Sunday, December 10, 2006

blog traffic

This blog was visited 56 times last Wednesday. I had 190 unique visitors for the week and pretty close to 1,200 over all of last month. I know this because I use a tracker to compile data from access logs. Just by numbers, you'd think I have something going here, a bit of actual popularity. Not really so. Very few of you just check in to see what I have so say. Most of you get deposited on the blog by Google searches, which lead you to specific posts. In a typical month between 40% and 50% of visits come from Google web searches and about 25% to 30% from Google image searches. Not too many of you return to read other entries since the log data show that typically only about 10% of the blog's visitors show up more than once in a given month.

The tracker shows me what people are after. Image searches for backhoes are very popular. So are ones for Picasso blue-period paintings and specifically the man with guitar. Google web searches (other than images) are frequently for aristocrats, celebrities, popular music, and seasonal topics. And many of you are looking for photos of Frisian horses. In the past week people arrived at the blog by searching these plus "boxing day," "brambles ." FREE LOAD CHELSOM LIGHTING CATALOGUE," "st. nicholas day," "The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism," "cat RESCUE mickey mousers," "ball joint," "lady warwick," "ASIA BOLTON 2006," "kopite definition," and "crows."

It interests me that about 20% of my recent visits have not come from searches but rather from a link given in a Dutch website where horses are discussed: I did a blog post about Guns, Germs, Steel, and ..... Friesians back in August 2005 and included an image of a white Frisian horse (the breed is mostly all black). The Dutch discussion list has had a really lengthy discussion on white Frisians, going back a year or so and still continuing. One person cited the photo in my blog post and many others, seeing the link, have clicked to see the photo and then give their two cents as to whether it's a genuine Frisian. Here's the photo itself:

I got it from a site, that doesn't give any information about the horse so I can't contribute to the discussion on the Dutch site (and anyway they write in Dutch, not English).


Addendum: I did some more checking, this time in Google Analytics and found a stat on "bounce rate." The data show that between 80% and 90% of visitors to the blog view the one page they seek and move on to another web page. They don't stay to read more of the blog. This is, of course, what you'd expect for folks looking for images of backhoes and Friesians. They also show that people who arrive at the blog spend an average of two and a half minutes looking at it before they move on. Again, not surprising.

One final stat: In October, high point of the wave of Friesian seekers, people seeking one single photo of a white horse accounted for a quarter of traffic on the blog, and, as I said, the photo was not even one of mine, but one I'd found via my own search in Google.

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