Google Secrets: Awstats Reports

Have you ever wanted to see where your competitors get their traffic from? Well now you can. In this article I will teach you how to find your competitors’ Awstats Reports and how to analyze them and utilize their most successful traffic generation methods.

The Google Search

The Awstats statistics application uses the file name awstats.pl and the title of an Awstats report starts with ‘Statistics of’ so to find all of the Awstats reports indexed by Google you search for (inurl:awstats.pl intitle:”Statistics of”). After completing the search Google tells us there are 27,100 results, that’s a whopping 27,100 Awstats reports we could look at. It would be too hard to look through all of them so we should refine our search.

Many of the 27,100 results are not in English so we will instead search for (inurl:awstats.pl intitle:”Statistics of” intitle:com|org|net|biz|info), now there is 6,940 results which are mainly in English. What I did there was make sure the domain is of a common TLD, not a country specific TLD like .cn .it .cz etc.

Finally we can add a broad keyword to the search to get more relevant results – (inurl:awstats.pl intitle:”Statistics of” intitle:com|org|net|biz|info games). This won’t give 100% relevant results but you get the idea.

Navigating the Report

Many of the search results lead to URLs such as http://www.backupzone.org/stats/awstats.pl?output=allkeyphrases%E2%8C%A9=de, to reach the main Awstats report you simply remove the variables from the URL except for the optional ‘config’ variable. For this URL there is no ‘config’ variable to we remove everything after the question mark – http://www.backupzone.org/stats/awstats.pl.

Once you’re at the main section of the report everything is quite self-explanatory, you can see; the daily and monthly traffic, the visitor locations, which pages are accessed most often, the browsers and operating systems of the visitors, and most importantly the traffic sources.

Using the Report

For the sake of example we will use the Awstats report of OnlinePot.org. The website is about Medical Marijuana, the reason that it’s a good example is that it gets 3000+ uniques per day. Following is how to use the report –

  • Pages-URL (Top 20) – Here you can see which of their pages are most popular, this shows you exactly what the visitors want to see. If you create similar pages offering the visitors exactly what they want they are likely to visit your site if you tell them about it.
  • Links from an external page – Here you can see the external websites which link to this website. Backlinks are not only important for targetted traffic but also to increase search engine rankings, so backlinks increase traffic directly and indirectly. If your own website is of high quality and a similar topic, you can email the people who link to the website you are analysing and ask them for a link to your website and there is a high chance they will do so.
  • Search Keyphrases (Top 20) – If your competitors are receiving traffic for a certain keyword that is proof that the keyword is worth ranking for. You can find out how competitive each keyword is by searching for the keyword in quotation marks in Google and checking how many results are returned.

    For the example report I linked to above their top keyword is ‘Marijuana Games’ so you search Google for (“Marijuana Games”), this returns 5780 results. 5780 is not many competitors and for 1000 visitors per month it is worth putting in the effort to rank for that keyword. After checking their second keyword (“Marijuana Songs”) we can see that there is only 1500 competitors for this keyword which also brings 1000 searchers per month – great, another keyword to target!
Hopefully with the help of your competitors Awstats reports you can find some great backlinks and also some great keywords to target. Also I hope this article helps you to think outside of the usual Google keyword search, Google has a lot more to offer if you know how to find it.

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