Friday, August 8, 2014

Counting the udders on the bull

There was a tale that was often told of a city boy that went to stay on a farm in West Wales. The farmer sent the boy out to fetch a pail of milk. The boy was gone for hours and came back with just a tiny bit in the bottom of the bucket. The old farmer questioned him as to why it had taken so long to get such a tiny specimen and was told that the cow in the shed only had one udder. Needless to say, the farmer had a good laugh at the boy's expense.

Today a friend was looking curiously at her Adsense account and with awe at the rapidly mounting hits on her youtube channel as well as at the rapidly climbing hits on her website. There's an increasing disparity between the amount of hits and the money generated by Adsense. This is something I notice also but what could be the problem?

As stated a few days ago, every single counter on the internet is suspect. The only counter that is true is money in the bank. If at the end of a year, Adsense pays out $100 or more then combined, websites, blogs and youtube have generated $100 worth of traffic. If at the end of a year the counters are at 1,000 and the income is $100 then that means that the combined blogs, youtube and websites have generated $100. If at the end of the year the counters are over 10,000,000 and the income is $100 then that means that the combined blogs, youtube and websites have generated $100.

The figures as to how many people have viewed a website or blog etc and how many have watched youtube videos for the entire length of the video are suspect to say the least. Indeed, looking at the counters really is like trying to milk the bull. I am reminded of my Statistics and Operational Research lectures when I was a student. During that course we studied the science of Probability. I remember calling that - to general agreement from the whole class including the lecturer - the study of total baloney.

What do these wonderful statistics actually mean? They take lots of time and effort to study before eventually deciding that they mean nothing. As I wrote a few days ago, I stopped advertising online and in the Yellow Pages when my photography business had no takers. The website figures were out of this world but there were no tangible visitors. Only a fool tries to count the udders on a bull.

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