Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Whither Latvia?

I like statistics. Not in a math nerd, let’s break out the Chi-squared test, and analyze this data set, but in a general, are we trending up or are we trending down? sort of way. When I pop into my blogger dashboard, the number of page views are there, staring me in the face, big as life. Pageviews, Number of Posts, Number of followers. They’re begging to be looked into, and, yes, I give in, far too much.
And I’m honestly puzzled by what I see. This is because, I suppose, I don’t have GoogleAnalytics, which, if I were really serious about blogging and branding and building an audience, I’d load up, because it would tell me all kinds of cool stuff about whose coming, who’s going, from where and to where, how long you’re staying, etc. Instead, I get the generic list, which shows page views, referring sites, and audience.
I always like looking at that little world map (I’ve always been a sucker for maps; back on one of my first trips to Boston back in late 80s, I was super-excited to find a Rand McNally store, where I purchased a map of Europe—featuring Re-unified Germany! I loved it. Ahem, I digress.). It shows, with lovely green-shaded countries, where your audience is coming from. You know this, of course. It often reveals fun and interesting things. For example, last week I popped into the dashboard, and noticed a lot of views. I clicked on it, and hit the ‘Day’ tab. And this is what  I saw:
See that tiny dark green speck? It looks kind of like someone went a little heavy with a line there. It’s Latvia! Somehow, out of roughly 70 pageviews for the day, Latvia was #1 source of pageviews, with 56. The second-most number of pageviews was 16, from the United States. That’s quite a gap. You’ll notice a big audience from Eastern Europe that day: I had visitors from Russia, Ukraine and Poland (All time, Russia provides the second most number of visitors to this blog by a long shot. I add that the #1 search term that brings people to this blog seems to be ‘European hockey jersey(s)’, which goes back to this post, which is my most popular in terms of pageviews.).

Why Latvia? I haven’t a clue. Well, that’s not true. It seems there’s a referring page that also had 56 pageviews–that number looks familiar. I took a look at the referring page and found what looks to be some sort of SEO service. Why a Lativan internet company would be funneling people my way is beyond me, though I half-expect to get an e-mail soon that asks (in Latvian), “Did you notice a boost in numbers? That’s because of us! We’ll keep doing it if you pay!” Or maybe a group of aspiring Latvian writers stumbled across my site. Either way, I say to you, “Laipni ludzam!” (and pray I don’t cause international incident with a sloppy translation).

For my fellow bloggers, where does the bulk of your audience come from?

6 Responses

  1. The bulk of my audience is from the good old US of A. That's from my stats on Blogger.

    I have Google Analytics, at least it shows my blog, but no data is available, so I've probably done something wrong. I haven't checked it for my website yet (which is a separate account, of course – that's what happens when I set up my blog and my husband sets up my website). One of these days I'll figure out how to use Google Analytics. Maybe. For now I'll just stick to the stats on Blogger.

  2. I get lots of Russian and Latvian traffic too. I assume it's spammers.

    I also tried to set up Google Analytics, but I screwed it up and didn't get the HTML tag inserted into my blog. So it tells me I have zero pageviews ever. Don't know how to fix it. Don't really care, I guess. I know my blog is supposed to be some kind of platform for writing, but it really ended up just being a place where I connect with friends over a cuppa. And that includes my Latvian friends. 🙂

  3. #1 United States, #2 Germany, #3 Jamaica (my home country, yay!). It's nice to see stats once in a while. Latvia is #7. Wherever they come from it's nice to get viewed and even nicer when you get comments. Is Jamaica in your stats?

  4. Mine is the USA but occasionally I will get Turkey or Romania or some small country beside Russia whose name I can neither pronounce nor spell.

  5. Funny you should comment on this today–this morning I had another big influx of Latvian views. The little Latvia on the map was so dark it was almost black!

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