What are statistics on Flickr?
Well, first, we like to call them "stats", so we'll do that from now on.
Second, your stats on Flickr are designed to give you insight into the ways that people are finding your photos. There are stats available for people surfing on Flickr itself - where the referrer is flickr.com - and stats about people coming from other websites. We can show you the sorts of things people search for on search engines where your photos turn up, and tell you how many views your photos have.
After you have Stats enabled you can use the 'Photo Stats' or 'Video Stats' link, shown as a little bar graphic with the view count right next to it, on your photo page to see Stats data for that image.
To see an overview of your account, check out Your Stats. This shows you what happened on your account yesterday and what is happening today! You can now also see the Stats for any other day on the graph by just hovering over the day you want to view, and clicking the dot. (the new day as far as stats are concerned starts at midnight GMT)
Stats are only available to pro account holders, at this time.
Can I view historical referrer data past 28 days?
Only 28 days of stats are available on the Flickr site. However, if you'd like to track your stats over a longer period of time, you can find applications that let you do that in the App Garden. To find some, try a search for stats in the App Garden.
What is a referrer?
A referrer is another website that has linked to one of your Flickr pages. For example, if someone does a search for something on yahoo.com and one of your photos comes up, their clickthrough from the Yahoo! search results page will count as a referrer. You'll also be able to see what they searched for in the stat about that referrer.
When you look at your referrers, you can click through the link to visit the site itself to see where the link came from, and how your content is represented there. If that link doesn't work, you can also go to the base domain name and see what that site is about.
How should I interpret the stats?
If this is your first encounter with web stats, it might seem a little technical. But, the main thing to remember is that the stats are a way for you to see where there are links to your photos, both on Flickr itself, and the wider internet.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Your own views of your own photos are not counted
- We track views and referrers when a page on flickr.com is loaded. We are unable to count views of your photos on external sites (like your blog).
- The "Search Engines" group of referrers counts traffic from most of the major search engines online, including Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN, Ask.com, and live.com
- When reading search engine results, we are able to show what people searched for to find your content.
- We don't display links to individual Flickr members as referrers
I'm concerned about sites/search terms that I see in my stats. What can I do?
For the most part, photos will turn up in search results due to the meta-data associated with your photos. When you add titles, descriptions and tags, keep in mind how this information may be parsed by search engines.
If you're seeing referrers that you'd rather not have connected with your photos, you have a few options:
- Search engines
If your photos turn up in a search for terms you'd rather not be associated with, you need to remove those terms from the content in your account, like photo titles and descriptions, tags, your screen name, or your Flickr profile page.
If you decide that you'd prefer not to be part of search results on other services, you can set a preference on Flickr to prevent external searches from adding your Flickr account to their index. Search engines do not update their (huge) indexes in real-time, so if you decide to change that setting on your Flickr account, search engine indexes can take a few weeks (or sometimes more) to reflect your preference.
Some search engines allow you to request removal from their index. Check out these links for further information:
- Sites showing one of your photos
If you find one of your photos on a website and you want it taken down the best thing to do is try contacting the service with a polite request for your content to be removed. Check for a feedback form or email address on the site.
- For sites using a lot of your photos
If you find a lot of your photos being shown on an external site, there's a good chance it may be using the public Flickr API. (You can find out more and see examples of some of these 3rd party projects on the Flickr Services page.)
Your best first option is still to contact the service, and ask that they remove your content from display.
You can also choose to restrict the use of your photos by any service using the public Flickr API, by opting out altogether. Bear in mind that there may be similar delays to the ones you might see if you remove your photos from search engine indexes. The internet can be a little sluggish sometimes. If you feel there is an unreasonable delay or a service is being particularly unresponsive, feel free to let us know.
I can't view one of the sites that linked to me. Why is that?
There are a few reasons for this, but the most likely is that the referring site is something like an RSS reader or a mail client, both of which require the account owner to log in. Since you aren't the account owner, that page will be inaccessible to you.
How accurate are stats?
We measure every view your photo page gets, and crunch the numbers every 24 hours. Please note that views to the actual image file itself (.jpg) or views on external sites won't count in your views, and nor will any views you make yourself.
Referrers can be a little trickier because Flickr relies on your browser telling us what page you were on before you followed the link to the photo. Most of the time this works fine, but sometimes:
- Someone is clicking on a link in their email program or an instant message, where there is no referring "page"
- Sometimes someone directly enters the address into their browser, or uses a bookmark
- Sometimes pages are cached by other services. Pages that are cached don't have to load a fresh copy, so those views sometimes don't register.
In all these cases (and a few others), there is no referrer information, so we show "unknown source".
Even with the chance of inaccuracies - which happen in all web stats - the important thing to remember when considering your traffic is that even if the stats feel slightly off, the page views and referrers will still give you a good overview of who's looking at your photos.
Why does the Collection count seem low?
Because of a change to how Stats data is stored, we had to restart the view count on Collections. Collection view counts start from October 21, 2008. View counts on everything else go back to when your account was started.