This graph shows what two links from Daily Kos and one link from Instapundit in the span of two days can do for your blog traffic. For those of you who don’t know, Daily Kos is a high-traffic politically liberal team-written blog, whereas Instapundit is a high-traffic politically conservative single-author blog.
This graph depicts traffic to Scientific Life during the previous 30 days, and the numbers along the x-axis denote the dates for the end of February through the middle of March. The green area shows the number of visitors, or “hits”, and the purple area shows the total number of page views. Prior to these links, my average weekly traffic was 725 visits per day (I know, not much, so you can stop laughing any minute now). But there are a few details about traffic to note; first, Scientific Life‘s traffic appears to be increasing fairly steadily by 10-20 hits every week, and second, Monday-Wednesday are typically the highest traffic days, with approximately 1,000 visits per day on each of those three days, while Saturday and Sunday are the worst, with 400-500 hits per day, as one might expect.
On 14 March, Daily Kos linked to this piece, mostly for the picture (see “14″ on the x-axis). Scientific Life was already receiving a lot of traffic that day, but within minutes after the dKos link, there was a dramatic jump in traffic and page views, as I mentioned, that you see on the graph (total hits, 7602; see “14″ on the x-axis).
During email communications with DarkSyde regarding this link, I asked him if dKos might consider linking to Tangled Bank the following day, and he generously agreed to do so. (I was later told that dKos doesn’t typically link to blog carnivals). So on the following day, I ended up with two links from high-traffic blogs for Tangled Bank because Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit also linked to it (see “15″ on the x-axis). Both links were at my request.
The one thing that I find most surprising about these traffic patterns is that two links from high-traffic blogs to the Tangled Bank generated fewer hits than did one link from a high-traffic blog to an individual entry (total hits for March 14th were 7602, while the two links on the 15th generated 5350 hits). Granted, the linked entry included a gorgeous picture, but still, I would have thought that a science/nature/medical carnival would have a broader appeal than one short entry about global warming.
I’d be interested to know if the Tangled Bank contributors noticed a greater-than-usual increase in traffic resulting from this issue. If so, what is the percent increase? (I won’t ask you to reveal your raw traffic numbers here, as I did).
UPDATE: Incidentally, my readership appears to have approximately doubled after these links (is that possible?). My Saturday traffic was 739 and Sunday was 878. Not too shabby, eh? I hope I can keep this increased readership happy and maintain the momentum.