Oracle Scratchpad

April 12, 2010


Filed under: humour — Jonathan Lewis @ 11:32 am BST Apr 12,2010

Browsing around the internet recently I came across this result:

“During February, 2010, was positioned by as the 33 most visited website in the United States. In order to be ranked in traffic in number 33, had 25,165,482 visits.”

Pretty impressive, isn’t it.

On the other hand, WordPress tells me that I got just 45,000 visits in Feb – so which one do I want to believe ? And how did the other one get a result that was so far out ?


  1. It doesn’t surprise me that two so vastly different values are published. It depends upon how you class a visit. If you class a visit as what used to be called ‘hits’, then each item that is downloaded from your website would be classed as a hit, that is, each image, page, file, link etc. So over a month 45,000 visitors could have downloaded 500 items from your site giving you 2,250,000 hits! If you class a visit as a session, then you need to know when a session ends. Generally, this is classed as ending after 30 minutes of inactivity. Therefore, the number of user sessions is going to be far less than the number of hits. So, if wordpress count sessions, and count hits, then both are right. You choose the one who gives you the data you require to measure your website performance. A bit like execution plans come to think of it! Both could give those I/O values for the same query! Just depends how you process the query.

    Comment by Tony Sleight — April 12, 2010 @ 11:43 am BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

  2. Judging by a few reviews I have read of’s accuracy, I think that you could arrive at similarly “useful” stats, as follows:

    Think of a number.
    Add fifty billion.
    Subtract your age in whole years.
    Add the number of molecules of water in the Pacific Ocean.
    Add another number… the bigger the better.
    That’s it.

    I like Scratchpad, but I doubt that it’s acing Amazon, eBay, Fox News, IMDB, iTunes, Wiki, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr,, and the top 23 guns/porn sites in the States.

    Sorry to be a party pooper!

    Comment by Nigel — April 12, 2010 @ 12:01 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

  3. From this:
    >Compete’s clickstream data are collected from a *2,000,000 member* panel of US Internet users (about a 1% sample), using diverse sources. Using a rigorous statistical normalization methodology, Compete creates *precise projections* of the behavior of the entire US Internet browser population on monthly and weekly basis.
    it seems like a bug. Totally.

    Comment by Timur Akhmadeev — April 12, 2010 @ 1:11 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

  4. Id believe, as I reckon Ive been here at least 20K times on my own in Feb ;)

    Comment by kent — April 12, 2010 @ 3:14 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

    • I second Kent’s theory… I was here at least for another 20K visits :-P

      Comment by Andrea — April 12, 2010 @ 9:08 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

  5. No wonder why that, because your blog is always active and full of information

    Comment by Eslam — April 12, 2010 @ 8:07 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

  6. If Compete are in the habit of counting “” in the same bucket as “”, I suspect the result actually means that all the buckets under “” makes it rank as the “33 most visited website in the US”.

    Comment by Gary — April 12, 2010 @ 10:39 pm BST Apr 12,2010 | Reply

    • Gary,

      I’d like to start by thanking all those kind people who encouraged me to believe the 20M+ figure – but I think your explanation is rather more likely.

      However the Nov 2009 figures (the newest I can find) for WordPress show 1.4 billion pageviews across the board; but a slightly coincidental 25 million “active posts”.

      Comment by Jonathan Lewis — April 17, 2010 @ 11:22 am BST Apr 17,2010 | Reply

  7. “accuracy in counting websites / webhits” that’s a great joke !

    have a look at google’s accuracy for example:

    a simple search for “Sokrates”
    yields “… Results 1 – 10 of about 1,720,000 for sokrates. (0.05 seconds) ”

    everyone is very impressed by this.

    However, when you start to look more deeply into it, you see that “about 1,720,000” in reality means “at least 900”:
    gives you ” Results 11 – 20 of about …”,
    gives you “Results 891 – 900 of about …”
    which is then end !
    then gives you

    Your search – sokrates – did not match any documents.


    * Try different keywords.

    Comment by Sokrates — April 13, 2010 @ 7:55 am BST Apr 13,2010 | Reply

  8. Sokrates:

    Google only shows max. 1000 results, even if there are many more matching pages.

    Comment by Nigel — April 13, 2010 @ 10:31 am BST Apr 13,2010 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Comments and related questions are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by

%d bloggers like this: