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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:

Mint for July 2007:

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.

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