This week, with the primaries over here and things having calmed down a bit, traffic on this blog cooled a bit, but remained respectable (by my standards, anyway). After 4,236 page views Sunday, we dropped to 2,765 Monday and so on through 2,434 on Thursday.
Then I came in to work this morning, checked my stats, and WHOA! About 3,800 not long after 9 a.m. Things cooled down some, but continued at a pretty good clip considering that I had only put up one very modest post all day (Fridays being so busy for me and all).
I dug into the analytics provided by Typepad, and there didn’t seem to be any one post drawing more traffic than any other. Nor did I find the sort of telltale that would usually account for such an uptick — a link from Drudge or Huffington or something like that.
Then, at the behest of some folks who know more about this stuff than I do, I actually paid attention to a pattern I had been ignoring because it had looked meaningless. I saw I was getting quite a few hits from something with the pathway "search.live.com/images," which was linking not to a post, but to "/2005/07/index.html."
To save you from clicking in circles, I’ll just tell you that "search.live.com/images" gives you a bunch of thumbnails of nearly-nude babes at Carnival in Rio. And while I haven’t clicked on all of them, I can tell you that if you click on the fourth one from the left on the top row — yeah, the one in red — you get, instead of an eyeful, my entire month’s worth of posts from July 2005.
And there you find, on a post from July 27 about a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, a link to that very picture (which I’m not going to link to again, on account of that would be a cheap trick), in a reference to Carnival. I had totally forgotten it. Why, indeed, would I have remembered one inconsequential link among thousands? But why would it suddenly generate all that traffic now? Sure, it’s about that time of year, but it didn’t happen last year this time, or the year before.
So now I know how Will does it — sort of. But at least I did it the old-fashioned way — by accident.