In keeping with past years statistics, below is a quick summary of what web traffic looked like in 2012.
In 2011 my blog took 108,325 visits and 140,882 pageviews, while in 2012 it took 76,630 visits and 97,964 pageviews. Last year I was happy to see that the number of visits and pageviews were increasing, not to their highest levels when I was regularly blogging about technical topics but it was nice to see regardless.
This year however, something drastic happened in April and after digging into Google Analytics the first date that traffic plummeted was April 24, which was the date Google rolled out a new algorithm named Penguin. The Google Penguin update was designed to combat several different over optimisation tactics that are commonly used in online marketing to drive more visits from Google. Fortunately while I fell victim to the original update, I was given a reprieve in late May when Google made an update to their algorithm – though traffic never returned to the exact same levels before.
What is surprising to me is that I was penalised at all by the algorithm. I haven’t performed any search engine optimisation on my blog, aside from configuring a few common WordPress plugins that everyone uses and except for my commenting legitimately on interesting blogs online – any links to my website are 100% organic.
It comes as no surprise that Google still dominate the traffic to this blog, like they do to most websites around the world. Following on from last year, Google organic search continued to contribute ~78% of the traffic to the entire website. Bing & Yahoo! (which uses Bing from a search engine technology stand point) continue to provide a dribble of traffic, contributing just over 3% compared to 3.5% from last year.
The most popular posts for the year were nearly identical to last year, however a technical post about an Oracle database error lost out in favour of a post describing how to get an old HP printer to work in Windows 7:
- Disable Options In A Select Dropdown Element
- Oracle RETURNING Clause
- Like Father, Like Daughter
- Windows 7 HP Laserjet Drivers Support
Of course when you ignore posts from prior years and only count articles written in 2012, it changes a lot:
- Jabbawockeez Jupiters Theatre Gold Coast
- Infolinks In-Text Advertising Review
- Shh, The Dinosaur Is Asleep
- Hugo, 4 Years Old
- Evie, 2 Years Old
I haven’t bothered to keep a close eye on the health of my blog this year and I’ve suffered as a result. Had I have been keeping an eye on things, I’d have noticed the significant decline in traffic toward the end of April and could have started to take action to rectify those issues. Of course, there is nothing stopping me doing it now either – so maybe I’ll spend a little time on some analysis to see what Google might be complaining about.
Onward & upward for 2013!