I promised several of you that I’d give a final update on statistics, now that the diary’s ended. It’s been two-and-a-half years since I last gave a detailed update, so let’s so what’s changed…

Diary, Encyclopedia and annotations

The complete Diary had 3,434 entries posted over its nine years and five months, and it has accumulated 58,603 annotations. That’s an average of 17 annotations per Diary entry, a figure that’s shrunk over time (it was 19 in January 2010 and 20 in July 2008).

Here’s a tiny graph showing the number of annotations posted over the past four months, which makes the end of the Diary quite obvious:

Graph showing recent annotations on the Diary

The Encyclopedia now has 4,790 topics and has 9,425 annotations, an average of about two per topic. Here’s a graph of those over the past four months:

Graph showing recent annotations on the Encyclopedia

Of those 4,790 topics, 2,694 are people and some of them have the small portrait images that appear over their links in Diary entries. Here’s an image which shows all the people who do (and don’t) have their own portrait (click to see it bigger):

People with portraits in the Diary

More than half of the 4,790 Encyclopedia topics, 2,549, contain content from Wikipedia.

In-Depth Articles has 256 comments and Site News has 1,297. Added to the 4 annotations in Letters that makes a total of 69,585 across the whole site.

There are now something like 56,642 hyperlinks between words in Diary entries and topics in the Encyclopedia.

Visitors, page views etc

Looking at April 2012 (as May was unusual), the site had 57,397 Visits from 28,297 Unique Visitors (i.e., different people), resulting in 134,723 Page Views. The average visit duration was 3m 11s. Of those Visits, 44.44% were “new” (i.e., people who hadn’t been before).

Looking at the data since 16 November 2005 (the earliest I have Google Analytics data for), it’s surprising how consistent every one of these measures has been. There has perhaps been a very gradual reduction over time, but it’s hardly noticeable.

Here are two graphs, showing the changes over time (click for larger versions):

Unique Visitors, by week (see also by day or by month):

Unique Visitors per week

Pageviews, by week (see also by day or by month):

Pageviews per week

(The drop to zero in 2007 is due to a technical error, probably on my part.)

Here’s a map showing where Visits have come from since 16 November 2005 (5,034,512 Visits):

Visits map

This table shows the top 25 countries in terms of number of Visits, again since 16 November 2005:

Visits table

I think this table shows that around 48% of visits were one-offs, with that person not returning. But we can also see that nearly 40% of people visited 9 or more times. (I’m a bit hazy about this table, so I may be misinterpreting it.)

Count of visits table

This chart shows where people came to the site from, since 16 November 2005. I think Direct Traffic is people visiting from a bookmark or typing in the URL, while Referral Traffic is people following a link from somewhere other than a search engine (which is Search Traffic):


Here are the top 25 things people searched for on search engines to get here (numbers in brackets are the number of visits for that search term during since 16 November 2005):

  1. samuel pepys (169,964)
  2. pepys diary (111,732)
  3. samuel pepys diary (77,251)
  4. pepys (69,504)
  5. diary (42,916)
  6. [not provided] (26,302)
  7. the diary of samuel pepys (10,816)
  8. diary of samuel pepys (10,408)
  9. samuel+pepys (9,985)
  10. pepysdiary (9,662)
  11. pepysdiary.com (8,452)
  12. www.pepysdiary.com (7,476)
  13. diary entries (6,257)
  14. diary entry (4,915)
  15. pepys diary online (4,888)
  16. whitehall palace (4,845)
  17. pepys+diary (4,686)
  18. samuel peeps (4,598)
  19. cuckold (3,53)
  20. my wife (3,314)
  21. samuel pepys diaries (3,203)
  22. pepys’ diary (3,002)
  23. lady castlemaine (2,984)
  24. pepys diaries (2,747)
  25. elizabeth pepys (2,705)

Here’s a chart of which web browsers have been most popular for visiting the site over the first half of 2012:

Browsers 2012

And, because web browsers have changed over the years, I collated the same chart for every year from 2005 and made this graph. I ended up omitting most of the browsers that were clustered at or below the 1% share mark, leaving the four most popular:

Browsers graph

(2005 is only based on 16 November to 31 December, and 2012 is based on 1 January to 4 July.)

RSS feeds and email

Next, a summary of how many people read the site via RSS or email (possibly in addition to on the web). The main Diary feed has 1,990 subscribers, the Story So Far feed has 85 subscribers, the Encyclopedia 78 subscribers, Site News 110 and In-Depth Articles 54. By the end of the Diary 391 people were receiving the entries by email.

These are mostly quite a bit lower than in 2010 and this graph, showing the number of subscribers to the Diary feed since October 2007 does look a bit strange:

RSS graph

I’ve no idea why things changed so much from 2011, including one big sudden drop in March 2011.


The number of people following @samuelpepys continued to grow steadily, right up to the end of the Diary, and he currently has 31,398 followers. I suspect that there isn’t much overlap between the people who followed the fragments of Sam’s diary on Twitter, and those of you who read the full diary entries via this site.

And that’s it! If there are any other figures you’re interested in which I haven’t covered, let me know and I’ll see what I can dig out.


First Reading

Linda F  •  Link

Phil, Thank you for this, and again for all that you have done, and particularly for making the idea -- whenever and however it struck you -- the reality that all of us have shared.

John M. Nightingale  •  Link

Whot say, everybody? Look at those stats.; there are enough of us here. Phil has been grinding away at this for ten years. Let's put Phil up for an M.B.E.

made a difference to their community or field of work?
brought distinction to British life and enhanced its reputation?
exemplified the best sustained and selfless voluntary service?
demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship?
carried the respect of their peers?

[ http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/gover… ]

Phil fits!

John M. Nightingale

Katherine  •  Link

Can an US citizen influence the M.B.E. list? If so, I'll join the campaign. As you can see from the date of my post, I am still clicking on my Pepys bookmark over a month after he stopped writing. I hope the annotations will never stop.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Phil, as one who requested the data, thank you for organizing and posting these.

John M. Nightingale , I'm with Katherine!!

nix  •  Link

Fascinating data. Someone will slice and dice it into a master's thesis someday.

Teresa Forster  •  Link

Thank you, Phil. How lovely to enter the site again for old time's sake and, yet again, find something new to ponder.

john  •  Link

If you use cookies to determine unique visits then take that portion cum grano salis. I set my browser to discard most cookies upon completion.

And, honestly, I cannot imagine anyone visiting only once!

Clement  •  Link

If the one-time visitors are measured by non-recurring IP address then I am responsible for some number of them myself, as I travel for work and pleasure, and with the diary as my home page for nine years have visited from many different IP addresses.

I expect that there are many others with similar visiting habits, so john's caveat is appropriate. The grad student that Nix mentioned would have to control for those behaviors.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Yes, of course, this is all just raw data pulled from Google Analytics. I expect the effects of bots of various kinds skew the results even more than the few people who disable cookies or view the site while frequently travelling!

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wish we had a "like" button, because so often I see things on the site which I want to endorse without writing a duplicating screed. That Phil deserves official commendation for such a labor of love is still true. THANK YOU.

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