|Posted on May 19, 2014 at 11:15 PM|
About a month ago I essentially put the "New Millennial Gay Experience" into standby mode while I caught up on life, helped my best friend move, worked through a long list of recorded TV shows, and fought a bad cold that took my voice for a few days. I didn't even check the readership statistics once during that period. I just assumed readership would dwindle to essentially nothing since there was nothing new to read.
Imagine my surprise when I eventually checked and discovered that we were getting more readers than ever. FAR more readers than ever. During the past 28 days we have had about 2100 unique visitors, and close to 2000 of them were classified as "new" visitors. WTF??? Why would an inactive site be getting more readers than it had when it was posting new material every day?
I checked into which articles were being read most, and I had my answer. Almost all of the new visitors were coming to read my blog piece about singer Sam Smith, and why "I utterly don't care" if he's gay. Further investigation showed that most of the readers came via a Google search. Hmmm....That sort of thing had never happened before, despite posts about popular subjects like "Glee," "Teen Wolf," etc. I typed "Sam Smith gay" into Google, and there was my blog post, the fourth listed item in the search results.
I guess what I've heard is true. The more links to a site and the more search results that yield a visit, the higher priority the site has in future searches. We've had previous links from TheBacklot, and from various Facebook and blog pages. Leading up to the site going into standby I had noticed a slight but steady increase in visitors arriving via searches. And now the Sam Smith searches have exploded. Well, "exploded" is a relative term, but for us it's rather seismic.
The whole thing has me thinking that perhaps our original dream to build up the site gradually over time wasn't so farfetched. Most of the new visitors read just the Sam Smith piece, of course. But there were others who stayed around and checked out other articles. A couple of those articles have had more reads in the past month than they had when they were first published. And if it's true that more links lead to higher Google priority, the future would likely lead to more visitors than we had during our first year. Of course, my time problem still exists, and my efforts to clone myself have met with abject failure. But the potential lurking our there causes me to maintain hope for what we could do in the future.
One irony about the Sam Smith readers is that it is likely that most of them disagreed with my basic premise. They themselves likely DID care if Smith is gay, or else they wouldn't have done the search. And so my contention that it shouldn't matter was not what they wanted to hear. However, one of my original goals for this site was to get people to think, to expose them to "new millennial" ways of thinking about what it means to be gay. Perhaps some of the new readers did come away with a new perspective. Perhaps a few seeds were planted. Damn, now I want to go back to devoting all my free time to this site!
Categories: The Blog