Embarrassing Discoveries with Log Stats

29 comments

Im not entirely sure why i feel the need to blog something that makes me look foolish and unprofessional, perhaps an easing of conscience or the need to unload my problems here as a way of putting it behind me.

Perhaps it's just a way of getting a little help and discussion on a topic im not particularly good at, clearly! :-)

I was checking log stats today, as one does, and noticed that the awstats (and so it begins..) reports really seemed a bit lower than they should be, so i headed into Webalizer. I found that the amounts of "visits" its quite a bit higher there, and seems much more realistic - but now i don't know which to believe...

It's been months since i last had a licsense for a decent stats package, i should clearly get one again eh? I used to use Sawmil which i was very happy with, as anything i use has to be both affordable and run on linux..

So, anyone tell me which is more accurate out of awstats and webalizer, and maybe talk about something i could use that forfills the above criteria apart from Sawmil?

Comments

NetTracker

Very, very good. Price has come down as well...

I can't fly blind. Ever. Es

I can't fly blind. Ever. Especially with an E-commerce site.

I want to know exactly how much money is being brought in by each key term I have...both PPC terms and organic. That way, if I have am buying a ppc term that is getting a lot of click but not a lot of revenue, I can take money away from those and put it on the terms with good conversion. If I have Organic terms that are really bringing in a good ROI, I look to see if I can figure out why, and if possible, make more pages with variations on that term to bring in even more dollars.

You can't do that flying blind.

two-way

two-way communication is gonna (hopefully) change journalism as we know it...

Meeting in the Middle

I think with an ecom site you really need to be doing both don't you?

I see static emom's (smaller sites) being getting a rougher and rougher time over the next few years - i dont think it's going to be goood enough just to have a great site with great products.

I've been thinking about it alot as my mum's shop needs some serious work, which i could provide. Personal dillemas aside, how can a small british furniture shop become a major onlin succes?

I think, the answer lies in blogs. Not being a blog, or even having one, but i think there's a lot to learn about being part of the conversation both for search rankings and customer retention. Where this all ties in, is in the fact that i think concentrating on users is a worthwhile endeavour for that kind of site.

OMG, now my covers blown and my reputation as an amateur spammer is shot...

The caveat is, that this is all well and good in certain areas, but in reality, if I were to invest time in somethiing like furniture, i'd prlly do a mix of all things...

>by studying the conversation

>by studying the conversation and 'who's online' more than you would looking at log files but im stumped as to how that could be a good plan with an ecom site?

The advantadge of an ecom site is that you have the bank balance as a metric.

Take what you can gleam from the almost blind stuff you have here, your take on the pulse, and then factor in money. Isn't that the best way to judge an ecom site?

AWStats etc.

Nick, I've run AWStats side by side with both Urchin and NetTracker, and if you set up your profiles in a similar fashion, reports like overall sessions are very similar. All three are great packages, the differences being in functionality rather than accuracy. Urchin is very powerful if you take the time to get under the hood and play with the config file.

All of these packages report on the low side. The pansy monkey in me (thanks Mark) thinks that this means they're more accurate. Webalizer seems very optimistic, and the supposed industry standard, Webtrends, consistently reported traffic 20% higher than both AWStats and NetTracker.

heh...

Limitations of the system i think NFFC - if a bunch of other stuff gets posts then stuff quickly falls off the recent posts list and gets forgotten.. im working on it..

Im flying "nearly blind" here - and i'll go as far as to say that you probably get a better "feel" for a community site by studying the conversation and 'who's online' more than you would looking at log files but im stumped as to how that could be a good plan with an ecom site?

wasn't meant to be a thread killer

I'm surprise this didn't spark more debate to be honest.

So everybody agree's that I'm right?

stats are for pansies and PPC monkey's

Real webmasters fly blind. Try it, it is so liberating and really helps you focus on what is really important.

Awstats

Yes, Awstats tries to filter out the bots so that you only see the human users in the main results.

Also, compare the search string results in both webalizer and Awstats - much more comprehensive volume in Awstats.

If we're going to talk high-end

I've always loved NetTracker but it's too pricey. ClickTracks is great too, and it's nice that you can track unlimited domains for a single price, but I hate that they double the price if you want to track robot activity.

Wonderful

Thanks grnidone, i'll check it out!

Clicktracks is a good metrics

Clicktracks is a good metrics program. One of the features I like is that it will show you in a frame your web site and next to each link it'll show you how many times that link is clicked upon. It can either run using log files or javascript pixels.

I was very impressed with it...It is very easy to use. I was more impressed with it than with Urchin...but both are good. (I *really* liked a lot of the sales stuff on Clicktracks, but you won't be using that part of it.)

The pricing is below...but I am not sure what you need.

http://www.clicktracks.com/products/analyzer/pricing.php

Just when I thought I understood Log Stats...

..along comes claus with that list, that will undoubtably take me back to first principles.

while we're at it

threadwatching that is... and "stats vs. logs"

I compiled a nice list of on topic threads in August 2003 (msg #9). A few days worth of reading there :-)

urchin

have been told webalizer is rubbish...but awstats were not real high up on the quality either.

have been told clicktracks & urchin are good stuff

Log Stats - never believe a word of them

I remembered this one, still in the forum library there

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum39/696.htm

Its from a few years back, when I was struggling to see what web logs actually meant. Its worth going through.

Basically there is no "right" answer to "who has been looking at my web site", at best you can only work out trends using the same program.

Down memory lane, looking at the participants in the thread.

urchin is very good

you will be hard pressed to find a stats package better than urchin, $895 might seem a lot but it will cover 100 sites

AFAIK: Awstats visit figures are lower than Webalizer because Webalizer does not distinguish between bots and non-bots. Awstats report the non-bot figure.

Phone the buggers.

Tell them you want to try it. They are great to work with.

hmm...

Lots of packages, but no tarball - i run gentoo - not redhat or fedora :)

Thought it was $595.... it's not.

$895 they say. Maybe they can be a sponsor! This is definitely their audience.

right

Am i going to get frightened looking at the price tag? I'll go look...

*lol*

What about it?

ClickTracks.

ClickTracks.

Urchin

Can i run that on linux?

I've been seeing that recommended for soo long now, but have never tried it..

Urchin runs on Linux.

Yep. They increased their profile in this community by being at the tradeshow part of WmW in Vegas.

Urchin

Not free, and shyttie T-Shirts. Not expensive.

They really all do have their quirks - no matter how much you pay.

FunnelWeb

It's free, and it's a bit better than Webalizer and AWStats. You can get it at http://www.funnelwebcentral.com/

As to which of the two you've got is more accurate, I don't know. They all seem to have their little quirks (including FunnelWeb)