I've noticed traffic to my blog falling off over the last few weeks, while at the same time, the number of those reading my blog has grown. Hah?
I decided to investigate. As far as I can tell, an influx of new readers (and a few old) are availing themselves of this humble weblog by way of Google Reader, which, if you don't click through to the original blog article, (and why would you?) the "visit" does not tabulate as a "hit" on your sitemeter or whatever service you are using to measure traffic.
There's more! I use three different counters to monitor traffic. They've always been within a few points of one another. For example, there was a day early this year when I had 1801 visitors, 1800 visitors and 1799 visitors. But when I checked all 3 statmeters in the wee hours of Monday morning, I discovered 101 visitors, 151 visitors and 211 visitors. WTF? It seems some of the meters aren't counting certain visits that take place via mobile telephones, while others "can't see" those Google reader visits. I verified this earlier today by making visits at specific times using Google Reader. There was absolutely no indication that a visit was made to my blog, at least none my counters could track.
Besides that, there are other aggregators and feedreaders through which netizens can access my blog content which again do not "register" with the counter services.
I don't know if this is a problem or not - it certainly goes a long way to explain what several bloggers have been scratching their heads about - steep drops in traffic for no apparent reason!