Saturday, 1 April 2017

Popular Posts

No-one will have noticed, I suspect, but I have removed the Popular Posts gadget from my blog's sidebar.

I had it set to show the most popular posts, in terms of hits, from the past 30 Days. It's quite a good way of keeping relatively recent posts on view. But over the past month or so, older posts have started to creep in there. I have been monitoring their stats, and they were picking up regular hits; the same number of hits at roughly the same time each day. Basically it was obviously some kind of remote process at work.

Now if you've been really observant you will have noticed that in the past week the sidebar gadget has changed what it was tracking a few times. This was me fiddling with it so that I could see what effect it had on the stats. What seems to be happening is that posts that show in the gadget were picking up regular hits from some kind of automated process. This meant, to some extent, that if a post was being featured it would keep being featured because it would keep getting automated hits.

This kind of makes the gadget a bit pointless. So I have removed it.

I'll keep monitoring my stats and see what effect the gadget's removal has, and maybe reinstate it when I think things have settled down.

Anyway, what I'm now hoping is that most of the hits I get are actually real people looking at the posts because they actually want to.

Yeah. Right.

Update; I've put it back, maybe on a temporary basis, as the stats now seem to have settled down a bit.


  1. April Fool's jokes go this one is missing something.

    A certain je ne sais quoi, if you will.

    Maybe I just don't get British expat humour.

  2. It will be interesting to see what your further monitoring turns up. The hit thing is something of a mystery. I know everyone tends to blame a certain country for the BOT thing, but this week I got a massive spike (a doubling) of hits from another source that has been pretty much constant for 3 years.

    I have a home grown set of rules that has in the title a name of a certain city and I am pretty sure that the name does trigger BOT interest. However, when I look at huge spike in hits, particular titles do not correspond by moving up to the top spot and that is what I find strange.

    I do wonder sometimes why some things crop back up in my popular post list. At the moment, I have a review of a set of rules that has suddenly popped up and has stayed there for a couple of weeks, I wondered why the sudden interest, was it title / auto process driven, then yesterday I can across a post in which the poster had highlighted my review.

    this was obviously the reason why it got onto the list and then once on the list, it is likely catching the eye of visitors to the site and then staying in the top 6 posts becomes self perpetuating by other readers, rather (I think) by any auto process).

    Anyway, I treat the whole thing and hits as something that TENDS to show interest, rather than it being a true analysis. So look forward to your continued observations (I am guessing that without your side bar, your most recent 3 posts will lose viewers, but that your overall visiing of older posts will even out).

  3. I didn't notice.

    My blog has a big following in Russia :-p Good luck to them.

    By the way, I'm a real peeple.


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