Link detection in web stats

I subscribe to over 50 vanity feeds to detect when someone mentions me or links to one of my sites, but it's not enough. Today, Market Sentinel picked up the Hasbro case, and the search engines haven't found it yet. I expect that they will, but the opportunity for a same-day response came from my web statistics service.

The usual application of statistics in a blog is to provide an ego boost to the blogger. More people are reading this blog this month than last month, which convinces me that I'm not just writing to myself. But the service gives me more information than that. It collects information on where my readers are (Austria and the UK, this morning). It tells me which pages people read and the search queries that lead them to the site, which is useful for identifying topics. And, the point of this post, it tells me the page that linked to my site.

Search engines take time to find new content. Server logs and analytics packages collect incoming link information in real-time. If you want to know when someone links to your site (not just blogs), you need to look at your server data to catch the connections the search engines miss. Even if your site gets a lot of traffic, today's analytics tools make the analysis easy.

Oh, and if you're concerned about privacy, one thing that these tools do not collect is any personally identifying information. I don't see your name or email address, for example, unless you give them to me in a comment.

About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
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