A Case of Libel?
Recently, a Web site saw fit to run a piece that incorrectly alleged that my site had lost over 50% of its visitors in the last two years.
Since part of my income comes from advertisers who base their buying decisions on my Web traffic, it is incumbent upon me to address this defamation.
I won’t link to the site for obvious reasons — the poster makes similar allegations against other webcartoonists that I can only assume are as inaccurate as the statement made about Evil Inc, and I would hate for their reputations to be besmirched any further on account of my giving this blogger the notoriety he seems to so badly desire.
So, as much as I find it unseemly to trot out my Web traffic statistics to a readership that would probably prefer I spend time with other subjects, here are two graphs that represent my unique visitors and my pageviews over a 24-month period.
I have stripped the numbers off the chart because that’s proprietary information that I don’t share publicly. However, it is plain to see that I have been steadily gaining visitors and pageviews over the past 24 months. As a matter of fact, my unique-visitors statistic is up over 50% from September 2007 — and pageviews are up close to 60%.
Obviously, that’s going to be an important metric for any advertiser, and I need to clarify this untruth immediately. But beyond that, this blogger’s post is an insult to you. He wants the world to think that you guys are supporting this site less.
If anything, you guys have been more active and supportive than ever before! You’ve been telling your friends, you’ve been participating in the forum, you’ve been reading the archives… you’ve been the best readership in webcomics, in my opinion. Not the worst.
So, where’s the misinformation coming from?
The blogger makes use of statistics from “Google Trends” — which uses an unknown algorithmic formula to arrive at its metric. A note at the bottom of the Google Trends site clearly states that the numbers are estimates.
Using these numbers to make assumptions about a Web site’s “health” is nothing short of malicious.
My statistics — the ones used to build the charts above — are gathered both from analytic code embedded in each page on my site and from the host of this site itself, which gathers traffic statistics on all of the files served through this domain.
In other words, it isn’t an estimate. It’s fact.
But that didn’t stop the blogger from using these estimates to make what a lawyer might call a “statement of fact” that my site had lost more than fifty percent of its readers!
To say that I am appalled by this defamation is putting it lightly.