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'Why is the UK’s web traffic dropping?' blog discussion



  • Frugaldom
    Frugaldom Posts: 6,942 Forumite
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    edited 18 November 2009 at 5:40PM
    Martin/Lawrence, is Google traffic logged as unique visits regardless of the landing page or do they only count if the searcher goes directly to the site's home page?


    The general trend of web traffic increasing or decreasing depends on search criteria, so comparing sites like eBay/Play/Amazon (where MSE'ers sell stuff) shows an overall increase in web traffic, despite the annual peaks lessening to reflect what could just be wider choice and availability. I understand the stats relate to people accessing the sites via Google search, so need to agree with others in that regular users no longer go via search engines to find these hugely popular sites. Contrary to how you are translating those stats, to me they simply reflect the immense success of this site by way of visitors with it bookmarked, saved to favourites or set as their home page. But you still need new users if you're a number cruncher with a quest for continual success. :)

    Facebook has taken on a life of its own recently (with many users unaware of the fact that their info can be Google indexed) but we also need to remember that Google searching is a very widely used tool. Searches may not be as simple as typing in a site name and that home page coming up, it's more a case of generating results to match specific keywords and phrases. EG - If someone does a search for something like 'I need help to clear my debt', it wouldn't necessarily lead to MSE, so that could be Google traffic lost or diverted. (It actually led me to an article in the Guardian as it's first choice.)

    To reverse the downward trend of Google analytics figures, I think MSE would need to increase their key words and phrases, which would mean increasing the indexing opportunities and hoping for a more diverse range of subjects appearing in the results. I did a search for a specific forum title and it appeared top of the Google results no problem, so it's just down to Google's constantly changing algorithms and keeping up the key words & phrases indexing to produce interesting search results. More results will attract new site traffic and should show in the Google stats.

    These are just my thoughts on the matter.
    instaunt wrote: »
    Facebook is for people with attention deficit disorder which I hear there is a growing number of.

    I use Facebook but don't consider myself to have attention deficit disorder. Do I have ADD? :rotfl:
    I reserve the right not to spend.
    The less I spend, the more I can afford.

    Frugal living challenge - living on £4000 in 2024
  • insertwittyname_2
    Hi all,

    Interesting discussion. Not sure if this has any bearing but on the google.co.uk front page they are running an experiment of removing the search buttons, so you have to actually press the enter key to search.

    This works fine if you have typed in your search phrase, but I frequently cut and paste mine, so having to transfer to the enter key is irritating.

    After a quick investigation I think it only effects random people, and they might only be random firefox users, but I am one of those people and it has been going on for some time so I have switched to yahoo.co.uk pending finding something more to my taste.

    Another thing is that I fairly recently switched to firefox that has its own search bar so maybe fewer people are using the google one?


  • TheAlex
    TheAlex Posts: 37 Forumite
    edited 18 November 2009 at 10:41PM
    Interesting. Could it be partly due to more people using feeds, and direct to their phones perhaps? Actually, perhaps it's solely down to more people using mobile phones to browse, if such traffic isn't recorded by Google Trends.

    You could ask Google themselves, Matt Cutts is pretty good with user questions and feedback:
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  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199 Forumite
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    Hold on, lets establish exactly what the graphs are telling us.
    I don't actually know the answer to this, so can't begin to guess why they are telling us that.

    I think we have established that they show the people coming to each site from some sort of Google toolbar.
    Do the graphs measure number of people, or proportion of people?
    If they measure a proportion, what is the proportion out of - all internet use or just Google toolbar traffic?
  • Joe_Bloggs
    Joe_Bloggs Posts: 4,535 Forumite
    Perhaps it might be a good idea to see what google anlalytics can do before we all chime in with our pet theories.
  • It would be much easier to comment on this issue if not for the fact that the graphs don't have a vertical scale! We don't even know if the scale starts at zero, and if it doesn't then the variation may be quite exaggerated. I'm surprised Martin used them without checking this.
  • Joe_Bloggs
    Joe_Bloggs Posts: 4,535 Forumite
    What shall I do tomorrow ? I know I'll ask google. From an FT article.
  • Frugaldom
    Frugaldom Posts: 6,942 Forumite
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    edited 21 November 2009 at 10:46AM
    J_B, you can see by the reaction to this thread that Google stats, algorithms and web traffic stats just aren't things that the regular users of this site are really interested in at all, wouldn't you agree? :rotfl: I think if Martin had posted a quandary about bargain hunter figures falling and given an example of a fab moneysaving bargain then the response would have been far greater - AFTER everyone had grabbed the bargain, of course. So, keeping all of that in mind, I'd reckon money is the simple answer to most of the questions ever asked here... people want the quickest route to whatever suits them at that precise moment in time and sometimes it's first past the Google post that wins. MSE obviously isn't being displayed as the best option to fit the criteria used in the searches. :D

    JonathanOrmand - I think that Martin was basically suggesting that the overall trend in traffic visiting MSE and a few others via Google is downward in general.
    I reserve the right not to spend.
    The less I spend, the more I can afford.

    Frugal living challenge - living on £4000 in 2024
  • Eric_Pisch
    Eric_Pisch Posts: 8,720 Forumite
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    edited 27 November 2009 at 8:57AM
    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    Interesting point - but then it wouldn't show up in our site figures either as you're reading off site - so that isn't the issue.

    For me it has to be about the UK's proportion of world web traffic as there's a growth in country in early stages of internet adoption.

    I suspect it could be because people are finding out about firefox and no scripts which makes web surfing vastly safer, as a bi product external sites like google-analytics get blocked

    I know I have it blocked in noscripts and add blocker
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