Asking my readers a favor – Part 2 — Results (and more)

Thanks to all who participated in Part 2 of my little experiment.

As a refresher, the results of Part 1 are HERE. Part 1 tested the contention by the Happiness Engineers that scrolling through the Archive or Home Page would add Total Views and not register in the Posts View counter. This is, as I suspected, FALSE.

So, what does cause the occasional jump in Total Views but doesn’t affect the Posts Views numbers?

Galleries. Specifically, if anyone actually views the photos by clicking through the Gallery (if one is included). 

For those not familiar with the test, I created a post with a Gallery (HERE) and asked readers to scroll through the photos of the Gallery a number of times. 

Here are the Statistics as of an hour ago or so. 

The gallery had 17 photos and that post had forty views. I don’t know how many readers actually scrolled through the photos but what I do know is that while the site registered 131 Post Views, it registered 528 Total Views, a difference of 397. I’m fairly confident in asserting this is due to people scrolling through the 17 photos multiple times.

Here are the posts that registered views (people opened them):

I think it’s pretty clear that the mysterious source of the extra views is people scrolling through the photos in the gallery. 

Personally, I think this — in addition to other factors — makes the WordPress statistics fairly useless.

Not that I care about them much, but I was curious and at least I was able to satisfy my curiosity and dismiss the idiotic reasons I got from WordPress when I asked about such discrepancies. 

Of course, if you monetize your site, this has some implications, especially if Total Views is one of the metrics used to calculate payments.

Meaning, if you want to increase the amount of traffic, make use of a lot of Galleries and get people to scroll through them.

It also tells me something . . . it tells me that despite me including galleries in most of my posts, few people actually make use of them.  This is somewhat understandable because the galleries at the bottom of my posts do nothing but present the photos that readers have already seen.

The reason I include Galleries at all is that the photos dispersed throughout my witty banter are typically uglified by whatever process WordPress uses to compress them (they are duller and not as crisp).

I always suggest readers should click on the photos for the larger view or look at them in the gallery for a better experience. Based on the numbers I see, few ever do. 

Here’s one other thing that I (think) recently found out . . . if I link to a photo that’s on my SmugMug account, it looks better than if I upload the photo to WordPress.

You can see this in action HERE but note that you can’t click on those photos to open them in another tab or window. That’s because they’re not really there; WordPress is just showing the result of the link from my Smugmug account.

I plan to test this out and see if that is indeed the case. If it proves true that the quality of the displayed photo is better (something I often complained about and tried to resolve), then I will no longer upload photos to the WordPress Media Library but rather link them from my SmugMug site.

Most of them, anyway. Sometimes I just post a few quick photos that don’t merit their own SmugMug Gallery. Or, I could set up a Miscellaneous Gallery in SmugMug just for such photos. 

The other reason to do this is to conserve storage space in WordPress (space I pay for). 

Anyway, that’s my update of The Mystery of Extra Total Views solved. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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