Most bookmarked pages

These are the most bookmarked pages on my site:

  1. My home page
  2. Excel tips
  3. Calvin & Hobbes quotes (I typed them all)
  4. Indian torrents (I have a search engine for Indian torrents)
  5. Tamil Transliterator (Lets you type Tamil in English)
  6. Tamil songs quiz
  7. Movie quote quiz
  8. My best links
  9. Top 10 lists

But this post is not about these links.

It’s about how I found this out.

Think about it… how could I know what pages have been bookmarked? The browser doesn’t send any information about bookmarks.

Some months ago, I moved away from Google Analytics mainly to have more control over tracking visitors. Among other things, I track referrers. When you click on any page and go to another one, the second page knows the first page you came from. That first page is the referrer.

So I know every page people clicked on to get to my site. Usually it’s Google. Sometimes it’s someone’s blog. Sometimes, it’s blank.

The blank referrers either indicate that the browser has blocked the referrer page, or that the person didn’t visit any page before mine. The former is rare (less than 1%). So, realistically, a blank referrer has either the person typed in the URL, or bookmarked it.

To make sure, I did a quick survey over the weekend. Those who came to my page without a referrer saw a survey form, asking where they came from. Almost all of them had either bookmarked or typed my page. The typists went directly to my home page. All the other links you see above are bookmarks.

So all I had to do was count the number of hits for each page with blank referrers. That’s the list above.

Absence of information can be a powerful indicator too.

  1. Chitra says:

    Oho…how many people did the list comprise of?

  2. S Anand says:

    I had over 4,000 unique IP addresses, but I don’t believe that’s even representative of visitors, thanks to most ISPs using dynamic IPs. I get about 80 direct IP hits per day, so I guess the number of bookmarks is around twice that.

  3. Rupesh says:

    Would you get to know if someone has subscribed to your site feed this way?

  4. S Anand says:

    Actually, I use Feedburner to track subscriptions to my site. But no, using this I can’t always tell if it’s a feed subscription. People coming through live bookmarks can’t be distinguished from normal bookmarks. But people using feed readers (Google Reader / Bloglines) can be identified by their referrer.

  5. Shreyas says:

    Apologies for a completely off-topic comment but have you taken off the ‘Starred Items on Google Reader’ link? I kind of enjoyed reading the ones you had a couple of weeks back!