Web Log Storming 2.7

Another Web Log Storming update is ready.

Search & replace for file names in Project Properties

This new feature you can use to rename accessed files however you wish them to appear in reports. One of uses involve grouping files.

In this image, you can see examples of grouping all *.gif images into single fictional /not_important file and all /image/* files into /any_image file.

Access methods introduced

From now on, in Hits report you can see which method web client used to access a file (GET, POST, HEAD, etc). Additionally, we added Method parameter under File parameters pane, so you can quickly check for any of methods. This is particularly useful for detecting hacker activity – you can now easily notice any suspicious POST access, which hackers often use when they are trying to upload malicious code to your website.

Other changes

Other changes in this version include:

+ Goals are clickable now in Overview report
& Search Engine detection only in domain
& Drill-down from Directory report: subdirectories are not excluded anymore
* “https” in referred URLs is correctly processed now
* Problem with quoted search phrases
* First goal was not visible on Overview report
* Crash when copying Overview report to clipboard in some cases
* Few other minor problems

Notice

This update is free to anyone who bought a license or update subscription within last two years (after Sep 3rd, 2010). Our standard policy is to give free updates for one year, but Web Log Storming wasn’t updated a lot during this year, so we felt it would be unfair for our users and decided to make an exception this time.

About Web Log Storming

Web Log Storming is an interactive, desktop-based web log analyzer for Windows. A whole new concept of website statistics makes it clearly different from any other web log analytics software. Browse through stats to drill down into details – down to an individual visitor’s session. Check the pattern of individual visitor behavior and how it fits into your goals.

Links:

Web Log Storming website
Download an update

Web Log Storming 2.6 and discount opportunity

As mentioned before, in 2009 we switched to subscription based upgrade policy. By buying a license or subscription extension you get free updates for one year. After that, you can continue using the last version you own (forever or for time being) or extend subscription right away. Because we wanted you to get used to this idea, we prolonged an implementation for a while, but now it’s time: version 2.6 won’t work if you bought your license before Sep 27, 2010.

If you update to v2.6 accidentally and you don’t wish to extend subscription, please bear in mind that this wasn’t our intention at all and that we took all reasonable measures to avoid such misunderstandings (blog, newsletter and a warnings throughout the application). In that case, you can download latest “last free for all v2.x customers” version from here.

Most important tangible change is introduction of Bounce rate metrics; now you can see how much visitors leave after visiting just one page. This metrics is included in the Overview report, but also on pages, referrer and search keywords reports. This way you can easily see how well specific page or referrer is performing.

Another important change is eliminating problems with Windows 7 64-bit. The problem didn’t happen on all systems and it was related to a third-party software protection system that we were using in combination with some anti-virus/firewall software. Well, it shouldn’t happen anymore, and if it does, by all means, please let us know. If your old registration data isn’t automatically updated, please try to enter your key again.

We also updated Operating System and Browser lists and fixed some cosmetic and minor bugs.

Facebook page and a discount

Several days ago we finally created a Facebook fan page. It still doesn’t contain much information and we are now awaiting more “Likes”. So, if you already like Web Log Storming, why wouldn’t you make it official? 🙂 In return, you will get a 20% discount for any of future purchases related to Web Log Storming (which includes new licenses and subscription extensions). This offer probably won’t be here forever, but once you get your coupon you will be able to use it anytime, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Web Log Storming website
Download an update
Facebook page

How to track AdWords campaign without using cookies

People often think that it’s not possible to track successfulness of marketing campaigns without using cookies and/or JavaScript, which isn’t true. I will explain how it can be done with our Web Log Storming, but maybe the similar results could be accomplished with some other web log analyzer. Also, even though the example shows AdWords, you can track any other advertising results in a same way.

Setting up an AdWords campaign

The goal is to somehow differentiate visitors that came from different AdWords campaigns, groups and/or ads. It’s quite easy, actually, as only thing you need to do is to append some query text to Destination URL like this:

If you append “?anything” to URLs (including question mark, without quotes), this information will be included in server log files, while visitors will see the same content as if query is not there. For different campaigns and ad variations append slightly different query, for example:

  • http://www.mywebsite.com/?adw=test1
  • http://www.mywebsite.com/?adw=test2

Use it in Web Log Storming

After traffic starts coming in, Web Log Storming will be able to analyze this information and include it in reports. Easiest way to this is to enter “adw=*” into Parameters | File | Query field (note there is no question mark here). You can also use Lock button to keep this filter active as you switch reports.

Custom variables in Web Log Storming

While this parameter (filter) is active, any report that you select will be based on AdWords visitors only, making it easy for you to see how they perform.

Another tool that you might want to use is View | Based on IP only main menu option. If you select it, sessions from the same IP will be grouped as one, allowing you to examine it as a returning visitor.

Going further – using Goals

If you use Professional edition, you can also define Goals important for your business. Please read this article to learn how to do that.

With two Goals defined, this is what you’ll get if you choose Queries report:

Query Count Goal1 % Goal2 %
adw=test2 68 45 66.18% 8 11.76%
adw=test1 27 3 11.11% 27 100%

As you can see, for each defined AdWords destination URL (campaign, group or ad), you get metrics that show how they perform against specific goals. In this example, campaign Test1 works perfectly for Goal2, while Test2 works better for Goal1.

How accurate is this?

As you might know, identifying visitors by IP might not be perfect. There is no guarantee that visitor will have same IP next time he visits website, and there is no guarantee that he’s the only one using this IP (proxies). However, I must argue that cookies are not perfect for this job either. For example, visitors can allow session cookies only, automatically clear cookies after closing a browser or block cookies and/or JavaScript completely.

Anyway, we are all probably sure that less people use proxies these days than few years ago, more people are on a broadband with fixed IP addresses and more people intentionally block cookies and analytics scripts. In other words, try this and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Web Log Storming 2.5, some important information

As you might know, we have released Web Log Storming v2.5 a day ago. This post is a follow up that explains few important changes.

Update Subscription

Even though we’ve switched to optional yearly update policy starting with v2.0 (as it is and was indicated on the purchase page), we have decided to prolong activating it for a while. Main reason for waiting was to give you, especially to v1.x users, some additional time to get used to the idea.

Now that time has come. Version 2.5 now informs user about date when free updates period ends (see Help | About), but it will never cease to work. Next version, however, will cease to work for those who bought their licenses more than a year ago. You’ll have three options:

  • Continue using the last version that you are eligible to, forever, or until you eventually decide that improvements are beneficial enough for your needs
  • Buy an update subscription for another year (for about 40% of full license price)
  • Buy a lifetime update subscription (for full license price)

Of course, in case you decide to extend subscription months or years after the original one expired, your new free updates period starts from the date of the new purchase. On the other hand, if you decide to extend it before current one expires, new period will not start until the original expiration date.

Important: as version 2.5 is the last version that will be free forever for all v2.x users, we strongly suggest you to install it.

Spider detection

If you often use View | Human option, you might suddenly notice dramatically reduced number of visitors. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that your business is going downhill. 🙂 We’ve implemented smarter algorithm to detect which visitors / domains are behaving like spiders.

It would be easier for analysis if spiders and bots followed few simple rules: introduce themselves as such in User agent field, read and respect robots.txt file, etc. Although some do (like Google, Yahoo and similar legitimate spiders), some don’t care and/or are trying to full us in different ways (“referrer spam”, for example).

This more advanced algorithm tries to figure out if certain domains and visitors don’t behave like human beings. For example, if you get lots of hits on small number of different files from a single domain on regular basis over the time, it’s most probably a bot. Of course, exceptions are always possible (false negatives and false positives), but we think that we’ve managed to reduce mistakes significantly compared to previous version.

That said, if you notice some obvious false positive/negative, feel free to let us know. We will analyze these sessions and see what we can do to improve the detection further.

Links: