Data Observations

Yesterday’s WordPress 3.1 update brought a surprise for me, Site Stats. These have long been available, but for whatever reason, ours weren’t working. I never really took the time to diagnose why.

But happy day, now I can look back at nearly four years, more than 1,300 posts and more than 11,000 comments. I love me some data.

This blog isn’t very highly trafficked, but looking at that much data did reveal some interesting nuggets that might be worth discussing.

1. Posting more drives traffic. Since I decided to start posting more last Summer, traffic has steadily climbed, more than doubling. However, more posts has no effect on subscribers, which have remained nearly constant for several years. This is probably more a sign of the market for feeds than anything.

2. Facebook is a monster force. Over the last month, Facebook and Oracle Blogs are tied for the top spot in referrers, and I only got WP Book working three weeks ago. Even though our page doesn’t have a ton of fans, and each wall post has only dozens of impressions, there’s no denying that Facebook is the preferred way for many people to read content. This continues to be an eye-opener for me.

3. How-to content dominates Google traffic. After only six months, my Android screenshot post tops the list of most trafficked posts. It’s second to the home page and above our About. In fifth place is another how-to post about adding MetaLink to your search bar. Chet (@oraclenerd) has discovered the value of how-to content with the EBS install series.

4. Twitter is strong for links. Since December 2009, when Google introduced and rolled it out to Feedburner users, we’ve been pushing posts to Twitter through @theappslab. In about a year and some change, Twitter is now the fourth highest referrer here, pretty impressive.

5. Mobile drives traffic. Aside from the Android screenshot post, four out of the top five posts are about mobile, either iPhone or Android.

So, there you have my observations. If you blog, have you seen these same trends?

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