Arachne-Usage 2013 and the years before

In the last years the Arachne Database constantly attracted more and more Users. In our attempts to use Google Analytics according to the rules of German Data Protection Laws we started to analyse Arachne usage in 2011. For the year 2011 we noticed a 80% Increase in usage of Arachne.
One of the reasons for that was seen in the introduction of an English user Interface. In consequence the Arachne Database is better accessible to non German speaking visitors .

Visitors (Long-time Retrospective)

The year 2013 has left the Arachne Database with a plus of about 26% percent of Page Visits(256.010) and Unique visitors(131.300). In Comparison of to the year 2012 the total page visits increased by 56.000 and the Unique Visitors increased by ca. 29.000 .
In comparison to the year 2011 to 2012 the percentage increase of Visits and Unique visitors where higher but the increase in total numbers stayed the same, an increase of about 50.000 visits a year.

Visitors 2013 VS Visitors 2012

Visitors 2013 VS Visitors 2011

Visitors 2013 VS Visitors 2010

International Visitors

In the year 2013 the biggest increase of visits was in Germany where a plus of ca. 24.000 (22,77%) visitors where recorded. Visits from other European country increased by up to 65,26% in Italy.
Other country’s within the Europe notices a high increase of Visitors for example France(42,23%), UK(42,43%) , Spain(51,89%), Greece(51,98%) .

This increase of international visitors seems to be a long term effect of the Internationalisation and Translation of the Interface.

General traffic sources

The most visitors are Visitors are referred to arachne by Search Engines like Google or Bing(over 140.000). The second biggest group of visitors are direct visitors (58.952). This means they open arachne from a their bookmarks or by Typing in the URL of Arachne. The second group of direct visitors seems faster growing than the visitors directed by search engines.

Academic traffic

The traffic of interlinking between digital resources and the expert community itself seems to be a new factor in the Arachne-visits. The Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) made it from the start to rank three (9.670 Visits) of the pages directing visitors to Arachne. This is slightly more than the visitors coming from Wikipedia (8.065 from german Wikipedia and 1022 from the english Wikipedia ). With an average visit duration (avd) of 6:15 minutes and 6.60 average page per Visits (ppv) the average visitor from (CIL) stays much longer than the average user from Wikipedia about 2:35 an approximately 4 Page Visits.
The general audience coming from Google and entering directly staying longer and visiting more sites in average.
People coming from sites like the University of Leipzig(avd: 10:31 ppv: 16.64), the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) (avd:8:30, apv:14.23), University of Heidelberg (avd:14:36, apv:22.99) stay even longer. Also all University visitors have a high revisiting rate. This means that there is a lot of people coming back again and again. In General the bouncing rate, people that go somewhere else after arriving on the first page, from academic sources 14-45% is much lower than that of the general visitors from Google and other non academic sources (49-69%). The “low” ratings for the (CIL) in comparison with the other Academic sources like the DAI and the University’s can be explained by looking at the structure of the inter-linkage between the (CIL) and Arachne. The (CIL)links directly to the datasets. Therefor the scanned (CIL) volumes of interest can be browsed and downloaded but the navigation can be continued back at the (CIL) page.


Even if the “Academic traffic” just makes a little percentage of visitors of Arachne database it has a different Quality. People coming from other academic institutions revisit more often an stay longer. This is also an achievement of the inter-linkage of scientific Institutions. The more precise links are, the higher seems the acceptance of the site Database (low drop-out rate as in the (CIL)). But the more precise links are the more precise seems the Interest in the dataset and the visiting time stays short. The user finds what he wants. The user does not stay as long as if they are coming from a more general link from other academic sources (relatively short visiting time from (CIL)).
Another point of interest is the change of entry behavior. At first people note the Website by links and then bookmark the Database and become members of the direct visitors group.
This report is not an exhaustive analysis in the usage of Arachne. It tries to give an overview of the indicators that can be seen in the Google Analytics data. Further research has to be conducted on how interlinkage and the granularity of links influences the flow of academic users and the usage of Linked academic sources.

Rasmus Krempel