A few random facts from behind the facade…

I don’t know about you, other bloggers out there, but there are a couple of things that I find make this whole endeavor so much fun beside the writing and interacting.  I have now been blogging for over a year (I am not much into anniversaries, so I just ignored the fact for a while) and there are just some things I want to share. I am curious what cracks you up. And for those readers that don’t blog, this might provide some interesting insight…

For example, when I look at my stats page which shows me my daily, weekly and monthly views, I do get a kick out of the map and list of countries that tells me where my visitors have come from. Over the last year, the vast majority have come from the US (about four times as many as from the next country), followed by Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia and South Korea. What is the most fun, though, is spotting visitors from tiny countries, or countries that I care about: like my one visitor (ever) from Botswana, Fiji or the Virgin Islands, or the two visitors from Zimbabwe. The map that is shown is colored according to number of visits. And there is a white corridor that stretches from North Korea through China, through Central Asia, pretty much all of Northern, Central and Western Africa to the South American republics and territories North of Brazil and Colombia. Except for a number of hits from Nigeria and a few in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Cameroon, Africa is practically blank (except for Southern Africa)…which makes me sad.

My visitors Map May 2012 until May 2013

My visitors Map May 2012 until May 2013

It also shows me the most frequent recent commenters (in order of appearance: Stefano, Tracy, Megan, Anatoli, Jeff and Julian, in case you were wondering!) and the most commented on posts (again from most down: About, The Wine Century Club, Sunday Read: Almaroja Pirita 2007 ArribesSunday read: Why you should be drinking cheap wine and Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde).

Another cool feature of the support tools is that it tells me which blog post has been visited the most. This has to be taken with a grain of salt because by far the most hits are to my front page (five times the following page’s hits), which contains the latest three articles. The counter cannot distinguish which posts are visited on that page, so it just tells me “Homepage”. But behind that, this picture emerges (again, all time records):

  1. Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde – my idea of summer wine
  2. I’m back with a note on U.S. customs duties for wine
  3.  About
  4. 2009 Epicuro Salice Salentino Riserva
  5. 2009 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

The first single vineyard Riesling article comes in at spot 19 (sic!), the 2011 St. Urbanshof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett. At least some of my winery profiles rank at 8, 13, 14 and 16. That is kind of a bummer, because I was really hoping to be pushing Rieslings more, but it is also a reflection of what people search for in search engines and what leads them to my site. And people do search for wines that are widely available…and these Rieslings are still filling a niche. And I blog about wineries in Germany that have not dominated the market or wine news.

And that brings me to the best (at least funniest) feature for me: I am also told what search terms lead people to my site. Over the last weeks, for example, I have seen the number of hits from search engines spike that contained the words “wine”, “us customs” and ” air travel”. When I searched some of these terms in Google, my blog came up in third position on page one, behind two much older posts. I guess this explains why that article made it to number two in my ranking of most popular post.

The most popular search terms, however, have been these (with variations of the terms):

  1. vinho verde trader joe’s
  2. cantina zaccagnini montepulciano d’abruzzo 2009
  3. the winegetter (YAY!!)
  4. salice salentino riserva 2009
  5. how many bottles of wine can i bring to the us

Now, those are not very funny. So what is the funniest about these? It is the singular search hits I get. In one case, a friend of mine played a trick on me and reached my blog via these search terms: “winegetter amazing german man riesling blog”. Naturally I was all excited and plastered these news all over my Facebook site until Nina confided in me it was one of our friends…and there are other hits I just cannot explain to myself: how do you get to my site with the search word “mllongo”, and what does that even mean? Or “where can i buy michigan mcintosh apples”, hell do I know? Or ‘why are cotes du rhone so earthy”. Great question, but I am definitely not the one who could explain that…

But sometimes, my posts also hit the nail on the head, like today, when someone searched for “martini bianco with lemon on ice images”. If you remember, my post on Martini Bianco contained a photo of exactly that drink that I had taken…dang, and now I want one really badly.

I still love the front end of my blog, and it is what keeps me writing. But I do enjoy those behind the scene facts I am given. Add in the growing number of visitors in general, and I feel like I am on a pretty good trajectory.

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30 thoughts on “A few random facts from behind the facade…

  1. […] we opened it, I asked the amazing-riesling-expert Winegetter what should I know to appreciate this gift? He willingly shared his expertise, explaining that the […]

  2. sequoia101 says:

    It’s great that you are having so much fun with your blog! I got a kick out of your search engine funnies :) Keep up the good work!!

  3. I hardly ever check my stats–so I just did. I get the most referrals from turnip greens. (?!!)

    • June 2, 2012: “Turnip greens are packed with nutrients”.

      This article contained a recipe…when I just searched it, I could not find you, though, until I added Tracy to the search term. And then I got four or five top hits. :)

      • Well, that explains it–most people search turnip greens and tracy in the same search, right?

        • Gotta be it…But maybe they search Turnip Tracy Green. Maybe that is a blues saxophonist…

          • That’s just scary. That’s what that is.

            Although, I might consider it someday, if I ever decide to become a blues saxophonist. (Remind me to tell you someday, about the day my son played his saxophone in the park, wearing a beret. He was 10 and he couldn’t yet actually play the saxophone, but did he ever look like the spitting image of a beatnik.

  4. Very fun! Thanks for sharing! I do like to see my stats too. Sometimes I check them way too often. Addiction….? ;) Cheers and congrats!

  5. I often get a chuckle out of the search terms that get to my blog too! And by the way, I’m jealous that you have views from Chile. Despite having lived in Chile, I can’t seem to get a view from there! And weirdly, I have a friend there who I know reads my blog from time to time, so I just don’t understand…

    • Hmmm, that is weird. But could confirm Vinoinlove’s doubts about the accuracy of WordPress stats…I had one visitor from Chile, I believe. I’d be happy to trade you for one from North Korea…:)

  6. Stefano says:

    Hey Oliver, this is way cool because I come up twice in your stats: not only as the top commenter – ahem… ;-) but especially as your one reader from BVI… Damn, just kidding – I wish I were that guy/gal!!!… :-D

    • Hahahaha, you wish! I just think of you whenever I have a visitor from Italy…not that you are there, but somehow it triggers that reaction…:) And thanks for trying to cement your position as top commenter!!

  7. My most recent random search phrase of just today: “photo of lord botetrout red wine bottle” < Who? LOL. Ok then…Moldova. Azerbaijan…I love seeing who stops by! Enjoyable post! Thank you!

    • Hahahaha! That is awesome. I had faint memories of some really weird search terms that led to my page, but somehow I couldn’t find them when I looked for them while writing this post…note to self: copy and paste to somewhere safe! :)

  8. vinoinlove says:

    The first thing I did, after I switched from wordpress.com to a self-hosted blog with wordpress.org was activating Google Analytics because Google Analytics much more accurate. During my time at wordpress.com I started to doubt that their stats were accurate and other sites confirmed my doubts. Now that you are your own webmaster, I strongly recommend that you give Google Analytics. And if you don’t like Google then try the plugin (NewStatPress which is also much more accurate than the regular wordpress stats).
    Sorry for the long comment :P

    • Never be sorry for a long comment! :) As far as I know, I cannot use Google Analytics on a site hosted by WordPress.com. I have not made the move to WordPress.org, mainly because I am completely illetarate when it comes to these issues. I like the ease of this.

      I will look into the NewStatPress plugin for sure. I am not sure I need more accurate information for what I am doing now, but I appreciate you showing me other solutions!! Thanks so much!

  9. caspernick says:

    It’s funny how certain search terms keep pinging my site! I think it’s a great testament to your yearlong endeavors, keep it up.

  10. acrusteaten says:

    I keep mine open on the computer all the time and refresh at certain intervals throughout the day. It’s natural to want to know who’s reading what? What’s catching people’s attention? What interests my single visitor from Bermuda? I love it! Keep up the good work!

  11. Oenophilogical says:

    First, congrats on completing the year. A toast to many more! As far as the back page goes, it really is interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I read “the back page” all the time–perhaps even obsessively. I am not entirely sure what it is telling me, but i am certain that it is telling me something….

  13. Oliver,
    I do agree with you, that it is fun to look at some of the statistics on the back page. The list of countries is always fun to look at, as well as some of the ways people find the site through search engines. I tend not to comment on most other blogger’s pages, so as not to steal their thunder, but this article did tickle my sense of humor as I always wonder if the back page is read by most of the authors.
    – John

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