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Data About Data (About Pennsylvania’s Lobbyists)

Once you have a data resource on the web – no matter how big or small – you have the capability of creating additional data on the web, simply by using Google Analytics. Because now you can develop data about the users and the usage of the data.

Two years ago we made a simple post here, providing all the official web site links to lobbying firms registered with the state of Pennsylvania.

At the time there was not a good source of this information, and we thought it would be interesting to see if it had value for us. Since the post, the state put out a directory, at one point it had URLs for the firm sites, but apparently it does not again.

Pennsylvania Lobbyist Links Page Usage

Take a look at the usage graph of our page. That’s the page traffic of our post with the lobbying firm links over the last 2 years. Notice the pickup of traffic? I suspect that the links became less available on the state site sometime earlier this year.

Most of the traffic to this page has come from Pennsylvania metro areas of Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, etc. But New York City and Washington DC are represented fairly well. Google aggregates 51 metro areas with visitors to this post over the past 2 years.

We can look at the network domains of those who have accessed this page. Sometimes we can’t get much info – telling us that a Comcast user or Verizon user isn’t very specific. But sometimes we get the organizational domain information, depending on how the network of the searcher is set up. Often we can tell government visitors, as well as some corporate and association identities. We see you, Johnson & Johnson, as well as the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus and Philabundance.

We know that most of the visitors come to us because they are searching for something on Google. But some users have bookmarked it, and come directly now, repeat users to a specific 2 year old URL.

Google says that the average amount of time on this page is almost 27 minutes. Now, there can be some discrepancies in how well time is measured, since it can count the time a user has actually walked away from the computer. But that is a ridiculous average amount of time even when compared to all of our other pages that Google measures. It represents the clicking and clicking of various links. Reviewing.

Most of our traffic comes between 2 and 4 PM on this page.

I could go on, there’s plenty more. I didn’t even mention the searches made to find the site – but I’ll just say that the top search finding the page that we can tell is for “Impel Strategies”. And that’s the point – we have this data for a small bit of market information and we didn’t even structure the data to maximize the user collection information. It is still providing us information. It has opened our eyes to the value of data about data, and to think about how in the future we can structure content to determine more about our web development market – which should be the point of OUR efforts.

What should your online data provisioning efforts try to capture?

Kessler Freedman, Inc.