Friday, May 5, 2006

Rabbit in Decline

For many months the number one way that people have found my blog is by searching for images of rabbits on Google Images. An unexceptional photo of a rabbit in my backyard has been the winner, quite consistently.

Until this month.

If you’re unfamiliar with “referrals", that term refers to some information that your web browser gives my blog when you visit: the address of the web site that gave you a link to my blog. If you found my blog by searching on Google, Yahoo, etc., or if you clicked on a link in another blog or in a news story, your web browser tells my blog the address of those places. On the other hand, if you got to my blog by typing in the address manually, or by a favorite or bookmark, then your browser doesn’t tell my blog anything. So referrals basically are a look at how new people find my blog. On a typical day, about 20% of the visits to my blog come from referrals, and the other 80% from people who come back on their own.

Actually the rabbit referral decline started on April 27, when the number of referrals precipitously declined, and has stayed low ever since (not a one yet today, for example, where “normally” I’d have ten or so by this time of the morning). I have no idea why this should be so, as when I do a Google Images search for “rabbit", my photo still shows up in the 200s, just as always. Somehow the searchers of the world (for these rabbit referrals came from all over) have changed their habits in perfect harmony.

So far for May, the top referrals have been highly variable; different each day, and changing throughout the day — which is more what my intuition would lead me to expect.

I’m happy to see the rabbit in decline.

Another pattern holds with referrals that’s interesting for this amateur photographer: over 95% of all referrals to my blog come from searches on Google Images. The rabbit was king for a long time, but there are at this point several thousand other images available on my blog — and almost of thousand of these have been the targets of a Google Image search that resulted in a referral to my blog. I wonder what percentage of Google searches are for text versus images — I really don’t have any idea. I know that my own searches are way over 90% text, but I don’t know if that pattern holds across the general population of Googlers. But I’d bet that my blog’s referral proportions (more than 20:1 image searches to text searches) is way out of whack with the general Google searches — and I’d sure like to know why that is.

Any enlightening comments would be much appreciated…

1 comment:

  1. In the old blog, Anonymous said:
    love your blog, very intelligent conversation.Duane