Friday, January 13, 2023

no longer famous

Two years ago, I was wondering why views of my blog had shot up by an order of magnitude in December (2020) and stayed high in the new year. They stayed consistently at the new high level for two years. Typically, a new entry had a good chance of making 1000 views within three months after posting. I never found an explanation for this sudden rise to (very moderate) fame.

In the week beginning 26.12.2022, the views appear to have crashed back down to the kind of level that was normal before December 2020. So I'm left wondering where my ephemeral fame went ...

This is how views per time went up (in the all time view) - the crash at the end isn't representative in this view, as the last data point is the incomplete month of January:

And this is how they came down, showing the last three months only. There was a spike before xmas which compensates the drop after xmas, so the drop doesn't show in the monthly figure for December in the first graph above.

I'm wondering if it's some sort of dark magic perpetrated by Google, making my blog more or less visible. The crash could also be linked to the current crisis at twitter (with the spike before xmas correlating to the high activity of twitter refugees on mastodon). But at the end of the day I'm still puzzled, so all hints appreciated (although I do realise that not very many people are going to see this entry).

Update 23.2.2023: It is now becoming clear that the curve has returned to its previous trajectory, a slow linear increase which I suspect is proportional to the number of blogposts that are out there for people to find. Compared to that line, currently at around 5,000 views per month, the exceptionally high stats of Dec 2020 to Dec 2022 were around threefold higher. The more dramatic effect is on the new posts - they achieved ten times better results during the special period, and dropped back to double figures after December 26. So whatever mechanism boosted my new posts in 2021/22 has now stopped working.

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