Some Interesting Inferences from this Blog’s Traffic Data

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:

  1. USA = 35.96%
  2. United Kingdom = 11.15%
  3. Canada = 6.89%
  4. Australia = 4.07%
  5. India = 3.86%
  6. Germany = 3.41%
  7. France = 2.34%
  8. Spain = 2.21%
  9. Netherlands = 2.20%
  10. Sweden = 1.74%
  11. Greece = 1.61%
  12. Italy = 1.36%
  13. Brazil = 1.23%
  14. Switzerland = 1.05%
  15. 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.

Gender

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.

Age

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).

Social Media

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.

64 thoughts on “Some Interesting Inferences from this Blog’s Traffic Data”

  1. I can definitely confirm the high rates of balding in Greece. Almost all men in their 30s have balding. However, I have noticed the younger men in their 20s have thick nw0s compared to back in the early 2000s. But overall, 1 and 3 men balding in Greece. As for DHI, a buddy of mine here in Philly went to DHI Greece and got an fue. Amazing results for hair line front top of scalp done. Cured him for a good two years. Then hair loss continued in the front and now he looks like he did before he got the surgery. I never asked him what happened because I know it will just hurt his feelings. But I think he never used Propecia. Either way even his fue transplanted hair fell out. They might have used non donor area follicles because his density was really thick. Diffuse nw3 to thick nw1.

  2. I am from india and following you since 2014. I dont comment here but i read each and every blog, go through every comment for cure news but now m losing hope :/

  3. Hi from Iran!
    I am following your posts since last year ,balding is same problem all over the world some where less or more ، I dont have any bald person in my family at all ,not uncle not father and brother but i’m ….
    I hope for heads full of hair for every one …
    a cure will come but not specified when ,next year,next 2 years ,10 years or … but we live with hope

  4. @admin – I had to laugh when you said “small population non-English speaking West European countries” :-)

    The average student in the Netherlands and Sweden (plus Denmark, Norway and Finland not in your list) score higher in English tests than most people in the USA with regards to literacy and grammar, reading technical manuals, legal documents, etc..

    Also, when I was younger I nearly joined the TEFL program that lets you travel the world to teach English in various countries and they have a profile on each country. Regarding these countries, even they say it is very hard to get a job teaching English there because they are already so good.

    Another backup to my point is the English Proficiency Index. You specifically mentioned Netherlands and Sweden. Netherlands is ranked 1st, Sweden is 2nd.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EF_English_Proficiency_Index

    1. Fair enough and I agree to an extent. Not sure if they test older people in those countries who cannot speak English at all though…I mean the tests could be slightly biased in that they target those who know at least some English, or are students (meaning young people) right?

      In any event, the over-representation is still crazy relative to Greece’s and Sweden’s population — even if we were to assume that 100 percent of the residents in those countries can read English very well.

      1. Most people from Norway, Sweden and nethetlands can read English just as good as their native language. Even the elder. We might not write it that good thou. haha

        1. I agree with Scott and Trym. I’m Dutch and almost everyone I know speaks pretty decent English. Now the elderly here might not speak or write it as good as the young but still ~95% can perfectly understand basic English.

    2. Another possible inference is that France, Germany, Italy and Spain have a much larger share of their populations who do not understand (or like to read) English in comparison to Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.

      The former 4 all have very large populations, easily surpassing Canada and Australia in size.

      1. French are French! :-) They just have Problems with english or do not want to speak english. Even many French words are same as english and are just pronounced different. :-) Its a French Thing. I know many French guys. Its Always the same :-) :-) … I like them anyway!!!

  5. Germany here … follow your blog since 3 years or so. Think its great. Its honest, its quick, its complete. Thanks Admin! … and btw there are a lot of Young Germans with hair loss and almost no hair. They just shave it and many look good and sporty. But still: Hair Loss!

  6. Aclaris must know by now if jak is working. There must be many people who know if it’s not working or is working. We need to know. Know.

  7. I have to be honest, I think the reason your post don’t get shared much on social media is because of embarrassment! For example everyone I know obviously knows I’m bald but still i keep it personal that balding bothers me as much as it does. Its already hard enough to project confidence when you feel you don’t look your best. I cant speak for everyone but for me, personally, the last thing i want to advertise is the fact that im dying inside waiting for a cure .

    1. I know that:-) But nowadays thousands of men proudly discuss their hair loss and hair transplants publicly (including many celebrities). You would think at least 1 percent of readers of this blog would be sharing, but most likely it is even less than that.

  8. Have you received any hints if JAK is working Admin?

    Sure its a great blog but we all just want to be gone doing other things like Combing Our Hair. Hah.

      1. 2019 Q2 Nasa…that is when we will probably know if jak works for mpb. If it can totally reverse mpb it will definitely leak how their areata trial result did. Give it 3 months…if we don’t get a big announcement from them by end of summer then it probably doesn’t work as well as their areata trial. That would be my assumption…

  9. There are 24 participant in the hair trials. It has been about 7 weeks they should know by now if it is working. If not we will hear news that the stopped the trials due to lack of results. Adding, given 24 people, their family and friends, coworkers there must be hundreds of people who know if it is working. If your bald coworker suddenly grows a full set of hair chances are you will notice it thus not something that can be hidden.

    News is coming bad or good but its coming And SOON.

    1. It has been 7 weeks since they started dosing. Trials rarely start all participants simultaneously. As someone in the pharmaceutical industry, I really, really hope it doesn’t just leak out. To be honest, leaking information of that type before the formal end of the trial would make me have significantly less confidence that Aclaris has something worthwhile.

      Why would a pharma company want to release to the world that they have something that works many years before they can market it? That just gives competitors more time.

  10. my gut says the hopes of jak believer will be stopped soon. somehow we receive no news and no news is definitely bad news

  11. Fascinating post. I will say, the only reason I do not share posts from here on social media is because I don’t want people to know how much I truly care about my hair loss. I feel it’s unattractive to care as much as I do so I’m not so open about it.

    1. i 100% agree there, i think people would be surprised to learn just how much going through hairloss has actually affected me

  12. The smaller the country, the bigger the chance of great internet infrastructure. (less rural areas to cover)

    The higher the population density, the bigger the chance of great internet infrastructure. (lower costs to give everybody internet access)

    The more the trade (export), the larger the chance of speaking foreign languages.

    The smaller the population, the smaller the chance the domestic language is seen as an universal language.

    The better you speak Germanic languages, the easier to learn another new Germanic language.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages

    As most scientific literature is in English, I would say to everybody, learn English. There is only one exception, in some technical branches, the Germans are leading, so learn (technical) German as well, and you are ready to go.

  13. Me too from india. Indian people are more interested in facebook rather than informative blogs. I think many people find it hard to understand all post by you and scientific comments written by readers. This is the reason why indian traffic is low on blog..

    Great blog i likes it most.

    I would like to compare this blogs posts with indian magazine ” SAFARI”. SAFARI gives very informative information about any subject they pick.

  14. Admin don’t take it in a negative light.
    I think most of us don’t share on social media because hair loss is a personal issue and don’t want to advertise it.

  15. Hello everyone!! I am an Arab living in Jordan, balding in the Middle East is the norm!! If you are in your 40’s and you have full head of hair , people will assume you wear a wig.

    Well I have been reading this blog for 5 years, and believe it or not I am still nw2 all these years with no medication , which is really strange , even my friends tell me all the time why you still have all that hair haha , thank you admin I really appreciate what you are doing here , I really hope we are the last generation of homo Sapians to lose their hair , thank you .

  16. hello i am come from CHINA,nice to meet you and my english is not very well.I need web translation when I browse your blog.I’m lost my temple hair and i know Propecia is ineffective.I am afraid of the side effects of Propecia,because many people feel bad sleep at night, lose interest in things and feel depressed,that is not put forward in the instructions.Thank you for your contribution,and you are a great man hahahaha

  17. I am from india and I read all of your posts in blog from 2015 but I don’t post any reply or questions usually. But I visit this blog so that I have bookmarked it in my mobile.

  18. Well it’s official polarity te has updated text on the top of its product page they will be entering into cosmetic AGA if successful in burn market which they are so far. I think hairclone tsuji shiseido tissuse have a real contender

  19. Takashi Tsuj is our greatest friend, the only one that is gonna save us without chemicals (Fin and Min), without major donor area manipulation (current large amounts of grafts used during HT) and without effecting the immune system (JAK). It still will be a HT procedure, but I have more faith in him than in any of the other scientists.

    The questions are, when and how much will it cost …

  20. I’m from India, and the inferences you draw are wrong.
    Balding rates here are as high as anywhere, but there’s a cultural fatalistic attitude towards it, especially among the older generation. Not too many people search for options on the internet, given an education system that discourages independent thought, and as another poster mentioned, an addiction to social media that takes up most of their internet time.
    There’s also a massive reliance on therapies like traditional medicine, homoeopathy, and different hair oils, which obviously have little to no effect other than reinforcing the belief that nothing can be done about it. Add to that a lot of scam hair clinics out to fleece the desperate. The only relatively viable option most people are aware of is shoddy hair transplants, most of which are offered at massive discounts and pay in installment schemes.

      1. They’re the guys with infinitely better exposure to the internet and enough disposable income to do something about it.

  21. I’m not from Sweden but I understand swedish and when I listen To Follicums Jan Alenfall I hear someone who is reliable and honest. A company from the Nordic countries knows that honesty and punctuality is important. In autumn of 2018 they will tell us how the results with Fol-005 look. They have know between 50-60 persons in treatment in their phase II study.
    This is the company I trust. And yes I’m from a Nordic country :)

    1. Don’t expect any detailed news regarding Aga. However, even the smallest hint about aga would be an indication that something positive has been concocted and tested.

    2. Nice reminder. If not today then they probably will mention the failure or success at the next investors conference call.

      News is going to come out very soon either bad or good.

      1. I have listened to the webcast. The only thing they have mentioned was that they started an open label trial… Wow… Very informative.

        I think they know by now if it works or not. Ifs really depressing why these companies go the silent route and in the end they come up with a total increase of 0.000001 % in hair growth. If they had something it would already be in the news worldwide like it was 4 years ago. Does anybody know how long they kept the secret before Christoano released the astonishing areata before and afters?

      2. Nasa-rs your optimism is boundless, even for the release of info before the clinical trial is concluded and tabulated. In all my years (55 of em sonny boy) I’ve never seen a company do this in either positive or negative circumstances. Maybe Aclaris will be the first! If not, try to be patient.

  22. I dont know how to express my sadness. I have stopped looking at the mirror lately. Nothing frustrates me more that given the age and time we don’t have a real cure for hairloss. And what frustrates me more is the news that say “new thing X fixes hairloss” followed by “trial on mice … cure in 5 years”. To be honest the whole trial thing is broken. If we have to run trials that take 5 years and millions of dollars, we have failed. Anyways i will go back to my incomplete life.

  23. It’s follica or nothing. If it can bring back density like that murat study from India then I will call it a success. Tsuji is working on mice trials. How are they going to get it perfected for humans by 2020 and ready for commercial release. They haven’t even implanted a cloned follicle on a human to see if it cycles properly. Hair cycles in two to 7 years. Something doesn’t add up right with them. Well at least their time line to me is hyped up. I’m still giving jak hope till end of summer. If we don’t hear back from them then it probably works no better than current treatment.

    Any news on sisheido?

    1. MJones – I agree with all of your statements.

      I always wondered about Tsuji timeline as hairloss treatments are always pushed back and yet Tsuji has not even started human trials yet. 2020? Not for them.

      JAK, if we do not hear about results by end of summer then its in the heap post. But, I do think we will hear something from the next investors conference call that Aclaris has for investors. Bad or Good we should hear something. I am trying to stay positive but I just wish the news would finally break that’s hair loss is completely Treatable.

    2. Nothing is hyped up.
      That’s the optimal timeline as long as everything turns out as expected.
      They have already generated human hair follicles on immunosuppressed mice and those follicles sported similar qualities to scalp hairs.
      Filarako, are you familiar with the word “biased”?
      You’ve been a Follica believer for quite a long time, which is fine, but not everyone believes in Follica as much as you do, or as much as Nasa believes in Aclaris.

  24. Hi admin,
    To confirm Google statistics, I have to admit Im a female. Im originally from Russia, but have been living in California for the last 13 years. This blog is great! I learned so much and I really appreciate you work. But , and Im very sorry for that, I would never ever share this link on my FB page. :)

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