Thursday, January 1, 2015

"Genealogy in Hertfordshire" statistics for 2014

One of the main tasks in 2015 is to review the future of the "Genealogy in Hertfordshire" site. The support software is creaking with old age, the site itself large and has expanded to about one gigabyte, and at the age of 76 I will not be able to manage it for ever. For this reason it is appropriate to look at the recent usage statistics in some detail:

Year Unique Visitors No. of Visits Repeat Visitors Pages Hits Bandwidth
2010 179K 230K 51K 666K 3952K 125GB
2011 171K 236K 65K 627K 4084K 133GB
2012 177K 258K 85K 987K 4533K 154GB
2013 153K 268K 115K 838K 5046K 223GB
2014 154K 253K 99K 960K 5000K 210GB

Over the last five years the number of "Unique Visitors" has dropped while while the number of repeat visitors has effectively doubled. This is a promising development and is almost certainly due to changes in the Google search engine towards the end of 2012. The point is that most people first discover the site using Google and if you have ever used a search engine you will know that frequently you visit a page, discover it is not what you want, and immediately leave it again. The figures suggest that fewer people are finding pages on the web site in error - and more are finding it, spending more time on it, and coming back for more.This would also explain the higher number of pages visited. However all the change cannot be ascribed to google as the increasing activity of the newsletter will also have increased the accesses by genuinely interested visitors. In addition the higher bandwidth may be because I have increased the number of pictures with an accessible higher resolution copy.

Month No URL Wiki URL No of Pages No of Pictures Most Popular Times
January 1905 138 422 67 Newgate_Street 20
February 1844 139 359 72 St_Albans 13
March 1732 132 383 73 Ayot_St_Peter 15
April 1544 140 363 57 Westmill & Hemel Hempstead 12
May 1542 135 341 86 Thundridge 11
June 1469 139 312 20 Westmill 10
July 1537 145 343 11 Watton-at-Stone & Amwell 9
August 1631 152 361 13 Berkhamsted 10
September 1531 152 332 25 Hemel Hempstead 9
October 1566 143 313 51 Westmill 9
November 1748 145 311 27 Ayot_St_Peter 7
December 1578 134 290 28 Thundridge 16
Total 4130 550
Many people access via links from other web sites and if they visited the site using such a link there is a high chance that it is relevant. I estimate that there could be over 2,500 such links either to the home page or directly to particular topic pages. Activity tends to be higher during the winter months and the first column in the above table  shows the number of different links from external sites activated each month. The next column shows the number of different links from wiki sites (nearly all Wikipedia). In total there were 4130 times in the year a web page on the site was visited directly from a wiki site and in addition there were 550 direct picture accesses - nearly all from two education related wiki site which acknowledged the source of the pictures.

It should be noted that there are currently probably no more that 200 wikipedia pages with direct times and the number of references from places such as Westmill and Thundridge are in part due to the lack of other information and links on these Wikipedia pages. 

January hals/famhist/ 21 Each month it is possible to see what are the most popular web sites which refer people to this one. It is not surprising that the Hertfordshire page of GENUKI usually tops the list, with the family history page of the HALS web site coming next.  However a particular posting on another web site can direct a lot of extra visitors in a few days as did a LostCousins newsletter article on the Fox twins and an article on the Lost Heritage Web Site.
February genuki/HRT/ 31
March hals/famhist/ 24
April genuki/HRT/ 17
May 27
June 96
July 20
August genuki/HRT/ 17
September (Lost Heritage Web Site) 17
October 13
November genuki/HRT/ 24
December genuki/HRT/ 23

The number of visitors to this Newsletter seems to have stabilized at about 7000 "page views" a month but postings are picked up on the google+ network. As reported earlier one short newsletter post has worked its way onto the front page of the Google search for the words "First World War" - and the number of people seeing the google+ version has now reached 853,514, and I am wondering if it will reach a million before it gets demoted. I suspect it has generated some extra traffic to the newsletter and the main web site. (The high number is almost certainly due to an eye-catching title ...)

In addition I currently have 74 followers on twitter at @HertsGenealogy.

A separate report is planned to look at how the site, and the way it has provided a service, has changed since it started as a bulletin board in the late 1990s.
  • Note on "Unique Visitors" - A visitor is counted as unique if they only visit the site once in a calendar and will be counted several time in the year's total if they visit in separate months,  A "Repeat Visitor" is someone who visits more than once in the current month.

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This is the newsletter for the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web site. Comments on this blog are moderated and may be transferred to the web site where appropriate. If you have a local or family history query you want answered you must use "Ask Chris" - See box in right hand column. Anonymous comments cannot be answered.