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Strategic insights
Measuring Real People vs. Normal Analytics

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Written by on September 22, 2010

As a publisher, one of the most important things that I need to know is how many people read my articles. That is the single most important metric, and it's vitally important that it's as accurate as possible.

It's the same for you. The number of real people using your site is a key measurement you need to have so you can make the right decisions.

The question is: how do you measure real people?

You might think you can simply use analytic packages like Google Analytics, but these days ad-blockers block it, skewing the numbers. And internal statistics tools that look at the raw data collected by the server is in an even worse shape because of all the bots, crawlers and news aggregators.

I have yet to find a single analytics tool that accurately measures real people.

The only solution? Get your hands dirty and go trough the raw data manually. Identify what is a real person, and what is not.

Find out how many people are actually reading your content, how many people who are blocking Google Analytics (or your ads), and how many bots that request content from your site (where the data is used for aggregators, readers, search engines, etc.)

I do this every 6 months or so, and I use the result to form a new "baseline" for statistics in my publishing system.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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