I have been writing this hair loss blog for close to five years. Since the beginning, I have had access to excellent Google Analytics traffic data. In this post, I will share some interesting statistics about this blog’s visitors during the just ended month of May 2018, and their implications in relation to hair loss.
I do not want to divulge any information about the total number of visitors that come to this blog. This number keeps changing significantly every month, and I want to save the details for advertisers and others with a professional interest in gaining access to that data.
Moreover, some visitors inevitably come to this blog by accident or in the hopes of finding some information that is not here. Such readers then leave immediately. So all such absolute traffic data is somewhat exaggerated. This is true for all blogs and websites on the internet. However, percentage breakouts are usually much more accurate and stable over the years. So those will be the focus of this post.
Top 15 Visitor Countries
The top 15 countries when it comes to visitors were as follows in May 2018:
- USA = 35.96%
- United Kingdom = 11.15%
- Canada = 6.89%
- Australia = 4.07%
- India = 3.86%
- Germany = 3.41%
- France = 2.34%
- Spain = 2.21%
- Netherlands = 2.20%
- Sweden = 1.74%
- Greece = 1.61%
- Italy = 1.36%
- Brazil = 1.23%
- Switzerland = 1.05%
- Ireland = 1.00%
Not too surprising when considering that the first four countries in the above list all have English as their national language, and they also ranked in order of most populous to least populous. In the case of the fifth (India), while there are numerous languages spoken in that country, English is one of only two officially approved languages for use in government and commerce.
Inference 1: Lower Percentage of Balding People in Asia
One surprising thing is that while India has the world’s second largest population (17.4% of the world’s total), it only accounts for 3.86 % of my visitors. Even after accounting for much higher poverty rates in the country, much lower internet usage rates, and drastically slower wifi speeds, this difference still seems excessive.
My guess is that the reason for the above discrepancy is partly because balding rates are substantially lower in India than in the western world. So a lower percentage of people from India need to visit this blog in the first place in comparison to from other countries. Another partial explanation could also be that this blog is not as well indexed in google searches conducted in India as it is in western countries.
On a related note, a lot of people on this blog and on various hair loss forums have over the years commented that balding rates in China and Japan seem to be drastically lower than what you see in places such as the US. One of the first things that many people from the west who visit Asian countries notice is that hair loss seems to be far less common than in their home nations. I have also read studies that suggest hair loss to be less common in Asians. However, this might be changing in today’s modern age. Make sure to read my post about why I think that more men are losing their hair earlier than in past generations.
The Chinese share of this blog’s visitor traffic is only 0.71%, and the Japanese share is only 0.65%. This despite the fact that these two countries are respectively the 1st and 11th most populous countries in the world. The main reason for this anomaly is of course because English is not the native language in either country. The Chinese search engine Baidu would probably rank HLC2020 much higher if I created a Mandarin version of it.
Inference 2: High Rates of Balding in Greece and Sweden
Among the top 15 countries that bring this blog its traffic, Greece and Sweden stood out the most when it comes to over-representation. While they respectively account for just 0.13% and 0.14% of the world’s population, each accounts for an over 12 times higher share than that of this blog’s visitors. This is all the more surprising since English is NOT the national language in either country.
A weaker, but still striking over-representation in traffic can be seen when it comes to non-English speaking Netherlands and Switzerland. Of course most people in all these countries do understand English, but my guess is that a significant fraction of their citizenry still prefers to read in their native language over English whenever possible. Even if they know how to use Google Translate.
I looked at these same national statistics from earlier months in prior years and found almost identical percentage breakouts for traffic from the above mentioned countries. So this issue cannot be explained by unique factors such as my covering some news about Greece or Sweden recently that temporarily brought in more traffic from those countries. Every month since I started this blog, I have seen the same trend of over-representation from these small population non-native-English speaking West European countries.
On a related note, Greece is one of the main countries of operation of the DHI Global hair transplantation mega-chain. This company was started by a Greek American and holds training clinics and much more in Greece every year. Sweden is home to Follicum, a company that has been well covered on this blog in the past.
According to Google Analytics, 54.15% of this blog’s visitors were male in May 2018, and the remaining 45.85% of the visitors were female. This ratio has remained steady since I first started checking it a few years ago. However, I am very skeptical about how Google comes up with this figure. When it comes to traffic from countries, it is simple to track IP addresses and figure out where each visitor is coming from. Gender is not so simple.
For tracking the gender of a visitor, Google probably has to make a guess depending on: each person’s visits to other sites; their personal photos; their search history; their video browsing history; their social media profiles; their gmail inbox messages; and more. You have probably given Google access to all of that information and more without knowing it. And if you have tried to avoid doing so, Google probably still accesses it anyway using various nefarious means.
Nevertheless, despite our overlord’s omnipresence, I think that:
Inference 3: Google is Drastically Overestimating Female Traffic
I arrived at this conclusion after considering that:
- Females bald at significantly lower rates then males.
- Less than 5% of the comments to my posts have come from females.
- Far more of my posts are geared solely towards men (e.g., male toupee examples, Dutasteride posts, male celebrities with hair transplants etc…) in comparison to posts that are solely geared towards women (there are some of those).
- The largest and most popular hair loss forums on the web are all dominated by posts from men, although there are several smaller women’s only hair loss forums out there.
Therefore, I am very skeptical about Google’s methodology and data in their gender breakout section of the Analytics report. One day I might do a gender survey on this blog and see what shows up. My guess is that at best, 30% of this blog’s readership consists of females, but I could very well be wrong.
As would be expected, this blog’s readership is dominated by younger people. In fact, a majority of readers are younger than myself :-(
- Age 18-24 = 27.5%
- Age 25-34 = 33.5%
- Age 35-44 = 15.5%
- Age 45-54 = 12.5%
- Age 55-64 = 5.5%
- Age 65 and over = 5.5%
If I truly believed that Google has highly accurate data, I would try to find out how many minutes each of the above age groups spends on this blog. However, I think the above data is derived via a lot of guesswork and extrapolation by Google. Plus I do not want to go into much more statistical detail in this already lengthy post. So I will assume that this blog’s elderly 65 years and upwards visitors genuinely do spend as much time as younger adults in reading the posts and are worried about their hair loss. So:
Inference 4: A Higher than Expected Portion of the Elderly want their Hair Back
We know that 15% of the US population is over the age of 65. West European nations, Australia and Canada have similar shares of elderly people in their total populations, so we can assume this number for the whole world (since most of my readership consists of people from the above mentioned developed countries).
So while 15% of the developed world’s population is of age 65 and upwards, 5.5% of this blog’s readership comes from that age group. i.e., around 35% (5.5 divided by 15) of older people care about their hair loss. If you assume that 70% of the people in this age group have lost a lot or all of their hair (as research and statistics indicate), this means that an astonishing one-half (35 divided by 70) of older people with hair loss are reading about the subject. This is hard to believe. Most older men that I see balding do not seem to be too concerned about it. Life experiences, less vanity about appearance, no interest in finding a mate, and general acceptance of fate all lead to older men caring less about hair loss.
So yet again, I feel like Google must have very bad statistics in this category.
Nevertheless, even if Google is way off, it is evident from these numbers that a sizable fraction of old men still want to maintain or get back their scalp hair.
Ironically, while I do not cover celebrity hair loss news too often, most of my recent coverage has unintentionally involved older men doing something drastic about their hair loss: Travolta (age 64) and Trump (age 71) and Berlusconi (age 81).
Only around 3% of my traffic is accounted for by visits via social media. Around 85 percent of this “social” network traffic comes from Twitter and Reddit. Youtube and Facebook are next in order of importance. I never created a Facebook page for this blog, largely because I do not want yet another reason to spend more time on that platform. Maybe I will change my mind in future.
Inference 5: Very few readers care to share my posts on social media using the icons on top of each post :-(
I do not blame you. I rarely share interesting things that I find on the internet in my own personal social network posts and accounts. Maybe I should remove the social media icons towards the top of each post? They slow the blog down a bit and take up important real estate.