Seeing as I never get any feedback on the site through my lovingly prepared feedback form – apart, of course, from psycho Noel Edmonds fans (“You’re the twat, pal” read one of the kinder extracts) and a woman in Dubai who thought I actually was Michael Atherton – I thought I’d do some research of my own.
If there’s one thing more Narcissistic than Googling one’s own name* then it’s setting up a Google Analytics account to monitor all the traffic coming into one’s website. So, needless to say, that’s exactly what I did.
And, superficially, it’s ace. Lots of pretty graphs and stats – there’s even a map of the world with the location of all your visitors (6 hits from Hungary, 3 from Lebanon – even one from Myanmar). But if you look closely enough, there is a stark and depressing truth: Most of my punters are perverts.
While I coo and gloat as my hit counter soars up to and beyond the 30,000 mark, it’s worth pointing out that the large majority of visitors stumble upon Amateur Scribe purely by accident. My loyal returning guests account for a piddling 14% of traffic, with the rest made up of wandering cyberspace nomads, most of whom are clearly after something a little more sexually gratifying than some drawn-out whimsy involving the Test Match Special team.
Digging a little deeper into the stats can make a fragile ego shatter as it becomes evident that the 30 people who clicked through search engines on to my “Hot Tub Ranking” critique, all, to a man, exited straight away. That page has a 100% “Entrance Bounce Rate”, my friends. Not one of those smutty-minded individuals decided to stick around and enjoy some more gentle satire – my records show that all 30 grimly hit the “Back” button and went back to searching for “ladies in bikinis jiggling around” or “young women” + “comparing knickers”
For once, I fear, cheerful innuendo has been my downfall. I must now reflect in the chilling knowledge that most of my visitors have arrived at my doorstep by dint of tapping “Sue Barker cleavage” into Google as opposed to being lured in with the promise of superior comic bagatelles and spoof news.
Half-naked folk in a hot tub - what more do you want?
Google Analytics only deals in fact – not speculation. But behind each recorded hit, there is surely a compelling backstory. So sit back as I reveal some of the sordid searches that have landed surfers at this very website.
I promise you, these are ALL genuine (if you don’t believe me, click on the relevant page link and try to find the offending (or should that be offensive?) phrase:
* My real name is so heartbreakingly banal, that Googling it simply isn’t an option, so I’m forced to use “AmateurScribe” to find out what people are saying about me. Like most internet writers, I’ve found links to a few of my stories posted in forums and chatrooms (at which point I get pathetically over-excited), but recently, my hits have been mingled with those of an interloper. Yes, there is now ANOTHER “amateurscribe” touting his (or her) wares. I was initially appalled, but a quick check revealed my namesake writes in a rather different genre on an excellent site called “Literotica”.
I wonder what weird and wonderful searches he’d get on Google Analytics…
** A whopping 119 random punters entered Amateur Scribe through the “Gay Cartoon” page in the last two months alone – largely thanks to the number of search directories that reference the page. Strangely, over thirty stayed and had a good old nose around the rest of the site - so I’m eternally grateful to the gay cyber community. And that’s not a sentence I ever thought I’d write…