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The Domain Grinch takes over the Domaining.com Click Counters!

ZFBot

The latest addition of click counting at Domaining.com posed a philosophical question:
Can the clicks be faked?

To prove the point that the recent addition of click counting has little to do with blog popularity, we contacted The Domain Grinch, who only took a few minutes to jack up the Domaining.com click count of our Christmas/Xmas post into the realm of 5,000+ clicks.

It was all done with a 4 line command shell script, which we will not publicize. Meanwhile Francois needs to fix the counting mechanism and send the programmer home for permanent holidays.

Domainers that blog should worry less about the size of their blog popularity and put more effort into creating articles of substance, quality and content-richness which provide useful or fun information.

Note: Clicks are visible only when one is logged in

Note: Clicks are visible only when one is logged in

Happy Friday to all! πŸ˜€


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Comments

13 Responses to “The Domain Grinch takes over the Domaining.com Click Counters!”
  1. Francois says:

    Our “Premium members” have access for around one year to this graphic that show in front each headline the number of clicks any headline is receiving.
    Few hundreds members purchased this option and in the lot a good amount of bloggers.
    I noticed after few months available how some bloggers were using this information to maximize headline clicks:
    Post at some hours, blog about some themes, wording that works, …
    Until now, no problem.
    But at a moment I started to see headlines I estimate of low interest (allways from some the same pool of bloggers) having much more clicks they should have.
    I suspected they understood there was a strong relationship between the volume of clicks a post get and his insertion in the newsletter.
    So this summer I created a second counter that don’t count the clicks but count the unique clicks by our subscribers.
    This one is impossible to cheat because for each click we create a record (headline, member) and don’t allow duplicates.
    This second counter is not visible and it’s the one that is taken in consideration to be included in the daily newsletter or no.

  2. Tia Wood says:

    “This second counter is not visible and it’s the one that is taken in consideration to be included in the daily newsletter or no.”

    Great job and nice thinking!

  3. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Good morning Francois πŸ™‚

    That’s a great analysis, however I see two problems:

    First, why offer blocking of feeds when you also display a counter of clicks? These are two opposite, competing features that restrict visits to the 150 or so blog feeds. In other words, one cannot seriously calculate blog popularity when the feeds can be blocked and also the counter can be cheated πŸ˜‰

    Second, the logged in members, per this small experiment aren’t shown the 2nd counter you mentioned, but the artificial one.

    A domain blog valuation model like the one used by Domain Superstar is far more accurate in order to gauge blog popularity.

    I hope the Grinch didn’t upset you much πŸ˜€

  4. Francois says:

    Lucius,

    The availability to can block feed is by far the #1 improvement asked.
    Personally I was not very motivated to offer it but the lack of this feature caused some competing sites to emerge last year. So last January I decided to also offer the feature. But after 9 months I noticed how our implementation was not user friendly. Recently it has been improved and largely advertised to inform we also are offering this feature.
    If you look at the numbers of blocked feeds you will notice how it’s insignificant, what is 20 people that don’t want to see your feed when we have sevral thousands registered members?
    The problem it’s allways the same, when people are happy they never communicate and when they are unhappy they do the show. The few that wanted this feature have been harass me many times about and most of the time have been the ones complaining publicly about domaining.com in others places.
    But even if I was not very motivated by this idea I must say today it’s probably a good thing that each one may decide of the feeds he want see or ignore.

    Regarding the unused click counter that can be cheated:
    It’s very appreciated by everyone… I got many positive feedback.
    And who know, maybe the idea was simply to put this feature available for free for some time and remove it after to motivate our subscribers to purchase an annual premium membership?

    Bloggers valuation:
    The idea is not valuate bloggers by showing the headline clicks, it’s simply show the global interest for some headlines. When visible clicks ar not cheated, the info is accurate and of interest.
    I am not a supporter of blogger valuation, few days ago a sponsor contacted me saying he was willing to sponsor a contest with money prizes for award the best bloggers, I kindly declined his idea and ssuggested him domainers.us as I don’t want any competition between bloggers.
    Regarding DomainSuperstar, I am not sure that gauge the blogger popularity on Alexa rank be a good thing… Is DomainTools.com having the best blog of the community?

  5. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Francois, I am not concerned about the blocking of feeds, I am simply stating that to block feeds and display click counters are two opposite things that cancel each other. What’s the point of displaying clicks to the people that block half the feeds? Elliot even jokingly said he blocks every feed except his own πŸ˜€

    On the subject of faking the clicks, as you saw when you reset the article counters from the 5,000+ “clicks” it is possible. In other words, that number is of little value when it’s inaccurate, as it can’t be used as a metric of sponsored versus regular headlines. The experiment was simply to make you aware of the glitch, obviously. When Tia mentioned that it can be faked, it only took me 5 minutes to write a script that’d prove the concept.

    Yes, for our industry Alexa.com is a serious metric due to the spreading of users and visitors around the world, along with Google PR and other parameters. In order to accurately project blog popularity, one needs several types of metrics that must be compiled using some proprietary and non-biased formula – just like you do with domains at Valuate.com πŸ™‚

    And a final note to our readers: DomainGang is not a blog, it’s a domaining industry entertainment publication πŸ˜€ Just like Domaining.com is not an aggregator, it’s a domaining industry resource portal for business.

    Bed time for Lucious! πŸ˜€

  6. Francois says:

    I just disable this feature to the public and keep it active for premium members.
    When I will have some free time after the holidays I will better code it so it’s will be really much more difficult to fake them. Once updated I will maybe put it again available to all members.
    For the ones who loved this extra free feature and don’t want to pay the premium membership I will forward to you to complaint…. LOL

    In a side note, and after thinking about again your comment may have some logic (Oh my Lucius, you are so smart) . If the volume of bloked feed becomes significant it should make sense to reflect this fact in the clicks. But today it’s far to be the case.

    As you nicely told it I am not part of the ones for which metrics have no value, it’s really the inverse. Look at my old domainscore, my intent to certify premium names, … and now Valuate.com
    And regarding Alexa, even if it’s also a metric that can be fake and that is not allways 100% accurate, it’s statistically a good metric for traffic estimation. As a proof I have the toolbar for probably 10 years in my browser and I could not live without.
    I just wanted to outline that sometimes the blog is hosted within a site service so it’s impossible to estimate the real traffic the blog receive, the better sample was DomainTools.com

    Entertainment is a very complicated word for a Frenchy like me, if I don’t copy/paste the word I never remember how to spell it, so please find me a better term to classify your site πŸ™‚

    Friendly

  7. Elliot says:

    Was kidding about that – Domaining.com wouldn’t serve a purpose if I did that :).

    BTW, I don’t have the same Domaining.com click count cloud next to the posts as you – only on the back-end. Wonder if it’s not visible in Safari.

  8. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Elliot, that count was a front-end screenshot for logged in users; Francois removed the feature until the code is reworked on πŸ™‚

  9. Elliot says:

    I got that part, but I am logged in and haven’t seen that cloud before… I think it’s different in Safari.

  10. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    That feature – front-end display of clicks – remained active for 1 day until we started messing with its validity πŸ˜€

  11. Patrick McDermott says:

    “Bed time for Lucious!”

    You must be tired if you can’t spell your own name right…

    that is unless you meant “luscious” and were talking about Tia. πŸ™‚

  12. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    Who cares about an extra “o” πŸ˜€
    But you just made Giovanni – I mean, Tia – very happy with that reference.

  13. Tia Wood says:

    Why thank you, Patrick.

    Lucius, I care very much about an extra β€œo”. In fact, I aim for multiple β€œo”s!

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