Today marks the end of the first complete month of Cyde Weys Musings (I started in the middle of December). Let’s take a look at what’s happened on Cyde Weys Musings in January. All data below is culled from the Apache logs using awstats.
The site had over 2,500 visits from 1,700 distinct visitors. The reader return rate is definitely something that could use some improvement. The number of visits on Fridays and Saturdays was about half that of the number of visits on all other days. I guess those are the two “days off” on the Internet. Anecdotally, this makes sense, as I personally find myself browsing the web a lot less on weekend nights (Friday and Saturday).
The site was hit thousands of times by various bots, with 3,000 hits by Google and 2,000 hits by Yahoo alone. It definitely takes a lot of effort to keep their indices as up to date as possible. Google has a better way of handling robots.txt, though: it only downloads it once a day, whereas Yahoo downloaded it nearly 500 times just in January. I don’t really see robots.txt files changing that quickly (I haven’t changed mine at all, for instance).
Over 600 people came to this site through Google searches, whereas only five came from each of Yahoo and AOL (MSN registered one hit). This is significantly skewed off from actual user search numbers, in which I believe Google only controls about 75% of the market. However, the use of Google is much higher than that amongst technically-inclined people, and my blog is definitely written towards interests of technically-inclined people. The most popular search terms from Google were PHYA stock, sticking leeches on myself, Second Life riots, YouTube speed, and Sealand.
According to Google’s Webmaster Tools, my site placed most highly in the search results on searches for my pseudonym, “weys and means” (hehe), various spammed stocks, Java jmp dll, sticking leeches on myself, “pseudo scientific” advertisements 2007, and Kessler Syndrome. My site was most often visited on searches for riots in Second Life (and variations), decapitate child (very disturbing), sticking leeches on myself (and variations thereof), various names of spam stocks, and YouTube speed issues.
And finally, let’s take a look at some of the highest profile links to Cyde Weys Musings from other sites (popularity was determined by the prevalence of referrer URLs in Apache logs). People were interested in my comments on a post at Capitalism2 that questioned whether Second Life is a pyramid scheme. Readers could barely believe that my hydrogen bond angle is ten degrees greater than normal! Somehow I was featured on a BuzzFeed on Accidental Decapitation. A single comment on a DailyKOS diary about China’s satellite shoot-down generated a surprising number of clicks. Many clicked through a trackback link to see my take on real-world spam. My blog entry on the Kessler Syndrome was discussed in depth in an off-topic post in a forum for fans of rifles chambered for 6.5mm Grendel ammunition (sorry, no direct link to the post, but I assure you, this isn’t something I could make up if I tried). And finally, I was quoted in a CNet News blog post on Second Life riots, which brought a decent number of people to the site.
Overall, though, more people still find this site through Google than all other sources combined. Where would we be without Google? I hope some of you out there find these statistics as interesting as I did. What’s really surprising is the hit-and-miss nature of the web. Some of the blog postings I put the most effort into didn’t generate any buzz whatsoever, but a few one-off entries on random topics brought in huge numbers of readers. Ah well, I can live with the shotgun approach: just keep shooting, and eventually you’ll hit something.