Post Mortem on Ten and Half Months of Posts

Well, my interview with Matt Cutts certainly seems to be causing ripples in the SEO world. At this point, it’s well on its way to becoming the most read blog posts I’ve ever made. The fact is, I have to thank Matt for my two highest traffic days ever. The first came when I launched my blog and Matt “Matt-dotted” it. That has been the record up until now, when my interview with Matt drove more daily visits and page views on Monday.

In a more analytical bent, it was interesting to see how the traffic ramped up. On Friday, when the interview was posted, the majority of traffic was coming from the predictable sources. There was a link from Search engine land and Search Engine Watch and Web Pro News also picked up the post and ran it in a couple of stories. This drove the majority of the traffic over the weekend. But as time went on (through Monday and today), the long tail kicked in and links to the post showed up in a number of blogs and forums, both here and overseas. While my referral base broadened out dramatically, the traffic kept rolling. Obviously, the long tail phenomenon occurs everywhere. In the last 24 hours, it’s been these widely dispersed links that have driven the majority of the traffic.

It’s also interesting to note the contrast in the pickup between Matt’s interview and the previous interview with Marissa Mayer. While Marissa’s interview actually contained more hard data on how personalization works on Google, Matt speculated on what personalization might do for the future of SEO. That was obviously a hot button and generated a number of pickups. Something about putting the name Matt Cutts and the letters SEO in the same title almost guarantees that you’re going to capture attention in this industry.

I always find it fascinating to see which blog posts pickup steam and which once seem to linger forever with hardly anyone reading them. In many cases, the posts I’m most proud of are the ones that seem to limp along, capturing a handful of page views every so often. Anything that touches on controversy seems to strike a chord.

Looking back at my blog records, my most read posts to date are:

Usability and Asinine Comments from the Bay

Controversy stirred up at a Jakob Nielsen Usability Summit in San Francisco where I discussed brand experience online and the use of graphics on websites

Relevancy Rules in Top Sponsored

A sneak preview of our eye tracking study that showed how importance relevance in those top sponsored ads were for attracting attention and clicks

The Matt Cutts Interview

Matt talks about personalization and its impact on Seo

The Personalized Results are Coming, The Personalized Results are Coming

My follow-up post when Google made its announcement early in February that was pushing more people toward signing up for personalized results

The Marissa Mayer Interview

Chatting with Marissa about personalization and its impact on user experience

For interest sake, I also looked back at my main referrer sources. Google by the bigger referrer source, driving about 14% of my traffic, with Matt’s blog second (a testament to it’s popularity, considering he’s only linked to my blog a couple of times) at 12.5%. After that it’s MediaPost, Search engine Land and Search Engine Guide.

For those of us always looking to build buzz on our blogs, it’s helpful to take a look back to see what our hits and misses were. For myself, I want to keep a balance between getting the posts out that I think are important, whether or not they attract a ton of links, and obviously giving my readers what they want. It looks like more sneak previews of our internal research and more interviews with the people that are shaping the search experience at Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are where I have to look in the future.

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