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Catavino gets 60,000 Unique Visitors a Month – Oh, and We have a Bridge for Sale!

CV stats

I don’t understand something. Why are stats so sacred, especially to wine blogs? About a month ago, Richard asked the following in our forum:

How much traffic does your blog get? Do you keep stats on the traffic? Are your stats divided between unique hits and simple views? The basic question is, how many people are we actually reaching?

Initially, no one posted. I assumed it was because we just don’t get a lot of visitors on our forum (a sad but true statement), so I posted it to Twitter. Still no response, though Gary from Wine Library did sent a private message with his hit totals. He said that he gets around 33k per episode of Wine Library TV (5 days a week). I consider that this is one of the most visited wine blog/vlog/podcasts out there. I assume this number doesn’t include iTunes hits and other feed readers where people view the show. Correct me if I’m wrong. But either way this is a pretty good benchmark for where the highest numbers are going in the online wine world.

If you download Grape Radio’s press kit off their site, it says they get around 12,500 downloads per episode. I assume this to be close to the top of the online wine traffic also, at the very least the top of the wine podcasting category.

Other figures include the 20,000 thirsty eyeballs at Fermentation, a number I would guess is uniques per month. Not too shabby! Vinography might be higher, but Alder from what I can tell makes no mention of his stats anywhere. The blog run by Eric Asimov doesn’t mention stats either, although they may not be necessary have to include them in this article, considering its mainstream ties to a print publication.

Why do I bring all this up? The other day I was browsing some other wine related sites that were soliciting for ads based on total visitors. Numbers were thrown about and I was shocked to see some of the sites were claiming visitor numbers well above the ones mentioned above. Now I’m not saying that I can know their stats, nor am I saying that they are purposefully inflating them, but I will say that I think some of them need to reevaluate what they claim.

The reason I titled this article as I did, was that if you take a look at Webalizer, one of four programs I use to measure stats, you could assume that I had 60,000 unique visitors in July. It’s true, along with 396,386 page views! WOW! Take that Gary, Grape radio and Tom! At that level, and a nice CPM rate, I could really monetize this site nicely! The problem is, is that the rest of my software tells another story. Awstats gives me 6,499 uniques and 268,528 page views for the month of July! Not a bad number, and probably much closer to reality. But notice the almost 54,000 unique visitor disparity between this number and the one Webalizer gave us? If someone only had the first one program installed to measure their stats, well, I guess could understand how the numbers might seem wrong.

I also use Google analytics and Mint, both stat measuring devices that use a unique technique. They only count visitors who come from browsers enabled with Javascript. Why? The web contains LOTS of robots. These robots are small programs that crawl around the web, indexing, cataloging and generally checking things out. However, these programs don’t have credit cards and shouldn’t be counted as consumers when you sell ads. According to my stats, these guys make up the majority of your site’s visits. When we limit our stats down to only java enabled browsers, the story gets sad/honest rather quickly.

Catavino’s Google Stats for July 2007:

    3,611 Visits
    2,536 Absolute Unique Visitors
    7,028 Pageviews

Mint for July 2007:

    2,207 Uniques
    5,805 Total Hits

So there you have it Catavino out in the open and for all to see, who will join us? Other news I can share with you includes the fact that most of our visitors, averaging through all the programs, are heavily based to the USA, followed by Spain, the UK, Portugal and then Canada. I also know that some of you visit me almost everyday, eschewing the feed reader technology that is powered by RSS. Those that do use a feed reader can be measured by total subscribers. This number varies from day to day, giving us anywhere between 85 to 125 people according to Feedburner.com.

Now I would like to ask all of you, what stat program do you use? How many visitors do you get? Feel free to post your thoughts here in the comments, on the original post in our forum, or on your own site. If you don’t want to tell us your numbers, and you think I’m nuts for posting mine, tell us why. If wine bloggers want to be acknowledged at the same level as the regular print media then we should be honest about how many people are reading us.

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

PS – if everyone ends up agreeing that I should use the 60,000 visitors as my standard, well then, the offer for the bridge is no longer valid! ;)

PPS – If you received an invite for a site called Quechup.com or something like that, I want to apologize. It sent out invites to my address book without asking. UGH. The worse part for me, is that in an attempt to apologize and warn my contacts, I had my Catavino account flagged for “spamming”. It’s a 24hr hold, so I’ll be back up tomorrow on email. For now though, please don’t sign up for this site, and if you do, cancel and send them a nasty note! ;( This has ruined a large part of my day so far.

  • RichardA

    I use the Bravenet Counter Statistics, though I have only been using their expanded stats program for just over two months. I don't know if they count only Java enabled browsers. Since July 2 (about 2 months), I have had 10880 total hits, and 7761 Unique Visitors. So, an average monthly figure is 5440 total hits and 3880 unique visitors. My new blog has only been operational for 4 months now, though I know the numbers are definitely better than my previous one. But they certainly could be better too. I know from my Referrer stats that I get most of my visitors from Google Searches and Foodie Blogroller referrals.

  • Jack

    Please, please, please – do not mention HITS. They couldn't be more meaningless! Every photo on a page is a hit, for example. Please, please, please – do not mention Webalizer numbers. They're meaningless as they count every spider's visit in detail and every spider skews/counts differently. I see no mention of Statcounter numbers – a damn lot of people (incl. me) pay/use them. Or what about Bloglines subscribers (which was pretty meaningful until recently when Google Reader numbers would became much more telling – but those, I believe, remain unknown to everyone outside of Google).

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    I use the Bravenet Counter Statistics, though I have only been using their expanded stats program for just over two months. I don’t know if they count only Java enabled browsers.

    Since July 2 (about 2 months), I have had 10880 total hits, and 7761 Unique Visitors. So, an average monthly figure is 5440 total hits and 3880 unique visitors. My new blog has only been operational for 4 months now, though I know the numbers are definitely better than my previous one. But they certainly could be better too.

    I know from my Referrer stats that I get most of my visitors from Google Searches and Foodie Blogroller referrals.

  • http://www.ForkandBottle.com Jack

    Please, please, please – do not mention HITS. They couldn’t be more meaningless! Every photo on a page is a hit, for example.

    Please, please, please – do not mention Webalizer numbers. They’re meaningless as they count every spider’s visit in detail and every spider skews/counts differently.

    I see no mention of Statcounter numbers – a damn lot of people (incl. me) pay/use them. Or what about Bloglines subscribers (which was pretty meaningful until recently when Google Reader numbers would became much more telling – but those, I believe, remain unknown to everyone outside of Google).

  • Ryan

    Jack – This is why I wrote the post…What are your numbers? What is a reason for NOT sharing them? Also do you like stat-counter I left them a while ago. Also left bloglines a year ago, never liked their set up! Oh and obviously forget Webalizer…it's a joke! But I know people who are still looking at them like they are gold! UGH!

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Jack – This is why I wrote the post…What are your numbers? What is a reason for NOT sharing them? Also do you like stat-counter I left them a while ago. Also left bloglines a year ago, never liked their set up!

    Oh and obviously forget Webalizer…it’s a joke! But I know people who are still looking at them like they are gold! UGH!

  • MonkuWino

    Interesting post.. I got a huge (for me, anyway) spike in my numbers due to one blog post about "knockoff wines" served up by a Korean couple at a (fictitious) wine bar in Santa Monica, CA. One of the owners of Kosta Browne saw it and posted the link on Mark Squire's bulletin board asking if this was for real, which then generated a bunch of traffic to the site. But other than that, I get about 10-15 visits per day. I'm going to take you up on your challenge and make it the subject of my blog post today..

  • http://onewineperweek.blogspot.com MonkuWino

    Interesting post.. I got a huge (for me, anyway) spike in my numbers due to one blog post about “knockoff wines” served up by a Korean couple at a (fictitious) wine bar in Santa Monica, CA. One of the owners of Kosta Browne saw it and posted the link on Mark Squire’s bulletin board asking if this was for real, which then generated a bunch of traffic to the site. But other than that, I get about 10-15 visits per day. I’m going to take you up on your challenge and make it the subject of my blog post today..

  • Gabriella

    MonkuWino – I am so glad you stepped up the plate and are willing to address this! What perplexes me is why more people aren't taking this as seriously as I think they should. For those of us who are taking money for advertising, should we be willing to at least chat about the topic? Is it that people are afraid, fearing that they may get less money if they even discussed this? Does no one care?

  • Joel

    I was just thinking about this the other day and here's what I found on Google. Its a webmaster forum thread that folks were answering this same question. Bottom line is that Awstats is server based and can account for Bots and the javascript sites (like analytics) obviously do as well. Each has its drawbacks and pluses. This is a long debate but I think that it boils down to what your peer group is using, their ad rates, and your site relative to theirs. BTW: Good Google page rank could tell you which way the wind is blowing as well… <a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h…“><a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h

  • Joel

    I was just thinking about this the other day and here's what I found on Google. Its a webmaster forum thread that folks were answering this same question. Bottom line is that Awstats is server based and can account for Bots and the javascript sites (like analytics) obviously do as well. Each has its drawbacks and pluses. This is a long debate but I think that it boils down to what your peer group is using, their ad rates, and your site relative to theirs. BTW: Good Google page rank could tell you which way the wind is blowing as well… <a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h…“><a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h

  • Joel

    I was just thinking about this the other day and here's what I found on Google. Its a webmaster forum thread that folks were answering this same question. Bottom line is that Awstats is server based and can account for Bots and the javascript sites (like analytics) obviously do as well. Each has its drawbacks and pluses. This is a long debate but I think that it boils down to what your peer group is using, their ad rates, and your site relative to theirs. BTW: Good Google page rank could tell you which way the wind is blowing as well… <a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h…“><a href="http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.h

  • RichardA

    The lack of much response is a bit puzzling. I would have hoped that we could discuss this subject fairly openly, and then maybe discuss some ways for all of us to increase the traffic to our sites. Or is it too much to ak us to work together in that respect? Are we competitors with each other for readers? Or can the readership be shared among us?

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    MonkuWino – I am so glad you stepped up the plate and are willing to address this! What perplexes me is why more people aren’t taking this as seriously as I think they should. For those of us who are taking money for advertising, should we be willing to at least chat about the topic? Is it that people are afraid, fearing that they may get less money if they even discussed this? Does no one care?

  • http://www.winelifetoday.com Joel

    I was just thinking about this the other day and here’s what I found on Google. Its a webmaster forum thread that folks were answering this same question. Bottom line is that Awstats is server based and can account for Bots and the javascript sites (like analytics) obviously do as well.

    Each has its drawbacks and pluses. This is a long debate but I think that it boils down to what your peer group is using, their ad rates, and your site relative to theirs.

    BTW: Good Google page rank could tell you which way the wind is blowing as well…

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.htm

  • MonkuWino

    In my case I'm really not expecting a lot of readers (I'd like to have a lot, but given the content, no use being optimistic) so sharing my stats isn't a big deal. Also I don't expect to have any advertising and would feel guilty if anyone did want to actually pay me to put something on the site (other than on a pay-per-click basis). The only thing I hope for, other than readership, is that someone is crazy enough to send me samples to review but that seems out of the question. If I had a bigger readership, maybe I wouldn't want to disclose the stats – also, one thing you may not have considered is that those who do have a sizable amount of visitors may not be disclosing their stats out of modesty. Anyway, sorry to ramble on but those are some more thoughts about the matter.

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    The lack of much response is a bit puzzling. I would have hoped that we could discuss this subject fairly openly, and then maybe discuss some ways for all of us to increase the traffic to our sites. Or is it too much to ak us to work together in that respect? Are we competitors with each other for readers? Or can the readership be shared among us?

  • http://onewineperweek.blogspot.com MonkuWino

    In my case I’m really not expecting a lot of readers (I’d like to have a lot, but given the content, no use being optimistic) so sharing my stats isn’t a big deal. Also I don’t expect to have any advertising and would feel guilty if anyone did want to actually pay me to put something on the site (other than on a pay-per-click basis). The only thing I hope for, other than readership, is that someone is crazy enough to send me samples to review but that seems out of the question. If I had a bigger readership, maybe I wouldn’t want to disclose the stats – also, one thing you may not have considered is that those who do have a sizable amount of visitors may not be disclosing their stats out of modesty. Anyway, sorry to ramble on but those are some more thoughts about the matter.

  • Joel

    My blog (<a href="Vivi's ” target=”_blank”>http://www.vivisjournal.com“>Vivi's Wine Journal) is hosted by Typepad so all I have is their statistics. It says about 4000 visits a month so that probably translates to 1500 or so unique visitors. I didn't keep track of that or care too much because I never meant to monetize the blog. I like putting my opinions out there, chatting with others, and making new wine contacts. And I've made many. Its a resource for some people and has made it into the Wine Blog Awards and even made it on Engadget one day (when I scooped a story on the Enomatic wine machine). You want to see a bump in traffic try making Engadget one day. that week I went up from about 200 visits a day to 2000 a day. It was NUTS. Anyway, I use my blog just to write my thoughts and interact whenever possible. Over the 3 years its been up its served its purpose well – meeting wine people and informing its small following with good tips and insights. Some time ago I think I put Google Analytics up there but I honestly haven't logged in to that in a long long time. BTW – I don't think Tom's stats (20,000 eyeballs…is that 10K people? good marketing) are unique visits. I think they're Typepad stats as well. but don't quote me on that…

  • Joel

    My blog (<a href="Vivi's ” target=”_blank”>http://www.vivisjournal.com“>Vivi's Wine Journal) is hosted by Typepad so all I have is their statistics. It says about 4000 visits a month so that probably translates to 1500 or so unique visitors. I didn't keep track of that or care too much because I never meant to monetize the blog. I like putting my opinions out there, chatting with others, and making new wine contacts. And I've made many. Its a resource for some people and has made it into the Wine Blog Awards and even made it on Engadget one day (when I scooped a story on the Enomatic wine machine). You want to see a bump in traffic try making Engadget one day. that week I went up from about 200 visits a day to 2000 a day. It was NUTS. Anyway, I use my blog just to write my thoughts and interact whenever possible. Over the 3 years its been up its served its purpose well – meeting wine people and informing its small following with good tips and insights. Some time ago I think I put Google Analytics up there but I honestly haven't logged in to that in a long long time. BTW – I don't think Tom's stats (20,000 eyeballs…is that 10K people? good marketing) are unique visits. I think they're Typepad stats as well. but don't quote me on that…

  • Joel

    My blog (<a href="Vivi's ” target=”_blank”>http://www.vivisjournal.com“>Vivi's Wine Journal) is hosted by Typepad so all I have is their statistics. It says about 4000 visits a month so that probably translates to 1500 or so unique visitors. I didn't keep track of that or care too much because I never meant to monetize the blog. I like putting my opinions out there, chatting with others, and making new wine contacts. And I've made many. Its a resource for some people and has made it into the Wine Blog Awards and even made it on Engadget one day (when I scooped a story on the Enomatic wine machine). You want to see a bump in traffic try making Engadget one day. that week I went up from about 200 visits a day to 2000 a day. It was NUTS. Anyway, I use my blog just to write my thoughts and interact whenever possible. Over the 3 years its been up its served its purpose well – meeting wine people and informing its small following with good tips and insights. Some time ago I think I put Google Analytics up there but I honestly haven't logged in to that in a long long time. BTW – I don't think Tom's stats (20,000 eyeballs…is that 10K people? good marketing) are unique visits. I think they're Typepad stats as well. but don't quote me on that…

  • http://www.winelifetoday.com Joel

    My blog (Vivi’s Wine Journal) is hosted by Typepad so all I have is their statistics. It says about 4000 visits a month so that probably translates to 1500 or so unique visitors.

    I didn’t keep track of that or care too much because I never meant to monetize the blog. I like putting my opinions out there, chatting with others, and making new wine contacts. And I’ve made many. Its a resource for some people and has made it into the Wine Blog Awards and even made it on Engadget one day (when I scooped a story on the Enomatic wine machine). You want to see a bump in traffic try making Engadget one day. that week I went up from about 200 visits a day to 2000 a day. It was NUTS.

    Anyway, I use my blog just to write my thoughts and interact whenever possible. Over the 3 years its been up its served its purpose well – meeting wine people and informing its small following with good tips and insights.

    Some time ago I think I put Google Analytics up there but I honestly haven’t logged in to that in a long long time.

    BTW – I don’t think Tom’s stats (20,000 eyeballs…is that 10K people? good marketing) are unique visits. I think they’re Typepad stats as well. but don’t quote me on that…

  • Tom Wark

    My Monthly Unique visitors dip in the summer to just under 20,000. But they are now going back up and by november will likey be in the 22K to 23K range. Actually, I should change the eyeball ad because it's confusing. If it was accurate it would be 40K eyeballs (two per person–presumably), but then that would suggest I have 40K unique visits. By the way, does anyone know if statcounter takes account of readers who are getting my content via RSS readers? I've never thought about that and base the number of those reading my posts only on statcounter numbers. I don't look at typepad generate stats. Not that they are wrong. I just stick with statcounter. I've always used my stats as an indication of the attractiveness of my blogging and the interest my comments have. I do the same when evaluating a magazine. The circulation numbers are a very good gauge of the success of the publication.

  • Jack

    "By the way, does anyone know if statcounter takes account of readers who are getting my content via RSS readers? " – No. I think the only way to get a count is to have an Ad/image in your feed. Anyway, that's what makes it extra tough to make any kind of accurate count.

  • Ryan

    I like using Feedburner. Now that google owns it all the premium services are free! I can track a variety of stats and I also know how people are subscribing.

  • Gabriella

    Tom, you mentioned in "The Meaning of a Wine Blog" post <a href="<a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/20162932http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293…/>”><a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/58394…” target=”_blank”>http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293… for those wine bloggers interested in putting a prominent link on their site to a new survey in order to obtain more data on a broader range of wine blog readers to contact you. This idea may be worth a greater discussion.

  • Gabriella

    Tom, you mentioned in "The Meaning of a Wine Blog" post <a href="<a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/20162932http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293…/>”><a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/58394…” target=”_blank”>http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293… for those wine bloggers interested in putting a prominent link on their site to a new survey in order to obtain more data on a broader range of wine blog readers to contact you. This idea may be worth a greater discussion.

  • Gabriella

    Tom, you mentioned in "The Meaning of a Wine Blog" post <a href="<a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/20162932http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293…/>”><a href="http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/58394…” target=”_blank”>http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/2016293… for those wine bloggers interested in putting a prominent link on their site to a new survey in order to obtain more data on a broader range of wine blog readers to contact you. This idea may be worth a greater discussion.

  • http://www.ForkandBottle.com Jack

    “By the way, does anyone know if statcounter takes account of readers who are getting my content via RSS readers? ” – No. I think the only way to get a count is to have an Ad/image in your feed. Anyway, that’s what makes it extra tough to make any kind of accurate count.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    I like using Feedburner. Now that google owns it all the premium services are free! I can track a variety of stats and I also know how people are subscribing.

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    Tom, you mentioned in “The Meaning of a Wine Blog” post http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/583940/20162932
    for those wine bloggers interested in putting a prominent link on their site to a new survey in order to obtain more data on a broader range of wine blog readers to contact you. This idea may be worth a greater discussion.

  • Tom Wark

    My Monthly Unique visitors dip in the summer to just under 20,000. But they are now going back up and by november will likey be in the 22K to 23K range. Actually, I should change the eyeball ad because it’s confusing. If it was accurate it would be 40K eyeballs (two per person–presumably), but then that would suggest I have 40K unique visits.

    By the way, does anyone know if statcounter takes account of readers who are getting my content via RSS readers? I’ve never thought about that and base the number of those reading my posts only on statcounter numbers. I don’t look at typepad generate stats. Not that they are wrong. I just stick with statcounter.

    I’ve always used my stats as an indication of the attractiveness of my blogging and the interest my comments have. I do the same when evaluating a magazine. The circulation numbers are a very good gauge of the success of the publication.

  • Jill

    Our numbers…pale in comparison to a lot of others out there. But we just launched in May, so we're not feeling too bad about it. August Stats: Mint: 2500 uniques per month, 10K pageviews Google: 2400 absolute uniques per month, 9500 pageviews Don't know where the discrepancy comes from. This was a big dip in traffic from June and July, and traffic is going up again. Also, we have had trouble integrating the analytics tools to track both our blog and the store, and we're still trying to work out the kinks. We had an enormous spike when we were in Daily Candy…got about a month's worth of traffic in a day. Our goal? Who knows. We'd love to have 500 uniques per day and we'd be pretty happy.

  • Tom Wark

    My readership always goes down in the summer, then goes back up in the fall. Print publications see the same trend.

  • http://domaine547.com Jill

    Our numbers…pale in comparison to a lot of others out there. But we just launched in May, so we’re not feeling too bad about it.

    August Stats:

    Mint: 2500 uniques per month, 10K pageviews
    Google: 2400+ absolute uniques per month, 9500+ pageviews

    Don’t know where the discrepancy comes from. This was a big dip in traffic from June and July, and traffic is going up again. Also, we have had trouble integrating the analytics tools to track both our blog and the store, and we’re still trying to work out the kinks.

    We had an enormous spike when we were in Daily Candy…got about a month’s worth of traffic in a day. Our goal? Who knows. We’d love to have 500 uniques per day and we’d be pretty happy.

  • Tom Wark

    My readership always goes down in the summer, then goes back up in the fall. Print publications see the same trend.