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Site analytics: A love - hate relationship

Yesterday was another big visitor day for this little old blog. And what I know about each visit is something you might find interesting if not alarming!

First, all of my stats are filtered to eliminate what is termed a bounce sessions. Bounces are hits that don't interact with the site beyond the home page. I get those from people who do a search for "IPX" which stands for Internet Packet Exchange. It took me awhile to figure this one out. People look for that and click on this by mistake.

Second, I LOVE the analytics BUT it also concerns me that websites I click on can mine all the data they get from my visit. A real double edged sword. Love it when it helps me, hate it when it doesn't. Some of the scary details:

I can tell what device (down to brand) visitors are using, what city they are in at the time, what type of search they did, what are their interests, what search engine they used, where they found a link to the site (eg: Facebook, email [right down to the email provider], other sites like the Rocky Point blog), what service provider they use, their network, browser and operating system, gender, age, new or returning visitor, their lifetime log on history, what pages they viewed, how much time they spent on each page and on the site, when was their first session on the site, and all of these details on every session. If I knew more about setting up customized data and wanted more information, I could get it.

I just don't know when they had their last BM or who they are. You know every device has it's own unique online identifier (just like on the TV shows) that stays with it forever. Everything you have ever done from any device is saved somewhere. Scary.

So here are my analytics for yesterday

Total number of visitors: 20

Total Sessions (some user log on twice) = 25

New Users = 8

Total number of pages viewed = 191

Average session duration = 4 min 35 sec

Total combined time on the site = 1 hour 52 sec

Most viewed page = "Another Great Comment"

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