So like many people who run a whole bunch of website I use Google Analytics to track visits to those websites. GA — for those unfamiliar with the product — is a free Google service that works via an embedded bug on each webpage on the site. When activated it reports useful anonymised information back to Google including IP address, browser and OS version, page referrer etc. When this information is combined with other stuff Google already knows about, including the location on Earth of most IP addresses (i.e. the one your computer is using right now) and the analytics from other sites also embedding the GA bug they’re able to produce some extremely interesting graphs that can help you work out what content is popular on your site, how people are finding it and what impact changes you make over time have on attracting a larger audience.
This morning I saw a link to http://www.google.com/analytics/apps/results — I’m not sure where now, maybe it was in my RSS aggregator. That link has links to a bunch of other useful apps some for iPhone/iPad, and some web apps like the following:
Juice Analytics talks directly to the GA API and can produces the most wonderful looking visualisations. All of the image on this page were produced using the analytics reporting from this web site. These next two being the results of my most popular piece of content: