Just got this message from Will Folks…
Below is a copy and
paste from today’s hit counter for FITSNews … 4,175 pageviews as of 4:55 PM and
still another three hours left to go before the counter resets at 8 P.M. for the
next 24-hour cycle. Will probably end up in the 5,500-6,000 range for today (a
lot of people log in from their home computers after work), which is pretty good
for a Friday. We have a pretty hopping story on the workers’ comp issue, though,
so it could be higher.
In reference to your
post of last week questioning FITS traffic, I don’t generally give out that
specific information but when Ms. Blanchfield with Campaigns & Elections
magazine called and asked me a few weeks ago for my best estimate of our daily
hit count, I gave it to her. That’s what I’ve always done when reporters call,
answer their questions truthfully and to the best of my ability. I’ve copied her
on this e-mail, btw, and in the event she needs additional documentation of our
audience, I’m happy to provide it to her.
Although from time to
time I poke fun at you (today included), I have always respected you and Cindi
and the passion with which you advance the ideas you believe in. Obviously we
disagree on a great deal of things, but that’s the way the world goes. At the
end of the day your website, like mine, is a needed voice in the process as well
as forum for people to share their views.
Anyway, I hope the
two of you have a great weekend. Let’s hope the Gamecocks’ offense shows up in Knoxville tomorrow, too!
To which I responded:
impressive. Beyond that, it’s amazing. Based on the list of referrers, it’s hard
to see how how it’s happening. Who’s your service provider? Is that where the
figures come from?
Maybe y’all can explain it. I can’t.
I notice there are lots of pictures of scantily clad actresses and entertainers and whatnot on that page. Perhaps someone looking for “INSERT ACTRESS’S NAME HERE” may have found FITS by mistake. Kinda like embedding keywords or something and letting Google do the rest. Or maybe it really is legit. Why don’t you try putting the name “Britney Spears” or something on your page and see what happens?
One thing that has not made it into this conversation is Page Views vs. Visitors. Ad rates are generally based on unique visitors now, not page views. You can have 100 visitors a day generating 1,000 page views if they all return 10 times a day. What is most telling from a traffic point of view is the number of different IP addresses that are visiting, although again, that is sometimes a misnomer because if you log off and log back on to your network, you’ll be assigned a new IP (unless you pay for a static IP).
Anthony’s right. I’ve written another entry on my blog about FITSnews’ strategy of boosting hits from search engines with names like “Britney Spears” and “Rachel Adams.” He picks the most-searched names from Google, posts pictures of those women, and claims political influence. It’s so transparent as to be sad.
It’s easy to see how many hits come from which search terms. Where’s THAT stat?
Here’s an independent rating of FITSNews site traffic, which supports Will’s numbers. There are growing numbers of these commercial analytics sites, which attempt to provide quantifiable traffic counts to potential advertisers.
Tips for building unique visitor (people count) traffic on this site, based on my ecommerce experience:
— Ask everyone you encounter to post links to you on their sites. Even if they don’t generate major traffic separately, large numbers of external referring links boost your rankings in major search engines. Incoming referrals count more than outgoing.
— Add RSS to this site.
— Add refer-a-friend functions.
— If McClatchey would let you, I’d say create a unique domain such as scblogcentral.com or such, which would be more relevant to SE’s. Your techs could copy all content from this site to the redundant domain. .. You’re buried pretty deep in thestate.com, which generates 300,000+ visitors per month and should give you competitive advantage, but apparently not enough.
— Use more images when you can. If all else fails, add sexy pictures and celebrity content like Will does.
I found this entry from FITS that was written earlier this summer addressing the popularity question.
Read the last sentence of the entry carefully.
More from Will on the subject, via e-mail: