Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thank You Google! (And Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart)

...or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Stats Page

I woke up to a bit of a surprise this morning.  First off, I had no idea that today (July 24, 2012) was Amelia Earhart's 115th birthday.  Second, I had no idea that that fact would have a huge and unexpected effect on my blog.  Let me explain...

Now I realize that this is going to be another blog entry about some pretty dry information, but once again I feel the need to report.  Hopefully it will be of some interest to someone other than myself, but if not then so be it.

Earlier this month I wrote a blog (Amelia Earhart--75 Years Later) about Amelia Earhart commemorating the 75th anniversary of her disappearance while attempting a flight around the world in 1937.  That post also talked about an upcoming expedition that was about to embark on a search for the wreckage of Amelia's plane.  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) that search came up empty--as they usually do.

Around the same time I also wrote the very bland blog entry 2012 State of the Blog Address, which chronicled some of what went on behind-the-scenes at Monster Dad during the past year.  One of those things was my discovery of (and obsession with) the statistics portion of the blog.  Before then I didn't realize you could see and track all kinds of stats associated with Monster Dad--things like page views and traffic sources over the past day, week, month and all-time.

Monster Dad has never been much of an internet sensation, and I can't really say that I expected it to be one when I started it.  As mentioned in the State of the blog address I mostly see it as a place for me to write about things that I'm interested in.  Those things may or may not be seen by others, but at least they're out there in the blogosphere.

Well, a funny thing happened recently as I started to notice the numbers in the stats gradually increasing.  It seems like the longer Monster Dad's "stuff" is out there the more likely it is to show up in a Google search.  Recent blogs about The Titanic, Men in Black 3, The Incredible Hulk and Friday the 13th have gotten pretty impressive (by Monster Dad standards at least) hits at times when they were likely to be looked for in search engines like Google.com.  Up until now one of Monster Dad's biggest days ever occurred back on July 12th when the January blog Friday the 13th Part 2 caused a spike in page views from the normal average of around 200 to a then stunning total of 712.  Of course this was caused by people doing Google searches about Friday the 13th (which fell on the next day) rather than some sudden realization by the general public that Monster Dad is required reading.  I was happy to accept those numbers to make my stats look a little more respectable.  I know Monster Dad will never become a real big-time blog, but it's nice to think that even a modest number of people around the world are seeing your output.

I was okay with the fact that the numbers reverted to their normal pace after that July 12th spike, just as it had done after some of the other recent flurries of viewing activity.  I was also wondering if something else might become a "hit" in the future.  Well, it came as a bit of a surprise to log in this morning and see an obscene (once again, by Monster Dad standards) number of page views for the day.  Amelia Earhart: 75 Years Later was written on the day of the anniversary of her disappearance so I knew that it wouldn't become active on Google for at least a few days afterward.  It generated a few hits here and there, but nothing impressive--not until today anyway.

Today's Google Doodle

Like I mentioned above, I didn't realize that today is Amelia Earhart's birthday.  In honor of that occasion, Google has put up one of their Google Doodles which shows Amelia in front of her plane with the word "GOOGLE" written on the bottom of the wings.  When you click on a Google Doodle you get search results for whatever the subject of that particular Doodle is.  Apparently my Amelia Earhart blog registered somewhere in that search (though I wasn't able to find it myself while browsing the first few pages of results).  As of this morning the post has received over 8,700 views!  To put that in perspective, I have been averaging somewhere around 4,000-5,000 page views per month for the blog.  Thanks to the Men in Black and Incredible Hulk posts May had been the most successful month ever by far with 11,812 views for the entire month.  This morning's views have boosted this month's total to almost 15,000.  And there's still around nine hours left before today's stat window ends.  I'll update this post with the total number when it comes in.

This week's stats, including the Amelia Earhart oddity
Note the small bump in center was the previous daily all-time high of 712 views

So, to sum up, Amelia Earhart would have turned 115 today if she were still alive, the most recent search for her plane ended up not finding anything, and Amelia helped Monster Dad reach unheard of (for Monster Dad) numbers of page views.  Now you can return to your regularly scheduled day.  Thank you Amelia and thank you Google.


  1. Thanks for the tip about Google, Glen. I didn't realize they had honored Earhart today, I found out about her birthday because it was in the reference calendar I have. I think you should do something special to celebrate her day since she's helped your blog stats so much. ;-)

    1. Good idea Cathy. Unfortunately I don't have enough free time today to do much to honor her birthday. Maybe we'll launch a couple rocket balloons in the backyard or something!

  2. If you post original content, Google will come, and your site will get listed above all the duplicate content. Just keep posting, and ping every post using http://pingates.com/ or similar.

    Also, if you get a Google+ account, you can get even more visitors. If you want more info, let me know:)

    Scott (Your Nephew:) lol

  3. Thanks for the info Scott! Little did I know that one of my own family members would know how to go about it the right way! I've considered Google+, but have been hesitant to add yet more to everything I've signed up for online.