Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Traffic analysis

Comments are down, hits are up... what's that about?

In my never-ending quest to be popular, but not unreasonably popular, I wonder why there seems to be a dropoff in comments on this blog. Is it my new comment policy, in which I politely ask anonymous commenters to use a consistent handle or moniker? That doesn't seem too much to ask, nor was it ever intended to discourage comments from people who don't want to use their real names.

Or is it that I enabled the "word verification" feature? I suppose that could be annoying enough to discourage some comments. I have to say, I'm not wedded to it, ever since "Wendy" pointed out that comment spam may be more likely to come from live persons incentivized to post their spam-links than from "spam bots." I could be persuaded to disable that feature again...

In other news, the traffic to this blog has increased from about 150 to 200 hits per weekday, and 100 to 150 per weekend day. But I don't let this go to my head, because it seems like that difference in traffic is made up almost entirely by Google and other search engine searches, primarily image searches. Perhaps I've posted a critical mass of photos that creates that effect.

Looking at my "entry pages" on Sitemeter reveals that only about half my traffic, give or take, comes from direct hits to my home blog page or to recently linked posts. 10-15% of my traffic at any given time is attributable to my posts Big Butt TV, which probably picks up a lot of porn searchers, and "Do I look fat?" The latter, which is my most popular post of all time, is like a substantial investment that keeps throwing off dividends.

If you're reading this, you're probably not a porn, image or relationship advice searcher. Good for you. Except that now that the words "porn" and "big butt" appear in this post, maybe you are.

it's the word verification. It's a PITA.

I enabled a small hurdle to signing up for one of my forums because there were spammers signing up and posting porn links. The forum traffic has also suffered because of it.

You'll have to figure out what you prefer to have: less comments or less policing of comments.

Don't worry though: the people who really love you will keep commenting.
I for one have never read the Do I Look Fat? post, but now that I have, I can understand its popularity.
The first time is always kind of weird with these sorts of things, but after that, on other blogs, I found the secret: "when in doubt, use a capital!" Plus, there's a feeling like you've won every time there's a successful first-time click of the post button! (Now watch--this won't post the first time...)
You are right, put the right word in and you will attract hits. When you typed "porn" you invited me.
No, seriously, several months ago when I searched for "Harvey Kurtzman" I found your blog and have enjoyed it almost daily ever since.
I like your laid back casual look at things and like me, you think Bush is a piece of work. Everybody likes to read what is agreeable to them.
Eddie Hunter
I don't mind the word verification so much. How bad was your spam comment problem?

If you had demographics of your readership, you could figure out if ebbs and flows coincided with the academic year. Maybe it's the economy. Or the national terror alert level.

On my own blog, I recently reflected on why I don't tend to post comments. Sometimes, I see a post on your site and it triggers me to write about something on mine. I should probably comment about it to thank you for the inspiration.
It's all my fault for being too tired to comment these days, right?

I'm pretty sure everything is the fault of me being too tired. Comment spam occurs because I am too tired. The entire Bush administration exists because I am too tired.

Someday, I will get enough sleep, and the world will magically right itself. All of your posts will then get 15-20 comments, regardless of content.
I tried to comment on this yesterday actually, but I've been having blogger problems. Their "down from 4-4:30 pst" page seems to be lasting several days for me.

Anyway, I read back through your linked post, and found them funny, especially the big butt tv one. I also saw your gigantic list of spam comments. It's like they feed off one another, each one, subject-wise, leading to the next. Insanity.

I'm okay with the word ver.
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