. If the first one doesn’t sell well, most writers will be cut loose. So yes, it would be better to show an agent that I receive at least 60 views a day on average rather than 30. Of course, that’s not something that will matter to a blog host.

      I’m also unhappy with this week’s revisions, such as moving Freshly pressed to the Reader. I find I have to click through more screens, not fewer, to get where I want to be. That’s not an improvement to my thinking. 😦

      I definitely agree that the interactions with fellow bloggers and readers through the comments are the best part of blogging. The support and friendship is amazing. And that’s ultimately why I didn’t stop blogging this fall.

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  9. The great mysteries of blogging continue. I’ve never used the reader. It doesn’t work for me However, you raise an excellent point here. Why doesn’t WordPress give us all the reader credit we deserve!

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    • As I just mentioned to Mayumi, agents and editors demand a successful social-media presence from would-be clients. Wouldn’t it be better for me to show an agent that I get , say, an average of 60 views per day rather than 30? Or 600 rather than 375? I know blog host don’t care whether I get an agent or not. But if they’re going to provide “stats,” shouldn’t they be as accurate as possible?

      I still do email notifications for new posts. Some blogs are set to immediate, some to daily, and some to weekly. That helps keep my inbox from exploding. And they’re easier to see than they are in the reader.

      But I haven’t seen the outcry on these recent changes that I did on the email notifications for comments fiasco. So I suspect I’m just talking to the wind—and some unknown number of readers. 😉

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  10. I had to read this a few times because I wasn’t sure what it was all about. Then I realised your summer is different from my summer (it’s summer here now) so that’s were the confusion came in (I can be a bit technologically dopey at times). I can’t read a whole post in the reader, only the first few lines so I’m not sure if I’m different from other bloggers. I actually have to click on it to read it. Does this mean my click on the reader link doesn’t count on the bloggers stats page?

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    • It’s easy to forget how global this blogging community is. 🙂 I’m heading into winter where you’re reaching summer. Isn’t that amazing when you think about it?

      The reader is set up to only show the first part of a post. But when you click to “read more,” you don’t leave the reader. You’re reading the full post within it. No view is recorded for the author’s blog. Same thing if you leave a like but no comment. The author is notified that you liked the post, but they still don’t get “credit” for a view. A view is only recorded if you leave a comment—the reader takes you to the blog to do that. At least for now. If WordPress ever changes that setting, “views” will drop even more.

      I still use email notifications to alert me to new posts by bloggers I follow. Even if I can read the entire post in the email, I’ll click on the link to take me to the author’s blog. That way, I know my “visit” is showing up in their stats, even if I don’t leave a like or comment.

      Bloggers who normally ignore the stats aren’t concerned about the numbers. I’d just like others like me to know that the stats are now meaningless even on a mathematical level. So we should ignore them, too. 🙂

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      • Oh – okay I get it now! After reading this post I went through and had a look at my stats (I found out how to look at monthly and yearly). If it wasn’t for you, I’d know virtually nothing about this blogging world! Thank you 😉

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  11. Wow, I sure have a lot to learn yet about blogs and the behind-the-scenes issues. So glad you wrote about this. It’ll help me pay attention. Seems like WordPress would have a place to leave comments about concerns like these–I wonder why they don’t.

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      • I’ve seen a few posts in the forums on this, but nothing like the “automatically subscribe everyone to comment emails” disaster. And I’ve seen a number of complaints that bloggers can’t get real answers or support from WordPress itself (not volunteers) unless they pay for some of the upgrades.

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        • I must say, I think I’ve only once used the forums myself, and nobody answered the question I asked! I think they are the only place though that people can raise their concerns to WP, so maybe we should all try and use them more if we have complaints about something. Dunno.

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    • The forums that Vanessa describes can be helpful for simple problems. They’re staffed by volunteers, some of whom are very knowledgeable about the technical ins and outs of WordPress. And when they’re stumped, they will forward the problem to WordPress technicians.

      But sometimes our questions and problems go unaddressed—and I’ve heard that bloggers who don’t pay for any upgrades are less likely to get help.

      A massive flooding of the forums and thousands of posts on a “bad change” can have an effect. It happened this summer when WordPress decided to automatically send emails of new post comments to everyone who commented on a post. The previous default was that you had to choose to get notifications of new comments. The original default made sense! The outcry over the change ultimately led WordPress back to the better way of doing things.

      But much like Facebook and other social media outlets, we don’t usually have much impact on decisions. Our only options if we get fed up with are to leave and try something different. And when it comes to social media, there really are any truly different options.

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  12. I keep a general eye on the stats, mostly to see which posts generate the most interest. What I mostly like on the stats page though is seeing which Google search terms have brought people to my blog, but that’s more for fun really than as part of any kind of serious analysis of what I’m doing!

    I know like you mentioned in another comment that you can make it so that emails only have part of the post and people have to click though to read the whole thing, but I actually find that annoying when people have that, I sometimes want to just read the whole thing in the email before deciding whether I want to click through and comment. I know it doesn’t get recorded as a view that way for the person, but from the blog-reading point of view I prefer it that way, and I would prefer that readers of my blog were happy with their reading options, even if they don’t register as a view for me. I agree with you though, if we don’t know the real amount of interest our blog is generating, it can be hard when we are trying to make decisions!

    The regular comments and commenters are definitely the most satisfying thing though.

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    • Search terms make great post fodder. 🙂 And maybe the stats are giving you a relative idea of post interest. Of course, by not getting accurate numbers because of the reader, we still don’t have a true idea of how many people are reading each post. And the “relative” numbers are only accurate if the same people are reading each post and leaving the same calling cards on them.

      I don’t mind the “click to read more” option since I know by going directly to the author’s blog to read the post, I’m giving them a view in their stats. So I guess I’m looking at it from a different perspective. 🙂 I know there’s no single way that everyone will like, of course.

      But I also wish that when WordPress is making changes, they would do us the courtesy of telling us before hand and letting us know why the changes are being made and how the new versions will work. Every provider of every service these days seems to think such courtesy no longer matters. And yet it would go a long way toward customer satisfaction and loyalty. Of course, business today doesn’t seem much interested in those concepts, either. A shame, really.

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  13. i have to second a lot of the comments here. i used to REALLY pay attention to my stats in the beginning. now i’m just trying to keep the writing consistent. that’s literally been all i can handle. but, i would say there’s been a dip from what i’ve seen. very, very, interesting, jm. xo, sm

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    • That dip is undoubtedly from the switch to the reader. We have to now ignore everything from May 2012 and earlier. And it’s getting easier to ignore everything after that now. Not what I would want to hear if I was a WP exec. 😉

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  14. I am so with you on this. The stats are this neat little jolt of ego coffee that I’d check every now and again. Now, not so much. But I do miss seeing all the countries that my blog was being viewed from. That was kinda cool.

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  15. It was new for me that changes have changed the stats. I don’t use the reader myself, but maybe I should to save time 😉 , I try to do my entries through the emails inbox. This is interesting. Maybe you should start a blog about WP blogging… 😉

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    • I think I know enough to keep me out of trouble, but not enough to be an expert. 😉 They’ve introduced more changes today, so we’ll see what happens now. 🙂

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  16. I did notice my stats never rebounded from the summer. Thanks for explaining this. I just assumed I lost readership. The whole point of stats is to have a benchmark. If they are going to change the way things are counted they should alter it going back 1-2 years so I can have relevant data. Otherwise these numbers are pretty useless to me.

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    • I thought I’d lost the readership, too, until I saw some comments by other bloggers and looked at the forums. Now? I could be doing better and wouldn’t know it unless all the readers left comments!

      But they’ve done another revised roll out today, with a breakdown between visitors and views. I’ll monitor those to see if the numbers become more accurate—or not.

      I hope so. Because otherwise, the stats truly have nothing to do with real numbers!

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  17. Hmm, I have been in the growth period still for my blog, but I had noticed the same slump or drop you speak of. Is there a way to let WordPress know that the numbers don’t match up?
    Scott

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    • From what I’ve seen in the forums, they’ve known about it since the reader was introduced. Maybe there would be some tricky programming involved to fix it, and they haven’t wanted to bother. I suspect it would have taken a large outcry like the comment notifications to bring about a change.

      But with today’s new permutation, I’ll have to check it out and see if this new split between visitors and views addresses the reader “non-counts.”

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  18. I’ve been meaning to comment on this but now another change has happened. I am interested to hear what you think about today’s new breakdown of visitors vs. page views. I love that you’re pointing these discrepancies out, and inviting dialogue, jm! I had noticed likes come through without page views but I was assuming they were people who scrolled through their reader, hitting like based on the first paragraph or two instead of actually clicking over to read.

    I love reading posts in the reader; I can’t subscribe to all the blogs on my email. Sometimes I miss posts because I wasn’t online when they were published, or I didn’t have time to look through my whole Reader stream that day or that week. But, as someone inundated with email in my inbox, this is a reasonable way–if not a perfect way–for me to keep track of things. I do think WordPress should be giving accurate statistics, especially because this all means I’m one of the people whose views doesn’t show up.

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    • Oh, and now they’ve gone and changed things right after my post! 🙂 In theory, I like the breakdown between discrete visitors and total views—if they’re accurate, of course! I think it’s good to know whether individual viewers are looking at more than one post or page on a blog.

      It also looks like they’ve put Freshly Pressed back on its own tab, too, and I hope that stays. It’s much easier and quicker for me to look at that for new posts than to scroll through one at a time in the reader.

      There’s no one way to please everyone, of course. So having the option of email notifications or using the reader is good. I’d just like to see accurate numbers in the stats, no matter how people read the posts. I’ll have to investigate if the new breakdown fixes that. 😉 If it does, I’ll be sure to post about it!

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      • Update: This morning my new Forest Avenue Press blog showed 5 visitors with 23 views. But then in referrals, there were five from search engines and two from other websites–a Blogger blog and my own WordPress blog. That’s clearly seven (five plus two). Even if it didn’t count the WP referral, at least one view from a search engine was missing. Unless the search engine traffic was from the same person searching more than once. Maybe. The mystery deepens!

        I agree about Freshly Pressed; I stopped checking it in the last incarnation.

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        • Alas, the “new” stats still don’t include people using the reader unless they comment. I also saw a WordPress tech post that says there’s a significant time delay in get the “visitor” numbers updated. So you may see five view come in, for example, while the visitor number doesn’t move for an hour or more. So I think there’s potential for confusing numbers because of that delay.

          What you describe, though, sounds more like a different “error.” I wonder if they’re aware of that one?! I’m not sure how accurate any of the numbers really are. 😉 I think at best the stats help us with identifying the referrers to our blogs. Beyond that? Well, …. they make good post fodder for some of us. 😉

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  19. I only use the reader when I want to search a topic. I prefer to visit blogs and view them as their author intends them to appear. There’s too much to scroll through in the reader anyway.
    I’m pleased that WordPress have included the number of visitors as well as the page views at last. I would like them to be a more accurate reflection though.
    I like to keep an eye on the stats, but I take more notice of the comments and likes and where people have come in from and which links they’ve used.

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    • I’m glad there are a few of us who haven’t switched to the reader. Alas, from what I’ve seen today of the new “stats,” they still don’t show views from the reader unless someone comments. So they’re still not very accurate. I commented on that fact on WordPress’s article about the “visitor” views, but so far there’s no response and my comment is still “awaiting moderation.” I don’t think they like me raising these points. 😦

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    • It does seem counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? I mean, to read the full post in the reader, we still have to click on a button. Why can’t that be programmed to generate a view on the appropriate blog?

      My advice, which I’m finally beginning to take myself 😉 , is to ignore the numbers except as a rough guide. In reality, we all have more visitors than we realize. They’re just invisible, like ghosts. 🙂

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  20. It seems like the stats are not updated at the same time – right after midnight it happens that I have 20 views from 1 visitor, but the country stats show 5 or more flags… But does it really matter? In the end all that counts is having readers who enjoy our articles – a couple more or less… or correct statistics… not that important.

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    • The “visitor stat” is on a delay, according to WordPress. I’ve seen it take up to an hour for it to update. I’d like bloggers to know the inaccuracy is there and therefore not worry about the numbers. But I also don’t see the purpose of providing statistics if they aren’t anywhere near accurate. 😉

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

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  21. Pingback: Ringing In The New « jmmcdowell

  22. Thank you, this has cleared up confusion for me! I’m a new blogger so I notice the difference in stats even more so as they are warming up. Now I know where mystery likes come from! 🙂

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    • Welcome to blogging, Ruthy! Despite some of the grumbling above, most of us are satisfied with WordPress. 😉 They just have a tendency to change things without advance warning, and the ensuing glitches can tick people off. Of course, every social media platform does that….

      When you get those mystery likes, you know you’ve got more people reading than you might think. And there are probably even more than that—they’re just not the kind to leave a calling card. 🙂 So when you hit those view milestones (500, 1000, 5000….), just remember you really got there earlier!

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