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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unearned hits

A few weeks ago I used to consider a good blogging day to be a day on which I got 30, maybe 40 hits. Small potatoes compared to some, I know, but to me these were the most important 30 or 40 people on the internet - because, for the most part, they were looking for my site.

Something happened around the beginning of the year. Apparently a Hee Haw marathon generated a new wave of interest in Cathy Baker, the "That's All!" girl. Possibly at the same time a large number of people became infected with a bit of malware responsible for the js3250.dll crash that prevents Firefox from starting up. My site is, apparently, highly ranked for each of these searches, so I suddenly was getting a lot of hits from people looking for this information.

A lot of hits. Lately, on average, more than 100 a day. January is only a little more than half over, and already it is the fourth-highest ranked month for visitors in my blog's nearly three-year history. (Only July, August, and December of 2006 had more visitors.)

Google rank is a funny thing. One of the major factors for getting a high Google rank is the number of sites that link to yours, and how highly ranked they are. But I think another important factor is a rule that I first learned when discussing (I believe) electron sharing in covalent bonds in High School Chemistry: "Them that gots, gets." That is, the more hits you get from Google, the more hits you're likely to get from Google.

I always used to be jealous of Chloe's Watermelon Punch. She could post once a week, once a month, whatever, and her site would consistently get three times as many hits as Another Monkey, even when I was posting twice a day every day. But most of her hits were Google searches for things like "visine on nipples" and "pictures of pretty tits" (a link that pointed to a British Ornithological website). Very few people, it seemed, were coming because they were looking for her site specifically.

Chloe hasn't posted since July 23 of last year. I don't know why. I intentionally violated her "all comments must be relevant to the post on which they are made" rule a week or two ago by posting a "Where's Chloe?" comment on her top post. It stayed there for a day and then was deleted - a possible sign of life. But her "forum", where comments are allowed to flow freely, has become overrun with spam which is only occasionally deleted.

Still, given this level of inactivity her site continues to get a huge number of hits, most of them Google searches.

And now I am too. In addition to the searches noted above, I have recently gotten hits for the perennial favorite "the monkeys greatest hits" (it's Monkees, everybody!), "monkey in a dress", "monkey page", "monkey check", "sinusoidal gasoline price 2006", and "who's hotter leia or padme". I have also gotten more than a few for "colitis antibiotics", "mitral valve prolapse orthodontics", and other topics probably related to my post on Clostridium difficile. That last group I'm kinda proud of - if I've helped someone avoid a bout with c. diff, that's a good thing.

Also, I've gotten several hits from people looking for information about Tender Vittles. If the information in this post helps someone who is going through what I went through last year with Ashes, I will be glad that I was able to help a little bit.

Still, I feel guilty. There are other bloggers out here who aren't getting the hits I am, and should. Rima's Rimorama. Ashley's Ink On Paper. Even Tiffany's If I Were Queen of the World, which I only just found out about this weekend. Lots of others. Everybody linked on my sidebar is there because I read them, and I read them because they are worth reading.

Please, regardless of how you have come to this post, do me a favor and click through to some of the linked blogs. You'll be glad you did, and maybe you'll find a place you want to visit again and again. And for me, it will make all these unearned hits feel much more worthwhile.

4 comments:

rimalicious said...

awww, shucks, thanks!

tiffany said...

perhaps the reason i don't get many hits is because i don't even know how to really find out how many hits i'm getting.

you think?

as i've mentioned, i am really going to try to be a better blogger as soon as my new computer gets here (i think later today!!!), but the truth is, i really have no idea what i'm doing most of the time.

i'm just lucky that crazy stuff happens to me a lot, and i can do a decent job of putting those stories into writing.
other than that, the only thing i know about blogging is 'go read other blogs and leave comments. and put links to other blogs on you blog.'

seriously.
that's it.

my sitemeter is all messed up, and i didn't really even know it until you said something. now i know there's a problem, but i have no idea how to fix it.

so, now that i've rambled on for days, do you have any advice?

p.s.
oh, and in case i didn't say it before...thanks for saying nice things about my blog. i do it because i love to tell stories, so i'm not saying this in a lame cheesey way, butit really means a lot when i find out someone is enjoying it.

Betz said...

Harold, I shall make you a deal, as long as you do not delete me from your side bar..I shall tray and read at leaste one blog from someone new you suggest each day.
I will click at random. You are right, it will give me some new insights. :)
Oh, I do not want you to delte me from your side bar because I believe that I have an idea for another story....

Domestic Zookeeper said...

Where I work, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a significant factor. It has become so much a science, that we have 2 people employed who do nothing but tweak our optimization on various search engines. Google, is most respected (where Yahoo! will drop anyone for any reason, and if they don't like you, they won't put you back in their ranks). But currently, there are a few key elements in getting to the top of search engines. Text, links, and backlinks. Text, dropping 'keywords' throughout the body will help with ranking. Making these keywords linkable increases their value. Making those links go to relavant sites makes them even more valueable. And it goes in for incomming links too. Also, the more text, the better. There's actually a mathematical percentage of words to links that is preferred.

I've read your posts. You are very savvy in your link placement and the keywords you use. But as you've seen, every word counts. Even the innocent ones. :)

Have a little fun with battling searches. http://www.googlefight.com/