Spike in Blog Traffic

Yesterday morning when I checked my blog traffic, I noticed a large spike in page views on the previous day, Wednesday. My blog traffic has been steadily rising since the end of summer, but this was an unusually large increase for a single day. It was around 1000 page views higher than Tuesday, and 1400 higher than Monday. This morning I saw that the count for Thursday was around 700 page views higher than Wednesday’s.

PTS Blog Page Views

What could be causing the hige spike in traffic? Well, a look at the most popular blog posts of the day tells the story. Usually the three highest pages (by far) are Error Bars in Excel 2007 Charts, followed by Clustered-Stacked Column Charts and Installing an Add-In in Excel 2007. On Wednesday, the day I first noticed the spike, the top four posts were:

PTS Blog Top Posts

My top three are there, with their typical midweek numbers, but an unexpected post has climbed to the top, and climbed some more. My Periodic Table of What?? rant from a couple months ago had over 1600 views on Wednesday!

Thursday’s results were much the same, except that Periodic Table of What?? showed almost 2400 views. Here are page view stats for this page:

Periodic Table of What page views

It looks like the surge in Periodic Table of What?? was also responsible for the high total on Tuesday.

I’m intrigued: What’s causing this sudden interest in my opinions about inappropriate data visualization metaphors?

No particular referring page stood out, and none had any more than the usual count.

The search phrases that send the most visitors to my blog are typically variations of add ins in excel 2007 and error bars in excel 2007. But now periodic table has joined the list.

I Googled periodic table, and I wasn’t in the first several pages. That wasn’t it.

I Googled periodic table of what, and naturally I ranked first. But who Googles for that?

Then I searched Google Images for periodic table of elements, and Periodic Table of What?? made it to the first row of the first page. Google’s crawlers must have noticed this post and ranked the image very high. I guess using the ALT parameter in your IMG tags really is important. And now all those middle school students who have to do a report about chemistry are treated to the marvels of PTS Blog.


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  1. no surprises there Jon… Google bots are whimsical in that way. For a long time my “is monopoly fair” post – http://chandoo.org/wp/2007/02/25/is-monopoly-fair/ ranked in first page for monopoly board image search. Guess what, every weekend (the natural time when ppl would play monopoly) that page used to get hundreds of visitors… :D

  2. 哈哈,原来Jon也这么关心流量!(Jon cares about traffic too!)

  3. It’s going to get another mini-spike now as we all go back and enjoy it again…

  4. I’m going to immediate blog about health care, the Constitution, and hats.

  5. @JP.. all in one post.. I would love to read it…

  6. No wonder DataPig has recently been peppering his posts with phrases like “Spice Girls” and “Iggy Pop”.

    (Ok, he actually said “Piggy Pop, but I’m sure it’s all the same to a spider)

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