How do you know if someone bookmarks your site?

  • dr nick
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • dr nick
  • Posts: 263
  • Loc: Frankfurt

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi!

Not sure if this is the right place to put this topic, but I was wondering if I could find out how many people bookmark my sites?

I know that a webstats program which reads from the server log file reports how many people bookmarked, but I don't know how it does this, and whether I could do the same and actually identify which individual pages ware bookmarked.

Thanks for any help!
  • Anonymous
  • Bot
  • No Avatar
  • Posts: ?
  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

  • lostinbeta
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1402
  • Loc: Philadelphia, PA

Post 3+ Months Ago

As far as I know you cannot do this from a webpage.
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

you might be able to log keystrokes and find how many people hit ctrl+b but thats a looooooooooooooooooooooooo..........oooooooo........oooooooooong shot.
  • dr nick
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • dr nick
  • Posts: 263
  • Loc: Frankfurt

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm. So how does the stats program I use report the % of people who bookmark? All I feed it is my weblog.

Maybe it just "guesses" depending on the number of direct hits to a webpage?
  • lostinbeta
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1402
  • Loc: Philadelphia, PA

Post 3+ Months Ago

I can honestly say I have never seen a stats program that logs how many people saved your site as a favorites. I can also honestly say that I would be interested in knowing this if it is possible.
  • dr nick
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • dr nick
  • Posts: 263
  • Loc: Frankfurt

Post 3+ Months Ago

I use AWSTATS which reports a %, and also I know that http://www.hitboxcentral.com reports whether or not people used bookmarks to visit your site.

So either they are both guessing on the use of bookmarks by looking at whether or not people typed in a direct url to get to your page, or there is a specific data format written into the log file.
  • teyjohn
  • Beginner
  • Beginner
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 51
  • Loc: Singapore

Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe... an applet that take counts of <CTRL-B> and print them out to the label....

^_^
  • cloud^77
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 20

Post 3+ Months Ago

I am a newbie here, just wanna give an opinion too...heheh..
What about from clicks?
For example, you put a link where if people click on the link, they bookmark your site, so you can count the clicks. :)
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

well that would work, but I think he is trying to figure out how is logging program does that.

Dr. Nick - Do you have a section of the log we could have a look see at or anything?
  • dr nick
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • dr nick
  • Posts: 263
  • Loc: Frankfurt

Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm pretty sure its not in the log file itself (i.e., there isn't a special code for when someone does an "add to your favorites" command).

You can see what I mean with the bookmark reporting: scroll to the end of this stats page for the program that I use:

http://awstats.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/awstats.pl

At least, on that page they write "estimated" for their 'add to favorites' field, so I guess that must be it, somehow they estimate a value when they think someone comes direct from a bookmark.

I think I'll just add a javascript 'add to your bookmarks' link on my page, and just count that ;)
  • MacLuv
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • MacLuv
  • Posts: 19

Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm not 100% on this, but i think it has something to do with the HTTP_REFERER environment variable. That will be able to tell you if your page was accessed with a bookmark. To determine unique vistors that have a bookmark set, could you set up a cookie? Only unique bookmarked hits would increment the counter you set.

But i'm just making stabs. Try this link for starters:

http://perl.about.com/library/weekly/aa090303a.htm

Johnny :)
  • philoneous
  • Born
  • Born
  • philoneous
  • Posts: 2
  • Loc: deep in the forests of the northland

Post 3+ Months Ago

try this script described at :
http://www.perpetualpc.net/srtd_bkmrk.html
it works quite well for me. You can adjust what it leaves in or takes out by changing the values in the first grep that takes out search engines. It essentially takes out all ( well most ) entries that don't come from search engines and returns only unique ip addresses so you don't have to search through thousands of entries. If you use this each month you can tell if your site is gaining popularity or loosing. For example, mine gets about 10 new users each day. Just compare the number of unique hits you get in each monthly file. If you leave the script intact you will have a consistent reference point to compare each result. At the end of the year you can run the script on the whole 12 months. This works on Linux and possibly unix, I haven't tested it yet on BSD. If you are using windows, I don't know what to tell you except maybe try Linux or Unix you might like it.
  • Axe
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5739
  • Loc: Sub-level 28

Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, basically it determines a rough guess as to how many people have added you to their bookmarks based upon the number of people visiting, how many visits each of those people make to your site, the referrer that they initially came from...

Remember those entering your URL manually, or those clicking non-referrable links (such as those in E-Mails in Outlook & other E-Mail clients), are going to show up as "direct/bookmark" links and will throw this guesstimate off.
  • philoneous
  • Born
  • Born
  • philoneous
  • Posts: 2
  • Loc: deep in the forests of the northland

Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the last post was directed at me. Thank you for the info; it is much appreciated. I'll be working on the script to try to improve it with your comments in mind.
  • Axe
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5739
  • Loc: Sub-level 28

Post 3+ Months Ago

Was just generally directed at anybody interested in scripts that estimate how many bookmarks you've had :)
  • Rabid Dog
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 3245
  • Loc: South Africa

Post 3+ Months Ago

I would try tracking the keystrokes from the browser and opening an new window saying thank you or book marking this page. when the new page opens a i would have php write to a log file and increment a counter.

The only problem is : how many people use the short cut key.

is there not an event that fires when the browser marks the page or is told to mark the page?
  • Carnix
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1098

Post 3+ Months Ago

You could do this, then entice people to click the link instead of just adding the bookmark manually. Then just track how many sessions were started with that in the QueryString (I don't know if your stats system can do that... I use WebTrends which has some pretty sophisticated tracking tools).

Code: [ Select ]
<script LANGUAGE="JavaScript" TYPE="text/javascript">
function addBookmark(){
url = 'http://www.domain.com/?bookmark=1';
title = 'Bookmark Title';
window.external.AddFavorite(url,title);
}
</script>
  1. <script LANGUAGE="JavaScript" TYPE="text/javascript">
  2. function addBookmark(){
  3. url = 'http://www.domain.com/?bookmark=1';
  4. title = 'Bookmark Title';
  5. window.external.AddFavorite(url,title);
  6. }
  7. </script>


Only works in IE, of course (as far as I know, anyway). But still. At least that way, you could narrow it down even more. I don't really know... I don't use CTRL-B to bookmark a page, I just use the menu usually. I would guess most people don't use CTRL-B... I mean, my wife copies and pastes using the Edit menu... (it's painful to watch... heh)

.c
  • Carnix
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1098

Post 3+ Months Ago

Rabid Dog wrote:
is there not an event that fires when the browser marks the page or is told to mark the page?


No. If it happens outside the HTML window, JavaScript can't see it happening. If there is a way, it's an exploit. Java, when part of a website, isn't supposed to be able to see anything more than that either (same goes for flash and ActiveX). BUT. There isn't any reason why you couldn't write an ActiveX or Java applet that does it. The use would be prompted before they installed it though... Personally, I find any site that trys to get me to install something pretty suspect.

The shortest answer to this question is... No. There's no way to tell out-of-the-blue traffic apart, and there isn't any white-hat way around it.

.c
  • tangent
  • Born
  • Born
  • tangent
  • Posts: 3

Post 3+ Months Ago

Somewhat belatedly, sorry.

dr nick wrote:
You can see what I mean with the bookmark reporting: scroll to the end of this stats page for the program that I use:

http://awstats.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/awstats.pl

At least, on that page they write "estimated" for their 'add to favorites' field, so I guess that must be it, somehow they estimate a value when they think someone comes direct from a bookmark.


I think awstats counts the number of favicon.ico requests that don't occur within 10 seconds of the first hit from any particular site.

favicon is the icon that optionally replaces the standard one in your list of favorites. IE only asks for the icon when you add a bookmark to your favorites, but Navigator asks for the favicon on the first visit to a site, so awstats has to interpret the real bookmark requests based on the speed with which a favicon request is made. I was impressed when I worked this out.

awstats says that my site is currently running at 2% bookmarks, which is slightly higher than I would put it - I'd put it at 1.4% - but it's quite a useful indicator because if people are bookmarking your site, you know they think it is useful.
  • Carnix
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1098

Post 3+ Months Ago

How interesting!
What if a given site doesn't have a favicon? Does the server just register a 404 for that (yet, a log analyzer can still see that favicon.ico was requested)?

Likely, it's tracking by user session, but something still doesn't seem right. I get IE... favicon is only requested at the point of bookmarking, but then later, when a user returns, how would the stats engine know that this particular user was using a bookmark, versus typing in the url, or clicking an unqualified link in an email or simply just leaving the site open and clicking refresh after the user session is expired. From the server's point of view, all three of these avenues of entry are the same...

If Navigator (do you mean ONLY netscape, or do you mean the whole [non-IE] Mozilla line: Netscape, Mozilla, FireFox, Safari, etc) requests the favicon.ico file every time it access a page, I don't see how a log analyzer could tell the difference between a bookmark entry and any other kind of entry... UNLESS, the browser requests favicon.ico always except when a bookmark is used, which is certianly possible, but doesn't seem very likely to me.

.c
  • tangent
  • Born
  • Born
  • tangent
  • Posts: 3

Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
What if a given site doesn't have a favicon? Does the server just register a 404 for that?

Yes, it registers an unsatisfied request for favicon.ico

Quote:
... how would the stats engine know that this particular user was using a bookmark, versus typing in the url

It doesn't. awstats only counts adding to favorites, not using favorites

Quote:
If Navigator...

I meant Netscape Navigator sorry

I suspect awstats assumes the same proportion of IE users and Netscape users add your site to their favorites, in which case awstats only has to count IE users. It is, after all, an estimate.
  • Carnix
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1098

Post 3+ Months Ago

I see. Sort of like trying to determine the number of unique users just by analyzing IP addresses.

Basically, it's not really a valid number, that is, not one you'd bet you life on anyway.

.c
  • tangent
  • Born
  • Born
  • tangent
  • Posts: 3

Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, this month awstats reckons my site has been bookmarked 81 times (2% of visitors), but looking at the log I can only count 60 requests for favicon.ico, not counting the automatic ones that occur within a second or two of the first hit. When Netscape makes an automatic request, it is likely that 2% of those users also bookmark the site, bringing the total number of bookmarks up to 62. So I think awstats is overestimating, or else I've missed a few. Probably the latter.

Post Information

  • Total Posts in this topic: 23 posts
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 64 guests
  • You cannot post new topics in this forum
  • You cannot reply to topics in this forum
  • You cannot edit your posts in this forum
  • You cannot delete your posts in this forum
  • You cannot post attachments in this forum
 
 

© 1998-2014. Ozzu® is a registered trademark of Unmelted, LLC.