Sunday, December 25, 2011

500,000 page views

Last month, one of my blogs passed a major milestone: 500,000 page views. The Statcounter report is here:
500,000 page views for my blog
Some other relevant data about this figure: Statcounter has been measuring traffic on that blog since 2005 or 2006. I have been also running Google Analytics on the same blog, but it shows a lower figure -- about 400,000 page views for the same period but still shows about a quarter-million unique visitors (differences between the two tools are shown here). I've generated several thousand dollars in AdSense revenue from the blog over the years -- not enough to live on, but a welcome addition these days considering I have no other income from the classifieds startup that I cofounded.

These numbers may not be impressive. After all, some blogs may get that much Web traffic in a single month. But what I find so interesting is that well over half the traffic to Harvard Extended has come to the blog after I stopped updating it in late 2008. In other words, people still find great value in content that's between three and six years old. It may not be "fresh", but it's deep and relevant and useful to them (average time spent by each visitor is more than 90 seconds, according to Google Analytics).

Google, of course, has helped bring most of this traffic, either directly through search or indirectly through references from other blogs or news sites that were originally sourced via search. But there are also people who have bookmarked it, or know about it through reputation and remember the URL.

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