Why you need StatCounter if you use Google Adwords

Author and publisher Ian Lamont has used StatCounter since 2006 to help monitor his blogs and publishing websites. He recently used StatCounter to identify suspicious activity associated with a Google AdWords campaign. We invited him to tell his story.

 

Digital advertising fraud is a big deal, siphoning off billions from advertisers each year. However, mobile and online ad fraud is not just an issue for big-box retailers, Hollywood movie studios, auto manufacturers, and other giant companies which depend on digital advertising to drive sales. Small businesses can also get cheated, and may not even know it. Even worse, the tools provided on Google’s popular AdWords service are wholly inadequate to detect the problem, and are actually likely to increase the likelihood of becoming a victim. In the following post, I will describe how I used StatCounter to detect suspicious clicks on a new AdWords campaign for a new book, and the steps I am taking to limit fraud on all of my Google AdWords campaigns in the future.

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Google’s Fred Algorithm Update – 5 Steps to Take Now!

If you have any questions or are worried about how the new Fred update may have affected your website traffic, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation with one of our experts.

Google is always tight-lipped about the changes they make to their algorithm, however, the change on March 7th/8th was large enough for many website owners and digital marketing firms to notice substantial changes in traffic and rankings. This new algorithm update, simply known as “Fred”, is believed to primarily target websites with low-quality content and backlinks. Often, these two factors occur simultaneously and on websites that have utilized SEO companies to quickly build low-quality content and backlinks.

Google has confirmed the Fred algorithm update, but they were weary of giving too much information about it. The only clue given to website owners was that Fred targeted websites that were not abiding by the webmaster guidelines. Based on our research here at StatCounter, we have determined that sites with low-quality content and unnatural backlinks, purely meant to drive revenue have been the most hurt by this update.

Here are five things you can do right now to see if you were affected and start recovering any lost rankings and traffic

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Terminology Poll: Sessions, Visits & Visitors

Our lifetime summary stats allow you to keep track of the number of Page Views, Unique Visits and Returning Visits since you added your project to StatCounter. These stats are independent of your normal log size, have no storage limit and are recorded on a daily basis, allowing you to see weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly totals.

If a visitor to your website has 5 page views in the morning, and returns to your website later that day for another 3 pageviews, we record this as 2 Unique Visits for that day. On another day, if you have 2 different people viewing your site in the morning, this would also be recorded as 2 Unique Visits.

Recently we’ve been working on adding a new stat to record distinct visitors to your site, so that in the above example, you’d see 1 visitor for the first day and 2 visitors for the second day.  The terminology between ‘Visits’ and ‘Visitors’ could be confusing though, so we are proposing to rename ‘Unique Visits’ to ‘Sessions’ in advance of adding the new stat. Let us know what you think in the poll below!

Current: Unique Visits (New Visitors stat will be in pink)

blog-unique-visits

 

Proposed: Rename Unique Visits to Sessions

blog-sessions

Note: Returning Visits hasn’t been shown in these screenshots, but it would likely be renamed to Returning Sessions.

 

We’d really love your feedback about what terminology you like the best and find easiest to understand. Please post your preferences in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Pick your terminology!

View Results

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10x Better Upgrades

We are always working to improve the StatCounter service we offer to our members. Thanks to the fantastic work done by our engineers over the last year we are thrilled to be able to make the following announcement.

All our upgrade plans have been multiplied by a factor of 10 at no extra cost.

Here is how the plans have changed.

  • 5,000 increased to 50,000
  • 10,000 increased to 100,000
  • 25,000 increased to 250,000
  • 50,000 increased to 500,000
  • 100,000 increased to 1,000,000
  • 200,000 increased to 2,000,000
  • 500,000 increased to 5,000,000
  • 1,000,000 increased to 10,000,000

These log size increases are available now to all new and existing upgraded customers. To assign the additional log space to your project simply log in to your StatCounter account. Click “Adjust Log” and assign the new log space.

We have also introduced two brand new plans.

  • 50,000,000 log quota priced at $249 a month.
  • 100,000,000 log quota priced at $399 a month.

If you don’t already have a StatCounter upgrade there has never been a better time to get it. Upgrades start from just $5 a month. In addition to log size increases you also get:

  • StatCounter API Access
  • Ad free experience for the website and mobile apps
  • Advanced Email Report Options
  • Long term keyword archival from Google Search Console

We hope you enjoy the new massive log sizes!