Reddit Effect Anyone?

Woohoo! My site experienced the Reddit Effect first-hand. Since the visits were to a static-page, there was no trouble at all.

Typically my site, http://grok2.com, receives about 20-30 visits a day. Mostly from organic Google search results.

Then, some time on Saturday 12th, April 2009, someone posted a link to the page “Why is programming fun?” on proggit (http://programming.reddit.com).

grok2.com on reddit.com
grok2.com on reddit.com

And soon the visits started piling up. April 13th saw the full brunt of the Reddit Effect with visits from Reddit alone of about 11,825. The visits were way down on April 14th, but still were pretty decent at about 1400 visits.

Grok2.com Visits
Grok2.com Visits
Grok2.com visits summary
Grok2.com visits summary
Grok2.com dashboard summary
Grok2.com dashboard summary

A couple of things are interesting to me. One is that the average time on the site was in the order of seconds. It is interesting that so many visitors didn’t really read the content on the site, but there were a reasonably large number of comments on Reddit — perhaps most visitors were quick readers of prose :-).

Another thing that was interesting was the side-effect of appearing on Reddit. It seems like Reddit links get referred to by users on places like Delicious and Hacker News resulting in additional visits from these places. I’ve included a pic showing the various other places I got a visit from below. As a result of these additional sources, on April 13th, the total visits peaked at 17,204 according to Google Analytics.

Grok2.com traffic sources
Grok2.com traffic sources

Overall it seems like someone took a fancy to the quote I had from Fred Brooks’ “The Mythical Man-Month” book and posted it on Reddit, but the other content on the site was not attractive enough to the visitors of the site. Need to work on that :-). But I am pleased that a page on the site was featured on Reddit. Thanks Reddit user pbkobold.

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Religion…

Read a thought provoking article questioning why religion still exists…my thought on reading the first part of the quote below from that article was — “yes, that’s true”:

With knowledge of multiple faiths, which would certainly seem to cast doubt on the supremacy, and thus the value, of any particular one, and the encroachment of science in explaining the natural world, religion should have become a quaint anachronism, yet it has not.

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Google Index Algorithm Insight?

I made the blog on my web-site visible to Google’s googlebot crawler a day after there was a news article about a new electric car being introduced in the market called “Detroit Electric”. I found that very quickly Google had indexed all pages of the nascent blog — all except for a blog article on my visit to the San Jose Historic Park where I explained seeing the early 1900’s car called the “Detroit Electric” (apparently the company introducing the new car had bought rights to the old “Detroit Electric” name). This page doesn’t event show up when I do a site specific search on my site (though other pages show up).

It seems like Google was penalizing my page mentioning “Detroit Electric” and I think it is because “Detroit Electric” was a recent term in the news and my blog still isn’t a trusted source! Well, Mr. Google, I was there first and I wasn’t gaming the system.

My Google Index Algorithm Insight: If your just crawled and untrusted (low pagerank?) web-page refers to terms recently in the news, Google will not include that page in search results.

Probably they put the page in the famed “sand-box” for a period of time before they will allow it into the search results. I know, I know, Google claims there is no such thing as a “sand-box”.

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