Buyer's Guide … the one with the Encyclopedia!

Traffic Statistics

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.

While many others tend to hide their data, or display them in unclear form (e.g., to what pages exactly do they apply?), we show our data proudly and clearly.

Google Ranking

The ranking of our website on Google search results pages for laser technology is enormously high, probably surpassing the ranking of any other photonics 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:

EncyclopediaBuyer's GuideConsultingSoftware
The famous RP Photonics Encyclopedia (started in 2004) with 1046 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 (see below).

We consider our blog, the Photonics Spotlight, also as part of the encyclopedia.
The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide has far over 2000 pages – mostly pages listing suppliers for all sorts of photonics products and company profiles. This describes the technical consulting business. This describes the simulation and design software offered by RP Photonics.
In June 2024, the encyclopedia obtained 189,803 page views. In June 2024, the buyer's guide had 27,125 page views, and the buyer's guide caused 12,203 referrals to websites of suppliers (even though most suppliers have only free entries!).

The combined traffic data for June 2024 are:

  • We had 229,553 page views (= page impressions). So many times, a page of our website has been displayed in the browser of some user.
  • There have been 100,350 referrals from Google to our website (mostly to the encyclopedia).

Note that typical visitors 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 web traffic of the encyclopedia and the buyer's guide (i.e., not including traffic on other parts of the website, e.g. the Photonics Spotlight, consulting and software pages) in the last 12 months:

MonthPage views

Total: 2,978,535 page views (2,557,156 + 421,379) within the last 12 months.

Geographical distribution in the last month: Africa 0.8%, America 28.7%, Asia 23.7%, Australia 1.5%, Europe 45.3%.

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Use Ticker

Referral Traffic for Advertisers

The most relevant traffic for our advertisers is the referral traffic to their own websites – people sent there through links on the RP Photonics web pages. The following diagrams show how many referrals are obtained in one month by (a) customers with our advertising package and (b) suppliers having only free entries in our buyer's guide.

referral statistics for suppliers without ad package
referral statistics for suppliers with ad package
Relation between the number of displayed products and the number of obtained referrals to the supplier website within one month – separately for suppliers with the ad package and those with free entries only.

You can see that our ad package strongly increases the referral traffic, and that the larger suppliers (in terms of the number of registered products) can obtain many hundreds of referrals (eventually leading to sales leads) per month, i.e., thousands per year – which also leads to a very favorable outcome in terms of value for money.

That referral traffic is also the kind of traffic which advertisers can verify by comparing the data with their own server statistics. When that is done, one can and should also compare with traffic from other photonics websites. Our advertising customers usually report

  • that traffic from RP Photonics is far stronger than that from any other photonics resource (even when they pay more for advertising there), and
  • that traffic numbers reported by us are compatible with their own statistics, while statistical data presented by others often turn out to be highly inflated.

Comparison with Other Photonics Websites

The RP Photonics website is probably the most popular photonics website worldwide.

We are aware of only a single website in the area of photonics which claims a larger number of page views than us (; we have substantial doubts, but can unfortunately not check the data. Further, we are clearly ahead of well-known sites like Laser Focus World and

Note that such sites typically contain thousands of articles which appeared in the publisher's trade journal(s) in recent years. Those articles may attract some traffic through Internet search engines, but are of little relevance for the buyer's guide on the same site. On our site, the main traffic is generated by our famous photonics encyclopedia, and that is strongly supporting our buyer's guide: all articles which are related to photonics products are linked to the corresponding pages with supplier listings in the buyer's guide, and vice versa.

If you want to know how we achieved the amazing popularity of our resource:

What is the RP Photonics website so popular?

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Please enter your question here:

Prove that you are a human being by entering three times the digit "4" into the following field: 

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What Kind of Users?

As we do not require our users to register with us, we have no detailed knowledge on them. (We also highly value data privacy.) 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 RP Photonics Encyclopedia. Within 24 hours (from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning), we obtained 1456 answers. The obtained results:

CategoryPercentage of Readers
a company producing or selling photonics products11%
a company applying photonics in other areas4%
other company5%
a university (research & education)42%
a research organization or government laboratory11%
other institution4%
no institution – just private interest23%

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:

CategoryPercentage 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.

? Is anything unclear? Please tell us!

Please enter your question here:

Prove that you are a human being by entering three times the digit "4" into the following field: 

Please enter questions anonymously; if you need an answer, please use our contact form.

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:

  • Only when Javascript is executed in the browser, a log entry is created. Therefore, most search engine robots are not counted. The few others who deal with Javascript are detected, and the results of their activity are ignored.
  • 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.

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.


If you are a supplier for photonics items, the conclusion should be clear:

If you are still in the decision process, we also warmly recommend that you check your referral traffic!