Google Data Studio: Know What You Already Know

Sounds odd right?  But it’s a challenge in today’s information overload and with all the metrics we track some basic questions are likely overlooked.  I think we all easily know how many people visited our site, most of us have Google Analytics set up, we should all have Google Search Console as well.  (More on that in another post … often people don’t know that both are essential pieces to SEO).  But here are some basic questions I’d ask anyone with a website…

Your Web Sites Data Should Answer

  1. Which page on your site gets the most hits, other than your homepage?
  2. Which page is the most likely page for a visitor to leave your site?
  3. What did a person type into Google search to get your site as a result?
  4. What percentage of searches are you getting when someone searches a keyword you’ve targeted?
  5. How many pages on your site are indexed in Google and how many are indexed in Google Mobile?
  6. What’s your average visitor like?  Are they into News And Politics?  Do they have children? How old are they? Are they urban or suburban people?

You might say who cares…but then you would be someone who doesn’t Know What You Already Know.  All of these answers are already available to you if you are using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.  Each one is important to know to ensure you’re successful.  If 85% of your visitors leave your site on one page then you likely need to review what about that particular page makes people leave your site.  If no one visits this section on your site is there any reason to expand it?  Knowing your audience is the second rule of almost any endeavor.  I’ve always operated with the idea that the first rule is to get your story out first, then second know your audience.

“If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” Lew Platt, CEO, Hewlett-Packard.Mar 12, 2013 …. fun fact Lew Platt died in 2005, so how he said this in 2013 I’m not totally sure.

A suburban mother in her 50s, who likes cooking shows is likely to be receptive to a different message than a city living single 25yr old male who’s into books and reading groups.  If your site is using the same tactics with both you’re likely missing the attention of at least one but often both.  Just think of their days and how different they are…one likely wakes up early and has to get the kids off to school, drives a larger car farther every morning and maybe listens to the radio in on her commute.  The other wakes up just in time to shower and catch a train to the office.  You already know these things, you just don’t know it.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio makes graphs and graphs on graphs but beyond that it connects to repositories such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adwords and much more.  Heres a pdf report I recently made that connects all of those and I export Bing data to a CSV file and it accesses Bing through that CSV.  So I can mash up all that and make something that tells a story.


Pretty cool right?  Some of the terms and labels are removed to keep the report semi-anonymous but its easier to understand the whole picture when its all together.  Highlighted tour..

  1. Sixth page shows us that 12 to 1pm are the highest hours our site was searched.  We came up just under 2nd in these searches.
  2. Page seven shows us that our average page loads in 8 seconds which is pretty horrible, but before we go fixing the site…not all pages load the same.  Three pages represent 95% of our wait times…so we should be focused on what is wrong with just those three pages….(which if we thought 8 seconds was bad, the worst page is closer to 11 seconds) . Not surprising that page is also the number one page that people leave our site.
  3. Page five shows that 64% of our clicks were from the “hybrid cloud” ad group, but it only made up 19% of the ads we showed on Google Adwords.  Is there something wrong with the other ad groups, or is this a service that we should focus and expand on?
  4. Page four deals with Search Console … organic SEM or pure SEO stuff.  Of the 1183 times our site was in the results of a person’s search…we were clicked 8 times.  That’s about 25% of the clicks we should be shooting for so whats wrong?  Likely position or the metadata from our site isn’t compelling.
  5. Page Three we see in the center our average position in search results.  Notice that tablet users see us much higher up than desktop or mobile users.  Should we change that or should we own it and focus on tablet users?
  6. Page Two we can see that our bounce rate is highest among Bing Ads users.  Overall the site’s bounce rate is 4.7% which is astounding but in our average page views we see SEOProfiler is our number one source of page views…thats not real users its a tool crawling our site that I use, its likely causing the bounce rate to artificially seem great and it is alarming that our biggest source of traffic is a diagnostics tool.
  7. Finally Page One, the one most people would have started with…this is the first week I’ve been running this client’s Adwords account, so it’s not performing to the level yet that we will need, the CTR of .7% is low, our goal is 2%.  But we’re just starting out and it is promising that our impressions are up 128% from the week prior and thats largely revenue neutral right now.

Thats a lot of info.  We discussed hardly any of it too.  I like Google Data Studio, and most of my clients do too.

Hostname On cPanel / WHM Server Resets To Project Name On Google Cloud Fix

So you made a WHM server on Google Cloud and before you get to use it suddenly its broken?  I feel your pain.  Not sure when this started but it seems Google Cloud auto writes over the hostname.  Usually not an issue but cPanel seems to rely upon this entry to the point when you type a FQDN like louisville.data502.com it changes to rubbish in a redirect and the site can’t be resolved.

You can see it from their site or I have the steps below.

To configure VPS deployments, many cloud hosting providers use the dhclient script, which includes the configuration of the instance’s hostname.

The dhclient script may not preserve the locally-configured hostname, so hosting providers use scripts to work around this issue. For example, Google Cloud Platform Services™ uses the google_set_hostname script.

The workaround scripts may interfere with WHM’s Change Hostname feature (WHM >> Home >> Networking Setup >> Change Hostname), which causes hostname configuration issues and a locked cPanel & WHM license.

The solution

To resolve this issue, you must create a dhclient exit hook script to set the hostname properly.
Create the set-hostname.sh file with the following contents in the /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/ directory, where hostname.example.com represents your server’s new hostname:

You can also create the file with the following command, where hostname.example.com represents your server’s new hostname: Note in the code below you should be sudo and hostname.example.com will need to be changed

mkdir -p /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/ && echo -ne ‘#!/bin/shnhostname hostname.example.comn/scripts/fixetchostsn’ > /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/zzz-set-hostname.sh && chmod +x /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/zzz-set-hostname.sh

OR You can make it in a drawn out 3 step process.

  1. #!/bin/sh
  2. hostname hostname.example.com
  3. /scripts/fixetchosts

That should keep the name as you intended.

Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

109 times

James Bond, the fictional spy with a taste for martinis, had a “severe” and “chronic” drinking problem, according to public health experts at the University of Otago in New Zealand. I don’t know that it required experts to come to that determination, but the facts are as follows: Bond was seen drinking alcohol 109 times in his two dozen movies. Cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis. [The Washington Post]

$307.60 to $841.64 per hour

A federal judge has ordered Stormy Daniels to pay some $293,000 to President Trump for legal fees and sanctions after the dismissal of her defamation lawsuit against the president. According to the Trump team’s claims in court documents, five lawyers worked on the case, charging between $307.60 to $841.64 an hour. It’s those 64 cents that get you. Also, maybe I should’ve gone to law school … [The New York Times]

Down 38 percent

Shares of Superdry, the British clothing company with a specialty in coats, plummeted 38 percent on Wednesday. The company’s CEO blamed unseasonably mild temperatures and heavy discounting by rivals. [The Guardian]

Magnitude 4.4 temblor

A magnitude 4.4 temblor (fancy name for earthquake) rumbled the American Southeast on Wednesday — centered about 150 miles southeast of Nashville. According to a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist, it was just the sixth earthquake greater than magnitude 4.0 to strike this particular seismic zone in the past 45 years. [NPR]

3 million copies

In a banner year (is “banner” the right word?) for political books, sales of Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” have topped 3 million, according to its publisher, Crown. That makes it one of the best-selling nonfiction books ever. Michelle and Barack Obama reportedly agreed in 2017 to a joint book deal worth $65 million. [USA Today]

16,000 prisoners

Two warring groups in Yemen have agreed to an enormous prisoner swap involving about 16,000 detainees. The Yemeni government submitted 8,576 names, while the Houthis submitted the names of 7,487 others. [Al Jazeera English]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Politics Podcast: Trump’s Turbulent Week


The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew ties to make sense of some turbulent times in Trump world, including possible campaign finance violations and another staffing shakeup. They also check back in on potential election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Should The U.S. Be Worried About The Next Generation Of Women’s Soccer?

Wherever it lands in the upcoming World Cup draw — which will be held in Paris on Saturday at noon ET — the United States Women’s National Team will go into next year’s tournament in its familiar perch as favorites. The U.S. has been the most dominant team in the history of the event (which began in 1991), capturing the Cup three times and winning more matches (33) than any other country. Along the way, Team USA has given us multiple generations of superstars, the latest of which includes names like Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath — all of whom figure to represent the Stars and Stripes in France next summer.

But this won’t quite be the same roster as the one last seen hoisting the World Cup in 2015 (or even the one America sent to the 2016 Olympics). Likely gone are goalkeeper Hope Solo, forward Abby Wambach, midfielder Lauren Holiday and defenders Meghan Klingenberg, Christie Rampone and Ali Krieger, among others. And while the U.S. has perpetually been able to retool on the fly with the emergence of even greater young talent than before (remember Morgan’s breakout performance as a 22-year-old at the 2011 World Cup?), there’s growing concern that the next generation won’t be as ready to carry the torch.

Specifically, the U.S. results at the youth level — including both the Under-17 and Under-20 Women’s World Cups — have been pretty mediocre in recent years. The U.S. didn’t advance out of its group in either tournament this year and has advanced past the quarterfinals just twice at the youth level since 2008.1

Obviously, those 2018 youth players won’t be old enough in 2019 to figure into the senior team’s World Cup fortunes. But the lack of earlier success could suggest a down period coming for the Americans in upcoming World Cups. At least, that’s assuming youth-level results are predictive of future senior-team outcomes. But is that true?

Fortunately for the U.S., the relationship there is only a moderate one. To measure this, I’m using a system called “Dynasty Points,” which I’ve used before to track a team’s postseason success over multiple years. In each tournament, you get 1,000 points for winning the whole thing, 500 for finishing second, 250 for losing in the semifinals (with a 100-point bonus for finishing third), 115 for losing in the quarters and 40 for losing in the Round of 16 (when applicable).2 If a team’s performance at the youth level was cause for concern or optimism for later iterations of the senior team, we’d expect a strong relationship between World Cup dynasty points and dynasty points produced by the youth teams in the decade between five and 15 years before.

But looking at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Cups (and weighting by the number of youth tournaments that led up to each — meaning 2015 had more of a sample, since the era of two youth tournaments didn’t begin until 2008), the correlation coefficient between youth performance and World Cup success is 0.49. That’s not a nonexistent relationship by any means, but it also indicates that about three-quarters of the variation between countries in World Cup success is explained by something other than youth-level results in the years beforehand.

Broadly speaking, if a team consistently finishes well in the Under-17 and Under-20 events, it tends to do better at the World Cup as well. Many of the most successful youth-level countries — such as Germany, the U.S. and Japan — are also among the best World Cup teams. But the relationship isn’t perfect. According to Dynasty Points, North Korea is the most successful youth-level team since 2002, winning four tournaments and finishing second on two other occasions. Yet North Korea has advanced out of the group stage just once in its World Cup history.3 Meanwhile, Norway and Sweden have been incredibly successful at the World Cup level (they rank third and fifth in all-time Dynasty Points, respectively) and have combined to advance out of the group stage of a youth tournament just twice since 2002.

The U.S.’s own history is instructive in the imperfect relationship between youth results and World Cup outcomes. Although it dominated junior tournaments from 2002 to 2008 — winning two events, finishing second in another and never losing before the semifinals — it has also made two World Cup Finals and won Olympic gold with the senior squad since its ongoing youth-level dry spell began in 2010.

Is the USWNT’s youth-level talent pipeline drying up?

Results for the United States at both the World Cup and youth-level tournaments

Year Tournament Type Matches Wins* Dynasty Points
1991 World Cup Senior 6 6.0 1000
1995 World Cup Senior 6 4.5 350
1999 World Cup Senior 6 6.0 1000
2002 U-19 WC Youth 6 6.0 1000
2003 World Cup Senior 6 5.0 350
2004 U-19 WC Youth 6 5.0 350
2006 U-20 WC Youth 6 4.0 250
2007 World Cup Senior 6 4.5 350
2008 U-17 WC Youth 6 3.5 500
2008 U-20 WC Youth 6 5.0 1000
2010 U-20 WC Youth 4 2.5 115
2011 World Cup Senior 6 4.0 500
2012 U-17 WC Youth 3 2.0 0
2012 U-20 WC Youth 6 4.5 1000
2014 U-20 WC Youth 4 2.0 115
2015 World Cup Senior 7 6.5 1000
2016 U-17 WC Youth 3 1.0 0
2016 U-20 WC Youth 6 3.0 250
2018 U-17 WC Youth 3 1.0 0
2018 U-20 WC Youth 3 1.5 0

Dynasty Points are awarded for success in a tournament. A team gets 1,000 points for winning the tournament, 250 for losing in the semifinals (with a 100-point bonus for finishing third), 115 for losing in the quarters and 40 for losing in the Round of 16.

* Ties are counted as a half-win.

Source: FIFA

It bears mentioning that the 2012 Under-20 squad also won gold, so the U.S.’s recent youth results haven’t been completely devoid of success. And it’s also important to note that the senior team can poach promising young stars from the youth level, inherently limiting the U.S.’s performance in U-17 and (especially) U-20 tournaments in favor of bolstering the main roster.

It’s true that next summer’s team will be asking more of some players who hadn’t taken on full-fledged starring roles in previous major tournaments. But a number of those have drawn rave reviews during friendlies and qualifiers with the national team this year, including Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn, both of whom also logged time on the 2016 Olympic team. And forward Mallory Pugh, who will turn 21 just a few months before the World Cup, is as promising as any member of the U.S.’s next generation. Pugh returned from injury to score six goals and set up three others in 10 international games this year — and could be just scratching the surface of her talent.

According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, the average age of Team USA in its 2018 games was 26.4 years old, compared with the average age of 32.6 for the group that took the field in the 2015 World Cup. A few standbys do remain from the rosters of old — Lloyd and Rapinoe are still the anchors of this team, while Morgan remains at the top of her game, having scored or assisted on 14 goals in 15 games with the national team this year. But the 2019 World Cup will also serve as a transition of sorts into a new era for the USWNT. And although America’s youth-level results leading up to next year aren’t great, we shouldn’t assume that the U.S.’s senior-team dominance will end any time soon.