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I'm Watching You (How Google Analytics Drives Me Crazy)

posted Jan 17, 2012, 8:21 AM by Kyle Willey
    Quick note before my readers get panicked-I cannot figure out who you are through these statistics, I can only guess various things. For instance, I can see how long someone spent browsing through pages. I can also get a little bit more detailed and follow click ratings to see what pages are popular and where people went, but I cannot figure out the people-Google doesn't tell me your IP address or name or anything to track you with, just that there was someone there. Theoretically it tells me the country of origin for my visitors, but knowing that nine to thirteen Americans viewed my site yesterday doesn't tell me that Fred from down the street looked at it. I can sort of get an idea of roughly what people look at, though.

    For instance, people at 1km1kt (a free tabletop game oriented website) may be looking at Drifting, my tabletop game in development. If the average number of pages read is a certain value for a certain number of visits, I can be pretty sure that they were looking at Drifting- it has 7 pages counting the landing, so if the average value is up there, I can be pretty sure they were looking at tabletop stuff. If someone looked at just one thing, they were probably Facebook friends looking at one of my ramblings I linked to, namely Bastion: Game Design and Storytelling. While I could probably figure out more had I a better grasp of the user interface, I could probably see exactly what happened (a quick look at it in Analytics shows 10 unique pageviews, which is about what I expected for last night and this morning), which would seem to show visitors. However, some visitors went on to other pages, mostly the home page or Drifting, which would imply some of my Facebook friends who know about the project checked it out. Further, one person seems to have gone to every link (given the number of clicks) while one went to just three pages (which, are, unfortunately, my unfinished ones). Mind you, this could be me for all I know, and would probably make sense, but you've gotten my point here.

    So yeah, basically what I'm trying to say here is that I get feedback whether or not you post a written statement. Don't worry, I won't be evil.