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4:49 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Probably not the place for this but this area of the forum tends to get more UK answers there is a surprise.
So what do you use to translate log files into hard stats.
We use webtrends but think that it is not very reliable does anyone else think the same.
Had any experiences that makes them think it is not right.

Can anyone recommend any other ways of interpreting the data from log files...


7:05 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a love/hate relationship with Webtrends. There are many nice features and many lacking.

To back up Webtrends we run our own analysis routines looking for spiders and better engine analysis. In particular, we like to know which pages are found in which engines for which keywords - something I've never managed to get WT to do.

WT also manages occasionally to report referrers that don't exist in the log files. I've given up trying to work that one out. ;) I've cross-checked reports regularly but I've never found serious problems with its reliability, just a few glitches here and there.


7:28 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

Tough to say! Webtrends tends to stick to graphically representing 2 or 3 US engines - even WPG will pick up AV UK and Lycos UK on the individual search terms. Here in the UK (or any other regional search engine) I am unaware of any other method of finding results apart from examination of the log files. If anyone knows anything else then please let me know.


7:58 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One very good and configurable tool for analysing raw logs is Analog (free) at [analog.cx]

You have to play with the config files to get all of the info you need, but you should be able to isolate referrers well enough to separate all of the UK engines from their US counterparts. Although the output is not as pretty as WT, you can load it into a spreadsheet or database and continue processing from there.


8:28 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I use FastStats.

The search engine section is limited, but the "referring domains" and "referring pages" reports are much more detailed. When I export the report as a CSV file and use a spreadsheet for further analysis I can really zero in on a lot of valuable information. The referrals reports retain the URL for each referring page, so all the regional search engines pop right out.

Unfortunately the "referring domains" report doesn't pick up search terms, since it was written to pick all kinds of links, and not just search engines. But by knowing what to look for, I can then search the raw files as I need to.

FastStats has some good user defined filters, such as include OR exclude by IP OR domain -- with wildcards. So I can often zero in on what I need to know.

It's a good product for the money, and it really is FAST. But there are still frustrating limitations and potentially misleading numbers -- especially with the hits from proxy servers like AOLSearch or Deutsche Telekom, or the image requests coming from Google's cached page.

I've been wondering if WebTrends plus FastStats might not be a good way to go -- I could compare two different snapshots of the same log file. But WT costs a lot more and I'm on a low budget at present.


9:03 pm on Sep 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just came across this free Perl analyzer [lambda.nic.fi] with specialized features we all could use. The complex configuration options make it somewhat overwhelming, but those who are comfortable with Perl and *nix should definetely look at it.

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