Statistical Seduction

It is easy to be seduced by statistics. I know several friends who have websites and blogs and are rather obsessed with their web statistics. They are always checking to see how many hits the site gets or what pages or posts are most popular or what search terms are being used to find them.

Social media has encouraged this with Likes and Retweets and Reposts. Our smartphones love to send us notifications that someone has engaged with some piece of our content.

I got this alert last month about another blog of mine:

Your page is trending up
Your page clicks increased by more than 1,000% over the usual daily average of less than 1 click.
Possible explanations for this trend could be:

Modifications you did to your page's content.

Increased interest in a trending topic covered by the page.

Yes, their "possible explanations for this trend" are correct. It is a post about the winter solstice, so you might expect that interest would increase around mid-December. When a topic, such as "winter solstice," is trending generally, you will get more attention to your page. I also made some updates to the post and Google and other spiders scurrying around the web notice that. 

Top 30 of 130 countries that visited the site in the past year.


I have become less interested in the stats as the years have passed. In the early days of my blogging, I was much more interested in those hits, impressions, and visitors. Nowadays, I only check at year's end.

At the end of 2019, Serendipity35 added 3,595,439 hits to bring its total over the years to a rather daunting 104,596,905. In December 2019, we averaged 11,478 hits daily. It's more sobering to note that the average number of daily visits was 2722.

What I find more interesting in the analytics are things like which countries are visiting the site (see image) and the terms people searched that led them to the blog.



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