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Awate.com’s Performance According To Google Analytics

Over the last few years, google Analytics has improved so much that managing and studying the statistics has become a task on its own. Though we looked at it lightly for many years, we never used it extensively due to access and other technical problems that we encountered. But since March of this year, when awate 7.0 was launched, we are using it extensively to help us get insights about the visitors of awate.com, their geographical location, their ages, the type of device they use to access the website, the time and day of the week they visit, their behavior, and many other indicators that help us plan to deliver our content effectively and efficiently.

pageviews-by-contentIn reality, such tools of information are supposed to be internal, management tools not meant for public consumption. But this time, we decided to share this information with our readers, if not for anything else, to satisfy their curiosity, and help them know how their favorite website if doing and so that they relate to the general readership of awate.com. Please note that we will not commit to reporting such statistics on a regular basis.

Generally traffic is slow during the summer, but this year, it has been somewhat close to the traffic volume of the other months.

Age_gender_titleThis report contains information collected since 7.0 was launched in February 2014. While most of the stats cover the period from March 30 – August 31, 2014, others cover the period from March 1 – to August 31, 2014.

Overall, the number of new visitors to the website has been steadily increasing and for the reported period, it amounted to 27% compared to 83% returning visitors. We will work hard to maintain the flow of new visitors to achieve even a larger coverage.

We feel some of the salient facts that you will discover in this report are surprising! How many of you can guess the female/male ratio of the visitors of awate.com?

The gender percentage of awate.com visitors is: females, 45.85% and males, 54.15%.

Another promising and significant information is the age segments of visitors: 61% of our visitors are under 35 years of age (18-24 years: 27.5%; and 25-34 years: 33.5%). 55 years and above make only 11% of our visitors.

awate-by-region_and_deviceBut the most significant fact in this report is that during the last six months (March 1, 2014 – Aug. 31, 2014), awate.com served 2,199,316 pages, and its visitors had a total of 1,087,271 sessions (March 30-Aug. 31, 2014).

Visitors to awate.com are spread over 53 countries (during the covered period); they live in all time zones and continents—that is excellent for the spread of traffic because when some are sleeping others are surfing the website, and that helps ease the pressure on our server and helps the speed of the website. Details of the 53 countries is shown in the table below, and here is the monthly breakdown of the Pageviews:

March   390, 657
April      364, 836
May        417, 461
June       370, 114
July         334, 977
August    321, 271
Total:      2,199, 316 pageviews

hourofday_week_sessionSite speed is also of great importance to us and we are very careful not to upload large files and images taking into consideration the difficulties that our visitors from countries with slow Internet connections and bandwidth limitations may face. This page, for example contains many images and though the images are purposely made with low resolution,  it will take a longtime to load in places like Eritrea. Still, with all of that, countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia have extremely slow connections compared to many countries. Sudan has the best connection compared to the countries of our region.

Here are the six slowest and six fastest countries and the average page load time in seconds (this applies to awate.com only)

The Slowest Countries

Eritrea: 238.67 sec.
Sierra Leone: 160.38 sec.
Algeria: 138.19 sec.
Ethiopia: 100.29 sec.
China: 79.51 sec.
Sudan: 69.96 sec.

The Fastest Countries

Hungary: 3.68 sec.
Taiwan: 4.55 sec.
Switzerland: 5.48 sec.
Sweden: 6.14 sec.
Spain: 6.96 sec.
Singapore: 7.18 sec.

pageviews-by-countryCompare the above speed to that of the USA, where most of the visitors of awate.com are; the average page loading time in the USA is 8.73 seconds, just slower than that of Mexico, Canada and Japan respectively.

Thanks to google Analytics which provides us with a myriad of tools to measure our performance, we are able to gauge the preferences and problems in any part of the world.

awate-by-browserOn this occasion, we in the Awate Team would like to thank all our visitors for giving us their trust and for being loyal to this website, and we thank the team of columnists and featured writers who regularly enrich awate.com with invaluable content. We would also like to thank all members of the Awate Forum for making this website lively with their passionate and intelligent debates—all the goal of seeing a free, prosperous Eritrea that is at peace with itself and at peace with all its neighbors.

Thank you all.

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  • Rodab

    Good day AT,

    Nice statistics.
    Where there is no sales and the culture of it, GA has no business generating info but it would be interesting to see the statistics zoomed-in on Eritrea. What number of people have regular internet access? Using what device? well that one we can guess. And when they access it, what is their primary goal and what site(s) do they visit…what time of the day is popular? Obviously whenever electricity is present is the only time:-)..what information would people be most eager to read? What’s the breakdown on gender, age, religion, region, class (warsay? yikaalo?)…

    Of the GA statistics above, what surprised me most was the number of visitors from East Africa, a mere under 5%! True, I didn’t expect it to be not far behind the West, but I didn’t think it would sink that low. Not sure what percentage of that belongs to Eritrea. Let’s say of all Awate visitors, 3% are from inside Eritrea. It is scary! Opposition radios, I think, do better but the overall picture is bleak. The 3-5% visitorship likely represents the level of info penetration into Eritrea from outside using all forms – internet, radio, tv, print. This very poor performance might be the main reason people inside the country are stack in stagnation and with no change in sight. In a country where information is rationed by the State media, what percentage of the public does have the basic understanding of where the country is? Does the fact that they are living it make them sufficiently-informed by default? No. They know things are bad. They know folks are fleeing. They can see it, they can feel it, they can hear it. But the regime controls information and constantly tells them that the troubles are due to conspiracy of enemy countries which will be rebuffed out to prosperity. What they lack is the other side of the story, the more accurate story, which is the regime is 90% responsible for all the miseries people are going through. This is what the alternative diaspora media is trying to tell the public with unimpressive success. Over the past decade and half, if we had traded what we’ve been doing [the formation of opposition groups, organizing meetings, demos, petitions….] in favor of what we didn’t do [strengthen media and information channeling into Eritrea], change wouldn’t have become long overdue.

  • Dear Yoni,
    DIA or his regime doesn’t do that with the Internet only, look at the economy foe example, it is slower than the Internet connection.

  • Dear Elenta,
    You don’t need to “know how AT comes with…” the figures because we didn’t. Google did. The charts and stats are copied from google Analytic.

    Dominica and St. Grenadine? Who wouldn’t! But sometimes one recognizes how the Internet has changed communication.

    Many times we are fascinated when we see a dozen people are already reading an article published a minute ago!

  • Samuel N.

    Thanks for making the info. available!! I’ll update Awate.com information on my page soon (http://dissidentdiaries.wordpress.com/dissident-links/).

    I must say I find it difficult to believe the high ratio of Females, maybe husbands are using their wife’s laptops at home 🙂
    Some interesting statistics from top of my mind:
    How well do you think the age distribution of your visitors correlate to age distribution of Eritrean refugees?
    I did not get the weekly and hourly breakdowns’ x-axis, but I’m assuming the weekends are the busiest, how related is that to when you post new posts (or advertise posts on Facebook and so on?).

    Another important factor, most people in 3rd world use internet cafes where as in the developed world people have personal computers (my assumption), that might influence the visitor:visit (visits:sessions) ratio when comparing countries.

    • Dear Samuel,

      Unfortunately we cannot give more you information than what we already have because the stats are not public information.

      Your suspicion that men might be using their wives’ devices is hilarious. It would have been nice if someone would explain the correlation of age distribution of refugees in relation to visitors of awate.com. All we have now is speculations. Don’t also forget that our readership is not limited to Eritreans.

      The fact that most visitors in the Third World use Internet Cafe’s is true, but we cannot be sure if that is the case with certainty.

    • saay7

      Hi Samuel:

      Google Analytics launched its demographics report (age, gender, interest/lifestyle) in Q4 of 2013. Is it reliable? The answer on whether Google Analytics is reliable is found in….Google Search.

      Just search “Is google analytics demographics data reliable?” and you will find the answer. Of course, if you are a cynic, you may consider the possibility that Google search gives premium to all the positive reports on Google Analytics:) But assuming it doesn’t, the studies that have been done so far show that:

      (a) its age/gender breakdown is reliable: as reliable as those of professional marketers who actually do a survey;
      (b) the interest category…um, the jury is still out, which is why we didn’t include it. Moreover the percentages don’t even add up to 20% which means they don’t know the interest category of 80% of awate readers. (for the record, “sports” and “electronics” are the leaders.

      It is unlikely that a man using his wife’ laptop would sway the report because it is not based on an IP or Mac address. It is based on your search patterns (what do you search on google) along with the data that the thousands of Google partners feed google. Of course, the best way to validate the data is to see if they got YOU write (were they able to guess your gender, your age and your interest)…and you can, by following this link. You just have to make sure that you are logged in to your gmail or youtube account. Don’t have gmail account? That doesn’t stop them because they have google apps for yahoo, hotmail…

      http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2014/01/google-analytics-demographics/

      You asked about the day and hour.

      Day: First thing you need is an explanation: in Google World, the week starts with a Sunday (0) and ends with a Saturday (6). So, Tuesday is the busiest, followed closely by Monday and Wednesday, then Thursday Friday. Then over the weekends (day 0 and day 6) it slows down.

      Hour: This is based on our setting, Pacific Standard Time (California.) The busiest is at noon, followed by 1:00 pm, then 11:00 am, etc. Some of the hours are not listed because they don’t even register (it is Australia time:)

      There is a wild discrepancy between what GA says about awate website and what Facebook says about Awate Facebook site. And since Zuckerberg has gotten a clever way of getting people to voluntarily give up more and more of their privacy by reminding them to “complete their profile” and since Facebook crawlers get even more of their information about us from what we post on our walls (It’s my birthday! Happy Friday! I need a chiropractor), and since he as made it abundantly clear that those who think he will protect their privacy are suckers, I would consider Google Insights highly reliable too. My conclusion is that while our website has a balanced male/female ratio; our FB page heavily skews towards males, and a much younger audience.

      Incidentally, I will snag an image of what Google Analytics says about my personal use and, yep, they got me down to my interests:) Shut up, Eyob 🙂

      saay

      • saay7

        saay GA profile.

        • Samuel N.

          Thank you Saay7 for the detailed explanation. this explains a lot!
          I simply raised things I thought were interesting (partly I was thinking loud). Regarding the Female ratio, I have absolutely no data except that it “feels” like the discussions and contributions are dominated by men (in Awate and elsewhere in Eritrean cyber space). But as you say Google Analytics are really good at what they do. thanks again.

  • senay

    Thanks for the information AT. This is very interesting statistical distribution. There are two things that standout for me. The first one is, Eritrean women readership on the site is almost comparable to men. This is a great news and a positive trend that needs to be continuously encouraged.
    The second one the distribution of the awate visitors. The numbers from north Africa and southern Europe is very disappointing. There are high concentration of young Eritreans on these two regions. So I am not sure what attributes to the low turn out. The possible suspect is, their understanding of the english language is low. Equally, if awate provides the same level of content in tigrinia or other languages, will the stats improve? I doubted. But I can not blame it to lack of access to internet because they update their facebook every minute.
    The number of visitors from south Africa and Australia is also interesting. These two countries use english as their official language and access to internet is not limited. May be that the Eritrean population is low compared to other part of the world.

    Senay,

    • Dear Senay,

      Could it be that those in South America and Southern Europe are mostly on transit, maybe language barrier? But that assumption also neglects the fact that our readership are not limited to Eritreans. Could it be the language barrier?

      We have a long standing plan (now a dream) of having a Tigrinya and Arabic sections; but we are not doing it if we cannot maintain the same quality of the English page. Maybe sometime in the future.

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