using website stats as metrics


I've been running a small open-source software project for number of years, and a couple years ago I started saving website statistics. Here is a sample:

  • April 2011 -- 26426 page views
  • April 2010 -- 14739 page views
  • April 2009 -- 8722 page views

Is this a good indicator of actual growth? Or are there too many other factors that could distort these numbers? (e.g., increased access by search engine spiders)

Metrics Website Statistics

asked May 5 '11 at 04:23
1,936 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • Growth of what? Yes there are many other factors that can be measured. – Ross 12 years ago
  • @Ross, I know there are other factors, but this is the one I have right now. By growth, I mean increase in real people coming to my site. – Kekito 12 years ago
  • I don't understand something. Are you asking if growth of page view number is indicator of growth in page views? – Ross 12 years ago
  • @Ross, I'm asking if it likely reflects a growth in page views by real people as opposed to spiders, scrapers, and the like. – Kekito 12 years ago
  • So, why do not analyze you traffic then? Unique visitors, spiders, etc... – Ross 12 years ago
  • @Ross, the tool I started using two years ago doesn't provide that. I started using Google Analytics a few months ago, and this is much better. – Kekito 12 years ago

2 Answers


By itself it is not a sufficient indicator. You have to look also at the number of unique visitors (or use the number of average page views per visit).
After that, you also have to separate depending on the sources of the page views (search engines, referring sites and direct access).
Concerning access thanks to search engines, look at the keywords used by the visitors, in order to know if people come "by mystake" or for your actual content (you can also decide on that using the duration of the visit).

answered May 5 '11 at 04:35
Sylvain Peyronnet
371 points


Jeff, those raw numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, stats-wise, and leave too many questions unanswered.

--are your numbers page views or hits?

--if pages, what is a page? (more complicated than it looks)

--how many hits are from unique visitors? from return visitors?

See the grey panel halfway down this page for a list of the reports Google Analytics makes available. It gives you an idea of the sorts of metrics you need to be gathering to know what is happening.

Raw page views just don't tell you much.

answered May 5 '11 at 23:19
278 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Metrics Website Statistics