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Author Topic: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?  (Read 5847 times)

Offline BillG

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Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« on: June 01, 2013, 02:33:34 PM »
How does page caching affect Smarter Stats accuracy? I was looking over here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics#Page_tagging

and this line seems particularly important:
Not counting cached pages seriously skews many site metrics. It is for this reason server-based log analysis is not considered suitable for analysis of human activity on websites.

So, pulling the page from the cache doesn't count in the server stats and so seriously undercounts the real activity.

What does Smarter Stats recommend? I'm thinking disable page caching- what's the recommended procedure here?
"Who is determined has purpose" - Tao Te Ching
Embedded Databases
Electrical Engineering

Rick C.

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 07:05:06 AM »
BillG,

Let me do some research on this matter and see if I can get some guidance from the SmarterTools folks as well. Get back to you in some time.

Offline BillG

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 09:04:33 AM »
Thank you!
"Who is determined has purpose" - Tao Te Ching
Embedded Databases
Electrical Engineering

Rick C.

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 07:15:21 AM »
Bill,

Still trying to gather what I can. From what I've seen, IIS doesn't log the cached media. The page itself that contains whatever content on it is still requested via an HTTP GET request. This is then logged with each page refresh. Chrome is pretty cutthroat with its cache, and the page still displays within logs. Maybe this'll help in the meantime.

Offline BillG

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 08:38:12 AM »
Thanks. Can you please clarify Chrome's behavior? Not sure I understand.
"Who is determined has purpose" - Tao Te Ching
Embedded Databases
Electrical Engineering

Rick C.

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 08:19:59 AM »
Chrome, an amazing browser in my opinion, caches like no other browser. It's difficult to work with some things as Chrome can relentlessly cache the page/media/redirects/etc.

Some examples:

I have seen Chrome cache error pages. Specifically, I put up a page and tried to browse it on my site. I typed in the wrong filename when uploading. So when I tried to browse to the correct URL, it gave me a 404. Reuploaded with correct name, still 404. Tried Firefox, page displayed. I had to close Chrome and CTRL + F5 to get the page to display.

Chrome also likes to cache page redirects. If you use Wordpress, you know it has the siteurl option. If you set that, and browse to the wordpress site on something other than the siteurl, it will redirect you to the siteurl. If you change that siteurl, and go to that initial URL that redirected you, it will redirect you to the old siteurl. This one still haunts me as you can't CTRL + F5 a redirect.

Offline BillG

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 08:39:58 AM »
Thanks. My latest gripe with Chrome is that it has moved from the "user" model to the "hostage" model. On startup it presents a "Log Into chrome" tab that cannot be easily disabled by the average user without editing config code. It's such a hassle for users I manage over the phone without gmail that I had them uninstall Chrome. Firefox 19 is my browser of choice.

Thanks for your info on the Chrome cache - it looks like Chrome's speed is really a cache cheat. All the more reason to disable caching on my website.
"Who is determined has purpose" - Tao Te Ching
Embedded Databases
Electrical Engineering

Rick C.

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Re: Smarter Stats (In)Accuracy?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 09:14:45 AM »
Absolutely Bill. It's growing in popularity exponentially. The caching issue is a significant one, and one I freak out about when I hit.

Another thing, is Chrome caches DNS... Which can get extremely frustrating.