A Year of Hirhurim

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Approximately a year ago, when we switched from Blogger/Blogspot to the new platform, I installed Google Analytics. Surprisingly, web statistics vary greatly between counters, presumably due to how they account for partial web page loads. I’m told that Google Analytics is considered very reliable. Here are some highlights of the past year:

  • Average weekday* daily unique readers: 1,076
  • Average weekend* daily unique readers: 621
  • Day of the week with most unique readers: Tuesday (averaging 1,098)
  • Day of the year with most unique readers: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 – 1,882 unique readers (after July 4 weekend and the summer camp post)
  • Day of the year with the 2nd most unique readers: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 – 1,426 unique readers (day of the women in Jewish media post)
  • Week with the most pageviews: May 8 – May 14, 2011 (38,324)

And here are the top 50 posts (excluding news & links) along with unique pageview counts. I think the main lesson is that controversy garners attention, as if we needed data to prove that. Below that are the top referring websites/search engines and top referring websites/blogs.

Top Posts

RankPostUnique Pageviews
1)Women Leading Kabbalat Shabbat: Some Thoughts3,510
2)The Increasing Isolation of HIR2,804
3)Bears, Avos and Mitzvos2,723
4)Women and Minyan2,462
5)Rav Lichtenstein on Academic Trends2,400
6)Statement of Principles: Why I Haven’t Signed2,369
7)Half Shabbos and the Orthodox Teenager2,268
8)Statement re Statement re Brain Death2,246
9)Riverdale Shul to Have Woman Lead Kabbalat Shabbat2,151
10)Who Is Modern Orthodox2,120
11)New Periodical: Dialogue 112,024
12)Death by Neurological Criteria1,993
13)Nusach Feminist1,974
14)A Time to Ban, A Time to Defer1,950
15)The Lost Letter: Rav Soloveitchik on Brain Death1,939
16)Women in Jewish Media1,938
17)Brain Stem Death: Sources, Comments, Questions1,924
18)Open Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy1,910
19)Disputing The History of the Disputation1,891
21)I Am Allison Benedikt, Well Not Exactly1,849
22)Two Types of Orthodox Judaism1,847
23)Torah Umadda Is Better Than Ever1,835
24)Bareheaded and Uncensored1,809
25)A Principled Stand1,794
26)Hair Wars II1,785
27)Response to Bears, Avos and Mitzvos1,783
28)Women and Minyan II1,760
29)Shliss Challah1,742
30)Was There A Noach II1,738
31)Judaism and Women’s Changed Status1,728
32)The Conduct of Children is a Message To Parents1,711
33)Teiku on Faith1,709
34)Was Rav Hirsch Modern Orthodox?1,695
35)Is YUtorah Mutar?1,685
36)Uman Rosh Hashana1,670
37)Orthodox Jews Divided1,669
38)Fallacy or Ideology: On the Artscroll Translation of the Siddur1,662
39)My Milk Is Frummer Than Yours1,647
40)The Pronunciation of the Cholam Vowel1,637
41)Orthodoxy In The Future1,596
42)Homosexuality and Marriage1,591
43)Vosizneias.com Banned1,566
44)Translating Reb Chaim1,558
45)Orthodoxy and the Oral Law1,553
46)Symposium On The Ethics Of Brain Death And Organ Donation: Conclusion1,534
47)The OU on Women Cantors1,520
49)The Yerushalmi as a Source of Halacha1,464
50)Is Starbucks Kosher?1,453

Top Referring Websites/Search Engines

1)Google / organic108,751
4)Twitter (@gilstudent)9,684
5)Bing / organic3,089
6)Yahoo / organic1,972
7)Internal Links1,923
8)AOL / organic1,540
9)JS-Kit comments1,158
10)Twitter (Other)818

Top Referring Websites/Blogs


* Weekday is defined as Sunday through Thursday, on which nights this blog is generally update. Weekend is Friday and Saturday, plus Jewish holidays (both days).

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. These statistics do not make sense. “Week with the most pageviews: May 8 – May 14, 2011 (38,324)” means that the lowest possible number for the day with the most pageviews is 5,475.

  2. Oh sorry, I thought that pageviews were unique. My mistake.

  3. There are on-line discussions about how well Google Analytics filters out hits by “spiders” or “bots” — programs run by search engines traveling your pages in order to index them for their databases. Bots can massively increase the number of hits. Also, given the number of machines Google and Bing have running spiders, they can also significantly increase the number of unique “viewers”, as each machines address will be deemed “unique”.

    Anyway, I would think their quality at knowing what’s by a human and what’s not is the primary difference between counters.

  4. Interesting statistics.

  5. Are you planning on reloading the comments to your old posts – there was much interesting material there, and it would be a shame to keep this from the public.

  6. The comments cannot be moved to this blog. I’ve had people try multiple times. The comments on the old blog mysteriously disappeared but I’ve never put in the effort to learn why. It’s on my to-do list.

  7. If your haloscan/ JS-Kit account is still active (you can tell if you are able to log in) then you might be able to get them back by simply reinstalling the code on your old blog.

  8. For some reason, reading the statistics made me wonder if I have been overestimating the power and reach of this site. If one of the leading frum sites reaches only an average of a bit over 1k a day, what does that say?

    On the other hand, one could say that it reaches movers and shakers, thinkers and people of influence, so it is powerful more that way than just the numbers alone might imply. Reaching 1k leaders a day is not the same as reaching 1k amcha a day.


  9. Mordechai, I agree. But I’m probably one of the few willing to be transparent about those numbers 😉

  10. Wow. It’s pretty cool that I’m #8 on your top referring list.

  11. Do the statistics include activity on Google Reader? I rarely go to your site, but I do read some of your posts there.

  12. No the stats don’t include RSS readers or the 100+ e-mail subscribers.

  13. You should also consider all those who subscribe on RSS — Google Reader alone says 420 subscribers.

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