Historically, TRIP has used number of searches as a sign of usage/success. However, we have begun to question the merit of this for a number of reasons:
- The search statistics also included third-party sites that use TRIP via web-services, so users never actually come to the site (the 3rd party site sends a search string to TRIP and we return the results which the site integrates into their pages).
- The number of searches doesn’t take into account how people interact with the site. For instance a user searching on TRIP might look at 2 categories (e.g. EB synopses and guidelines) and that counts as 3 page views (first results page, EB synopses and guidelines). We feel this is much more meaningful.
- On a more pragmatic basis, our advertising income is based on page views not searches!
In reality this means that in September we had 740,697 page views while we were searched 1,138,699 times. The discrepancy can be explained in part due to 3rd-party access via our web-services, but also because our page views are based on Google Analytics, which can give a conservative view of actual page views (as it requires things like java to be activated to work!). Irrespective of potential discrepancies we still feel the page views are more meaningful.
So, goodbye to search numbers and hello to page views….