SMPS Technology Website Log Analysis FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about interpreting the SMPS Technology website sponsor log analysis reports.

What statistics are collected?

We collect extended Web hit logs, also known as combined logs, which differ from our server's ( default common logs by providing additional information on the referring page and what web browser and operating system is being used. These logs (which are large files) are downloaded daily and archived and analyzed locally. This keeps us from exceeding our server storage limits. These raw log files are never made available to sponsors or others but are used to generate a variety of reports using a log analysis program.

What log analysis program is used?

Stephen Turner's Analog, the most popular log file analyzer in the world, is used to generate reports from the raw logs. Besides being highly configurable, Analog is one of the fastest -- and it is free. The version being used is at the bottom of each report.

What can a log analysis tell you?

There is a lot of hype about this. Read Turner's How the Web Works, and you will see why you can never get an accurate count of visitors or, from log files only, trace them through your website.

What does Analog Report?

It depends on the settings in the analog.cfg file. The explanation of the settings and what the reports mean can be read in Turner's Analog's Reports.

How is the CTR (Click Through Rate) Calculated?

The sponsor is given two reports each month.

The first is a report giving the number of times the SMPS Technology index.htm was served. This is the sum of the number of times the index.htm page was served as the default to a request and the number of times index.htm was directly requested. The former approximates the number of viewers who came to the website from outside the website, and the latter the number of viewers who went back to the home page from inside the website. The sum is the number of times the pages are served where the viewer can view the link to the SMPS Technology sponsor page customized to each sponsor.

The second report is a more detailed report giving virtually all the information available from the logs on the sponsor's page. This includes the number of times the sponsor's page was served and the servers that requested it.

The click through rate (CTR) is calculated by dividing second report page total by the first report page total. This can be compared to the current industry standard CTR for banner ads which was 0.36% for March 2000. So far, every SMPS Technology sponsor has been getting CTR's of greater than 10 times this for all reporting periods, so our sponsors are getting exceptionally good value.

Author: Jerrold Foutz,
Original: 31 August 2000, revised July 27, 2003