Hello Random People From Montara, CA

So, I logged into my blog just now, with no idea in particular about what to blog about today, hoping that staring at the blank screen would inspire me. Or that I’d discover 7/8ths of a blog posting already written which I’d forgotten about1. And, in an effort to further procrastinate on writing, I decided to check out my stats. And this is what I saw:

crazy stats by you.

What the?? What did I write on Feb 262 that would garner such attention? And the thing is – I can’t tell! When I had my big spike previously, it was pretty obvious what happened as almost all the hits were on the Hockey Hotties post and that post had been linked to on a Yahoo sports site.  But this time, there doesn’t appear to be any single posting that got the bulk of the hits.  In fact, if you add up all various pages that were visited on Feb 26 according to WordPress Blog Stats, one posting got 12 visits, another got 11 and then many, many, many postings got 7, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 visits.  And if you add them all up, you only get 316 visits, yet the graph tells me that there were 1181 visits.  Huh?

So then I thought I’d visit Google Analytics to see if it could shed any light on this. Now, I installed the Google Analytics plugin when I migrated my blog to this site, but I haven’t really spent any time playing with it, so quite possibly I’m just missing the key thing on there that would explain it all, but I can’t figure out from Google Analytics why the hell I had this huge blip in blog visits.  My blog doesn’t appear to have been linked to on some popular site, as was the case last time, and there aren’t any keyword searches that had gone through roof, as was the case with the Sheldon Souray posting.  The numbers from Google Analytics don’t exactly line up with those of WordPress Blog Stats (I’m assuming that Google Analytics is using Pacific Time rather than G.M.T.), but I do still have a big spike (848 visits and 716 “absolute3 unique visitors”) on Feb 25 and I still can’t figure out why.

What I was able to find out was that 806 visits came from the US, 794 of which were from California, 793 of which were from Montara.  And then the next day (Feb 26) there were another 85 visits from this same city.  And those visits weren’t concentrated on any one page – they were distributed around to pretty much all my pages.  Like someone read my entire blog.  As far as I know, I don’t know *anyone* in Montara, CA, so I am utterly and completely befuddled!

If anyone happens to know how to use Google Analytics to figure out something like this and/or if you are the random (or randoms) from Montara, CA who was reading my blog – give me a shout in the comments section, k?

Update: Many thanks to Darren who worked his Google Analytics magic and figured out that all these hits are coming from something called “Kintiskton LLC,” which, according to a Google search, was running a “naughty” spider that doesn’t comply with robots.txt files.  Figures.  You know how I feel about spiders.

1Which happens more often than you’d think it would, actually.
2Or 25th – as WordPress stats uses G.M.T. so a lot of the hits I get on a given day (Pacific Time) are registered as being on the following day.
3Shouldn’t that be “absolutely”?

5 Replies to “Hello Random People From Montara, CA”

  1. I know I’ve changed the time settings for my blog in terms of when my postings and comments are time-stamped, but I remember reading in the WordPress Stats thing specificially that you can’t change the time zone for that. But perhaps I misunderstood? I’ll have to go double check that.

  2. Sorry if this is non-obvious or you’ve already done it, but you can check what page or pages were popular that day. Narrow the date range to just the day before and after the spike, then click “Content” in the left-hand navigation menu. You should be able to see what all the fuss was about.

    Do the same for “Traffic Sources”. One of the numbers ought to be out of whack compared to a previous time segment of the same duration.

    Or, if you’re really keen, temporarily give darren at capulet dot com access to your Analytics account, and I can try to grock it on my own.

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