Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Blogger, Stats and Comments

A couple of people have contacted me recently to say that they have commented on posts but their comments haven't appeared. Although I moderate comments, I only exclude spam (or offensive comments, and thankfully these almost never arrive - hope I'm not tempting fate there!) So I wonder if it's a more general problem - please could anyone whose comments haven't appeared let me know?

Related (perhaps) is the fact that I have received more spam comments on the blog lately (about ten a week, whereas in the past there were hardly any).. I've also noticed some unusual trends with the statistics provided by Blogger. The blog has, throughout its lifespan, enjoyed a steady increase in page views etc, but in recent times the rate of increase has been very significant. At a rough guess, I'd say page views have at least doubled in the last few months. That rate of increase, in a blog which has been running for such a long time, strikes me as surprising, and I suspect it isn't necessarily due to the merits or otherwise of the blog posts. One possible explanation is that a number of my reviews of TV shows have attracted a lot of views (many more than book reviews - though the Forgotten Books seem to do much better than review of contemporary novels), but there may be other reasons.

Usually I pay little or no attention to blog stats, because I've never been sure how meaningful they really are. However,t I'm wondering if these figures suggest that the blog is attracting much more spam than in the past and if so, whether there is anything I can or should do about it.

One option, which a number of wise judges among you have previously recommended, is to change to another blog hosting system such as Wordpress. I am certainly likely to consider that in 2013, but at this stage, I'd very much welcome any thoughts or suggestions on these issues that you may have. Thanks in advance.


Morgenländer said...

Well, I have also noticed an increase of spam comments during the last weeks. But I rather doubt that your problem with the vanished comments is conncected to this nuisance.

Maybe you could report the problem to the blogger forum?

As for the stats: I am using Google Analytics which is a far more reliable tool than the Blogger statistics.

Kind regards

Martin Edwards said...

Very helpful advice. Thanks very much. Any idea what is causing the increase in spam?

Morgenländer said...

Well, I´ve read somewhere that the quantity of spam comments you receive is an indicator of your blog's popularity.

Well, that's cold comfort, since it is really time-consuming to delete these comments (I'm receiving about a dozen a day).

Puzzle Doctor said...

WordPress has a very good automatic spam filter so I never see 99% of my rubbish. But the popularity of posts seems on a par with mine. TV series always get a higher proportion, then classic crime. Modern works, especially vaguely obscure ones, tend not to get much of a look in.

The two oddities of my blog are the popularity of The House In Goblin Wood and The Hollow above anything else from the same author. I presume that's due to them being part if a crime fiction course as a number of searches are for "Who is the killer in ..."

Patrick said...

Martin, I forgot to reply this post when I first saw it but what has happened to me is that Blogger, in its enthusiasm, has sometimes taken legitimate comments and marked them as spam. They're still there but will not appear. It's great when the comment is actually spam, but when it isn't and you want the comment to show up, you have to go to the spam section of the comment and mark it as not being spam.