What kinds of posts bring traffic?

Chad did an interesting analysis the other day - looking at the traffic attracted by science posts vs. non-science stuff (e.g., pretty pictures, politics, etc.). This made me look at my all-time traffic here (I know some of the posts are re-posts from the old blogs where they got lots of traffic as well, but I can ignore that for the purpose of this exercise). I rarely ever check Google Analytics, so the first surprise was my 6th place in overall traffic for the past month! And then I looked at the Clock content to see what have been the greatest hits over the past two years.

Considering I have more than 6000 posts and many of them are brief and low-content, I was quite happy with what GA brought out to the top - quite a nice collection, in fact. What can we say?

First, older posts had more time to accumulate traffic. Second, a few silly posts got one-time big traffic because of Digg, Redditt, Stumbleupon, etc., but that lasted a few hours and is gone.

Some pictures got hot-linked by others and got all the way up to the top of Google Image searches, and these keep bringing traffic all the time.

Obvious PZ-baiting also brings a big burst of non-lasting traffic.

Participating in flame-wars, just like participating in community activities (conferences, scifoo, anthology, Ask The Scienceblogger,....) brings a lot of traffic for a brief period of time and then it's gone.

Politics, as a rule, brings nothing.

The science posts, especially Basic Concepts and BIO101 lecture notes keep going and going and going.

Friday Weird Sex Blogging brought a lot of traffic - but those posts are science!

So, if I intend to keep growing regular readership, I need to write science posts more - they may get few comments, and little immediate traffic growth, but they are a gift that keeps on giving.

Here are my top-traffic posts, under the fold, so you can take a look. I ordered them by total Pageviews (and stopped once I hit posts that got less than 1000 pageviews):

Chuck Norris Creationist 179,340

Cell Structure 156,648 Pageviews

BIO101 - Lecture 7 - Physiology: Coordinated Response 89,646 Pageviews

Harry Potter and The Blind Horses 63,718

BIO101 - Lecture 6 - Physiology: Regulation and Control 62,878

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask) 52,351 (several more hundred each time it got reposted as well)

Mananimals in the news again 31,725

Pay attention in biology class if you want to avoid embarassment when you get older 29,491

Physiology: Coordinated Response (repost) 26,324

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - The Birds Do It.... 24,199

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Corkscrewing 24,033

Me and the Copperheads 23,490

We are now officially living in a dictatorship 22,186

Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Translation 18,657

T-rex at night! 15,947

Physiology: Regulation and Control (repost) 14,610

The Work-Place, or, Catching a Catfish Online 14,489

Another Pretty Bird 14,364

Biological Clocks in Protista 14,190

Me and the Copperheads (repost) 13,891

Cell-Cell Interactions 13,311

Biological Clocks in Protista (repost) 12,135

From Two Cells To Many: Cell Differentiation and Embryonic Development (repost) 11,130

Blogging About Bush 10,561

Carolus Linnaeus' Floral Clocks 9,333

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Losing Your Head For Love 9,240

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Corkscrewing (repost) 8,433

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - The Birds Do It....(repost) 8,255

Circadian Rhythms, or Not, in Arctic Reindeer 7,886

How to use a Squat Toilet 6,994

Did A Virus Make You Smart? 6,626

The Science Blogging Anthology - the Great Unveiling! 5,732

Biology and the Scientific Method 5,611

Current Biological Diversity (repost) 5,409

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Ladybugs 5,072

Admirable....not necessarily accurate...regarding science...in a movie!? 4,943

The Mighty Ant-Lion 4,938

Raising AIDS awareness, using different kinds of talent... 4,732

Hot Peppers - Why Are They Hot? 4,632

The Grand LOL-PZ Birthday Bash Linkfest 4,557

Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics 4,523

Revenge of the Zombifying Wasp 3,974

Lithium, Circadian Clocks and Bipolar Disorder 3,856

Hairless Grey Foxes in North Carolina 3,734

Cloning - what's the big deal? 3,731

Some hypotheses about a possible connection between malaria and jet-lag 3,575

From Genes To Traits: How Genotype Affects Phenotype 3,445

Doesn't reading about this make you salivate? 3,280

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Deepest Lovin' 3,271

Science Blogging Anthology - The Council Has Spoken! 3,011

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla! 2,909

Michael Egnor. Who? 2,823

The Confederate black soldiers were really Union black soldiers 2,819

Open Lab 2007 - the winning entries for you to see! 2,806

How Global Warming Disrupts Biological Communities - a Chronobiological Perspective 2,765

Some hypotheses about a possible connection between malaria and jet-lag (repost) 2,669

Are you a naked mole-rattist? 2,654

Books: "Snooze...Or Lose! - 10 'No-War' Ways To Improve Your Teen's Sleep Habits' by Helene A. Emsellem, MD 2,610

Why do earthworms come up to the surface after the rain? 2,519

Daylight Savings Time worse than previously thought 2,508

Sea Cucumber - the Ultimate Phallic Symbol! 2,495

Parasite of my parasite is not my friend 2,455

Circadian Quackery 2,439

This PRISM does not turn white light into the beautiful colors of the rainbow 2,407

Do whales sleep? 2,324

Serotonin, Melatonin, Immunity and Cancer 2,290

The Work-Place, or, Catching a Catfish Online (repost) 2,272

Circadian Clocks in Microorganisms 2,240

Why teaching evolution is dangerous 2,234

SEED scienceblogs getting more popular 2,159

A fantastic picture of a polar bear exhaling underwater 2,125

What happens in bed, stays in bed 2,121

Lithium, Circadian Clocks and Bipolar Disorder (repost) 2,094

It's Official! 2,073

On the Nature of PLoS.... 1,922

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - Cooling The Balls 1,872

I Want This Job! 1,855

Open Lab 2007 - Up For Sale! 1,651

Impact Factors 2007 1,638

The Giant's Shoulders #1 1,636

The so-called Facebook Scandal 1,627

Should we rewrite the textbook chapters on voltage-gated potassium channels? 1,573

What makes a memorable poster, or, when should you water your flowers? 1,514

Friday Weird Sex Blogging - The Giant Stinkin' Phallus! 1,499

Why Creationists Need To Be Creationists 1,472

Circadian Quackery (repost) 1,464

Framing Science - the Dialogue of the Deaf 1,447

Science Foo Camp - Friday 1,434

Circadian Clocks in Microorganisms (repost) 1,349

Daily Rhythms in Cnidaria 1,326

New York City Blogger Meetup - brunch pictures 1,262

Beauty: Not Just Feather-Deep 1,236

Do whales sleep? (repost) 1,208

Obama wins the First Quarter financial race 1,198

How the Giraffe Got Its Neck? 1,196

From One Cell To Two: Cell Division and DNA Replication 1,190

Creationism Is Just One Symptom Of Conservative Pathology 1,161

Monster House 1,160

Clock Tutorial #7: Circadian Organization in Mammals 1,157

Let's play 'Serbs' and 'Croats' 1,141

When religion goes berserk! 1,137

Associated Press is even dumber than we initially thought! 1,134

Obligatory Reading of the Day - Femiphobia 1,121

Pledge Of Allegiance 1,105

Diversity of insect circadian clocks - the story of the Monarch butterfly 1,104

Hot Peppers 1,045

41 1,037

Kevin in China, part 3 - The First Westerner in Town 1,025

O.J. 1,011

This one is for PZ 1,008


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WOW! You have loyal readers... I include myself in that of course. I am happy to see that the science blogs work. They don't get very many comments, but the proof is in the pudding! It gives me faith in my uber-sciency-ness.

My top-traffic posts are the ones for the beautiful birds meme. That's another way to get traffic - start a blog meme or carnival.

I am surprised that only one meme and one carnival made it to this list: the beautiful bird and the Giants' Shoulders. Some of my favourite posts did not make it here, some of the silliest ones did, but overall, if this list were to be the complete list of all of my posts, that would still be a pretty decent blog, methinks. It is interesting that long political rants never made it here!

Huh, in my blog, the lame doctor who post is the more popular one, only surpassed by the calculus post. Anyways, good job on your science stuffs. *thumbs up*

It's obvious what you must do to fully flesh out this theory - make a weirdsex post about Chuck Norris getting it on with Harry Potter. You might take down ScienceBlogs with a post like that.

That said, the everything you wanted to know about sleep is probably my single favourite blog post of any blog of all time. Incredibly informative, incredibly useful.