Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Who comes here? From where? And Why?

Like many other bloggers (genealogy or otherwise), I started to write up something about the “most popular” blog posts for 2011. However, after checking with Google Analytics and seeing only ONE post that was written in 2011 show up on the list in the “top 25” for the entire year, said to heck (well, maybe something a little stronger) with it.

But then I realized the results from Google Analytics only includes actual “visitors” that come to the blog - from referrals by other bloggers/websites or from search engines. Most times the latter ones (from search engines) don't stay very long, sometimes merely seconds. I imagine that the vast majority of people who actually read the blog are using some kind of feed reader. That's true for me, I generally only actually visit a blog to leave a comment.

I also don't think the number of comments a blog post gets means it is more popular or better liked than another. So I came to the conclusion that there really is not a good or easy way of saying what is “most popular” or “most liked” or “most read” or “most whatever” but that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. That actually has happened once or twice before ;-)

Then I decided to see where actual visitors to the blog come from. No real surprise there. Most come through Google. But also from Bing, Yahoo, Networked Blogs, and Alltop. There were, however, five blogs that showed up near the top of that list of “traffic sources” that sent quite a few readers my way: Genea-Musings, Shades of the Departed, Reflections from the Fence, Greta's Genealogy Bog, and Creative Gene (Thank you very much Randy, fM, Carol, Greta, and Jasia).

The next question that came to mind is: What brings people to kinexxions? I've been blogging for nearly five years, have published more than 1200 posts covering my family research as well as 2+ years of travels so I was curious about why people came here. Unlike Amy at The We Tree Genealogy Blog, I don't get a lot of strange or funny search terms.

I've taken the first 50 keywords shown in Google Analytics for kinexxions and separated them into three “top 10” lists. These are the search terms that brought the most people here in the year 2011... Rather than link to specific posts, I'll take the “easy” way out and, if you are interested, let you use the “Google Search” bar in the upper-right corner of the blog to see what comes up!

Top Ten People Keywords – This is where I get really, really frustrated. All of these people are ancestors of mine. And I wasn't contacted by anyone who landed on the blog this year that used these terms!! Why not?
  1. samuel bray
  2. john casper stoever
  3. william p wise
  4. johann nicolas schuder
  5. indiana stemm
  6. phend
  7. goodrich family
  8. joseph joslin, jr.
  9. kate berlin richmond
  10. any new family history on conrad helms?

Top Ten Travel Keywords
  1. the shoe tree nevada
  2. moro rock
  3. caddo lake
  4. georgia guidestones
  5. battle of little bighorn
  6. balcony house mesa verde
  7. walter's wiggles angels landing
  8. wheat fields of eastern washington
  9. chilkoot river bears
  10. sawyer glacier

Top Ten Other Keywords
  1. becky wiseman (The number 1 search term, overall, that brings visitors here!)
  2. kinexxions (Number 5 search term overall)
  3. summary of evidence example
  4. hebron lutheran church
  5. digitize slides
  6. slides to cd walmart
  7. armenian ancestors
  8. how to pronounce tahquamenon
  9. ancestors family genealogy tree blogspot
  10. tickle my funny bone

Well, that was interesting. Or was it?

14 comments:

  1. Tickle my funny bone? That's an interesting search term!

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  2. Michelle - You're right. It is. And they probably weren't happy with what came up!

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  3. I checked the link you sent and I think it looks like fun!

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  4. Slides to CD Walmart?? Really?? Snicker. Oh, and you are welcome for the readers, I get a lot that come from here, maybe they are in a endless loop? Snicker!!

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  5. I never realized until reading your post that it was polite to leave a comment explaining one's visit to a blog. I can't remember exactly how I came to Kinexxions. I have some Alexanders in Clinton County, Indiana. And I also am researching Stumm ancestors from Southern Illinois. Stumm gets misspelled alot and I notice you have Stemms in your family. I also love old pictures and discovered some of the other blogs you mentioned: Genea-Musings and Shades of the Departed. And yes, if I find a blog I like I will click on the links to other blogs that they follow. But I also use Google search and love the Google search for images (when I'm being lazy and just want to look at old photos or postcards).

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  6. Tsk, tsk, Carol ;-)

    Believe it or not, it's legit... I did write a post about using Walmart to get slides digitized!!! 'Twas back in September of '08...
    http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2008/09/got-slides-you-wanta-digitize.html

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  7. Love the search terms! BTW, not only do I know how to pronounce Tahquamenon, I know where it is :-)

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  8. Cheryl Ann - Hello, nice to "meet" you ;-)

    Visitors don't really have to "explain" why they come, but generally, if someone blogs about one of my family lines I will either comment or send them an email privately.

    The "Stemm" surname is a tough one too because it can get "interpreted" in various ways depending upon how poorly it is written - Stern, Stein and Stumm are the most common ways I've found it.

    Search engines are great for finding things (guess that's a bit of an understatement) and some visitors do stick around long enough to become readers and return often (they show up in Google Analytics as repeat visitors). However you arrived at kinexxions, I'm glad you come back now and then!

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  9. Thanks Amy. Well, if you did not know how to pronounce Tahquamenon or where it was you really could find out here - I wrote two posts about the falls in August!

    http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2011/08/lower-tahquamenon-falls.html

    http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2011/08/upper-tahquamenon-falls.html

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  10. I read your blog because you're a cousin, I like you, and I enjoy reading about your travels and what you find out about our common ancestors! I don't respond because there is nothing that I would know about a Joslin relative that you don't already know more about :). Babs

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  11. I got my "most popular" of the year stats from Blogger dashboard, not Google Analytics. Blogger shows the number of hits for each post, so I took the top 10 for 2011.

    I've been reading your blog for a long time. I love genealogy. I love travel blogs. You give readers the best of both worlds!

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  12. nice blog. thank you for sharing the information... great job ! bravo...!!!

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  13. Hi - I always end up here through my RSS feed and always look forward to reading your articles . I got here because of your Maxia Jones article ( my Jones are in Ohio too ) , then tonight , the New Mexico stuff caught my eyes ( never been there so like to read anything about it ) .BUT your hallmark to me ( and beleive me , it was a hard call as there are many entertaining articles on here ) was your boot camp series !! My daughter did boot camp in Great Lakes this past July --and because of your article , I looked for all her letters ( BEING FORCED TO WRITE SNAIL MAIL FOR 8 WEEKS to text generation girl is a big deal !) and saved them . Reading your letters brought tears to my eyes . I sent her a link to your blog and she was a history major in college but right now , in A school with limited browsing time so you know how it is ! Keep writing ................Magda

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