From time to time I write a blog on living in Provence in France and not too long ago I tinkered about with Google Analytics mildly curious to know who, if anyone, ever drops in there.
The report was a bit surprising. Google informed me that most of the people who look at the blog are tapping away at their laptops in Barcelona and London. There are also people who drop in from French towns and cities – mostly Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Lyon and Paris.
And then there are visitors from Glasgow and Reno.
Glasgow and Reno??
Internet users are a curious bunch, in both senses of the term. The crowd from Barcelona spend, on average, 13 minutes pottering about the blog, digging around in the various posts. The Glaswegians spend an average of 16 measly seconds, so presumably even as the window opens they’re thinking “Oops – I hit the wrong link there.”
Strangest of all though are the people in Reno. Google Analytics tells me they spend an average of no seconds looking at the blog. Zero.
How can there even be a report of internet users who spend zero seconds looking at a blog page? Doesn’t that group comprise pretty much the whole world apart from the good citizens of Barcelona, London and some French towns and cities? (And, almost, Glasgow?)
What I found a bit spooky is that I lived for many years in Glasgow and once spent a week inReno at a conference. How come the people who least visit my blog in the whole world live in towns I have some kind of connection with? Why is it that people from Vladivostock and Nairobi are not dropping in as little as Glaswegians and people from Reno, if you get what I mean?
The report got me thinking a bit about Google Analytics though and I wonder if Google could be using it to offer additional data. They could surely easily use Analytics to produce a live digest of geographical data showing what people round the world are looking at, reading, researching and perhaps buying.
Don’t you think it would be interesting to find out that the largest group of people looking at open-air group-sex porn in the whole wide world was in Seattle? That citizens of rainy old Manchester (England) trawl tropical holiday websites more frequently and for longer than people anywhere else in the world? Or that people in Reno spend a lot more time on gambling sites than on sites about living in Provence?
It could be a whole new reference resource for businesses, academics and ordinarily nosy people. I guess someone will inform me now that Google Analytics User Behaviour Real-Time Digest has been up and running for six years, but I’m not aware of it.
Analytics told me that my blog is also visited, a bit, by people from many other countries including Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan. It does make me curious as to how they find their way to such a tiny corner of the web which simply describes the beauty of Provence.
However they get there though, they’re welcome. Provence is such a wonderful part of this planet. Everyone should hear about, and experience, its unique and blissful beauty at least once in their lifetime.