Potential Redirection Issue with Sitemeter
I’d noticed something weird happening on my blog for awhile. Something was redirecting one of my blogs to a couple different sites:
I was initially worried my blog had been hacked. But, after doing some Google research, I found several sites (like this one and this one) saying the problem is due to Sitemeter. I was using Sitemeter on one of my blogs, and it happened to be the only one I’d noticed this redirection issue with. I haven’t seen any official releases on this topic, so I can’t confirm that Sitemeter is 100% the cause of this redirection. However, removing Sitemeter seems to have solved the problem. Since removing that code from my blog, I’m no longer seeing the redirection issue. This blog, What Do I Know, has a detailed post about this topic that would be an interesting read if you want more information about their Sitemeter problems.
If anyone has any official sources or updates on this, I’d love to see them. Please leave a comment.
Sitemeter was the first analytics tool I’d installed on my blog way back in the day. I was sad to remove it. Not only did I feel a certain sense of loyalty to it, Sitemeter has YEARS of analytical data for my blog. But, redirection was a problem I felt needed to be addressed for a couple reasons:
- It’s already a challenge to keep readers engaged with your blog. Why leave something there that pushes them away?
- I felt the redirection could create reputational risk because it may look like your blog is hacked and readers may not feel safe using it.
No bueno. So, how did I proceed?
Need for StatCounter
Removing Sitemeter introduced a new problem for me. While I love my Google Analytics, there were certain reports I used on Sitemeter that I couldn’t get (or didn’t know how to get) from Google Analytics. Plus, I liked cross-checking the numbers to validate them by using two separate sources. This could help you discover a Google Analytics issue like this one.
Luckily for me, the same blog with the detailed Sitemeter account also wrote about a new tool they were using – StatCounter. After researching StatCounter further, it appeared I could get most of the information I wanted from it. I decided to give it a shot.
Sitemeter -> StatCounter Reports
I added StatCounter to my blog and made sure it was running okay first. I also checked the analytic options to ensure I could retrieve the information I was previously getting from Sitemeter. Though they didn’t match up one for one, I was able to pretty much get what I wanted:
- Sitemeter: Who’s On -> StatCounter: Visitor Paths (doesn’t say who’s “on” but shows visits and time stamps)
- Sitemeter: Visits and Page Views (Current Day, 7 Days, 30 Days, 12 Months) -> StatCounter: Summary (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly)
Bonus StatCounter Features
I also discovered some bonus features for stats I’d not seen in Sitemeter or Google Analytics:
- Visitor Paths (my favorite: shows how users are interacting with your site, where they enter, go, and exit plus if they click on external links)
- Several reports show a Google Ranking # (search terms are sometimes not displayed, though)
- Exit Links (are visitors clicking on the links you’ve added in your posts?)
Once I got a good handle on StatCounter and felt comfortable making the move, I removed the Sitemeter code from my blog. I really wasn’t happy about removing Sitemeter, but as mentioned above, it seemed necessary to me.
- Click here to read my posts about Blogging
- 3 Negative Impacts of Duplicate Google Analytics Code
- Sitemeter Out of Control by What Do I Know
- Hello StatCounter, Goodbye Sitemeter by What Do I Know
- Google Analytics vs StatCounter by Nose Graze
Has anyone had a similar experience? I’d love to hear about it in a comment.
Also, what is your favorite blog analytics tool?