The RP Photonics website is immensely popular – probably more than any other website in the area of laser technology. On this page, you can find out details on our traffic. This is relevant for those who are interested in advertising on our site. See also the media data.
The ranking of our website on Google search results pages for laser technology is enormously high, probably surpassing the ranking of any other website worldwide.
Our page on search engine rankings tells you how you can easily verify that statement and what is behind this amazing success.
And that ranking explains the amazing traffic data:
Traffic of the RP Photonics Website
The RP Photonics website consists of four parts:
|This describes the technical consulting business.||This describes the simulation and design software offered by RP Photonics.||The famous Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology (started in 2004) with over 600 high-quality articles is the core magnet. It attracts huge amounts of traffic, part of which spills over into the other parts, particularly to the buyer's guide.
We consider our blog, the Photonics Spotlight, also as part of the encyclopedia.
|The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide has over 2000 pages – mostly pages listing suppliers for all sorts of photonics products and company profiles.|
|In March 2018, the encyclopedia obtained 173'793 page views from 73'218 visitors.||In March 2018, the buyer's guide had 15'411 page views, and the buyer's guide caused 6'870 referrals to websites of suppliers (even though most suppliers have only free entries!).|
The combined traffic data for March 2018 are:
Note that typical users are seeking for technical information on most days, and look up suppliers only on some days. Therefore, they naturally cause more traffic on the encyclopedia than in the buyer's guide. However, as regular users of the encyclopedia, many will remember where to find the suppliers when these are needed. Also, there are kinds of enhanced entries which even allow displays on the pages of encyclopedia articles.
Evolution of traffic of the encyclopedia and the buyer's guide (i.e., not including traffic on other parts of the website) in the last 12 months:
Total: 2'000'528 page views within 12 months.
Comparison with other Photonics Websites
The RP Photonics website belongs to the most popular photonics websites worldwide. Here is a comparison of page view numbers per month:
Remark: our method of measuring traffic presumably leads to lower numbers than Google Analytics, which is used by most others. We do a strict filtering in order to obtain reliable data (see below for details).
Second remark: we have no way of checking published traffic numbers of others. You don't have that either. But anyone can check search engine rankings (see below).
What Kind of Users?
As we do not require our users to register with us, we have no detailed knowledge on them. However, it is perfectly clear that basically all users are experts working in the area of photonics – in industry or in scientific research. Due to the very technical nature of our website and its devotion to the area of photonics only, nobody else would spend time there.
Would you like to learn on our user surveys?
In May 2015, we did a survey among the readers of the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology. Within 24 hours (from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning), we obtained 1456 answers. The obtained results:
|Category||Percentage of Readers|
|a company producing or selling photonics products||11%|
|a company applying photonics in other areas||4%|
|a university (research & education)||42%|
|a research organization or government laboratory||11%|
|no institution – just private interest||23%|
This confirmed our expectation that the vast majority of readers are professionals in the field of photonics, working either in scientific research or in the industry.
In June 2015, we did a similar survey among the users of the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide, asking what word best describes their function. We obtained the following results:
|Category||Percentage of Readers|
This shows that our buyer's guide obtains traffic not primarily from marketing people who simply want to check their own entries, but from those user groups which are most likely to buy photonics items.
Geographically, users are spread worldwide. Due to the use of the English language, the resource is accessible for a large proportion of the worldwide population, particularly for technical experts.
How We Get Reliable Traffic Data
Obtaining reliable web traffic data is not a trivial thing; we do that in a very careful way, which leads to tentatively lower traffic numbers and respects the privacy of the users.
If you like to learn how we do it, then click here.
Standard server statistics can be spoiled by the activity of various kinds of robots as used by search engines and spammers. In order to discard anything in the statistical data which is not related to real traffic, since 05/2013 we are using a statistics software which applies very strict filtering rules:
- If a single machine (more precisely, a single IP combined with a user agent) is doing more than 200 page views on one day, that whole traffic is discarded, as it might be some robot activity. Additional filtering occurs when a machine often causes many page requests with a rather short temporal delay.
- If a user loads the same page which he or she has just loaded before, only a single view is counted.
- Views from any computers within RP Photonics are also discarded.
Unique visitors in a certain months are defined as unique combinations of IP address and user agent. (Before 10/2014, we considered only IP addresses, which resulted in lower numbers.) Due to various possible errors (see explanations in Wikipedia), such numbers may not be accurate. For example, one person may use different computers or browsers, or several persons may share one computer. The page view numbers are far less affected by such problems.
Note that we operate strictly in accordance with the strict German data protection laws. In particular, we do not record the users' IP addresses, but only store encrypted data, from which the IP values cannot be reconstructed (at least not without excessive computation power).
If we used Google Analytics instead of our own software, we would presumably obtain significantly higher traffic numbers, as Google Analytics would not filter out false hits (e.g., multiple hits to the same page) similarly strictly. We do not use Google Analytics due to concerns about privacy matters and related legal uncertainties.
The previously used AWStats software also reported substantially higher numbers than our new system. We conclude that our system provides a fairly conservative estimate of the web traffic.