Search Engine Land Stats: December 2006 Preview

I’ve been trained from internet birth that site stats are a precious thing, never to be shared. Well, not trained, but somehow I got it in my head. It’s somewhat silly, given that any site that carries advertising often reveals this information in their media kit anyway. With Search Engine Land being all new, a virtual restart for me, I thought it would be fun to share site stats on the site each month, to talk about how it hopefully grows. I’ll do this at the beginning of each month, to cover the previous one. But I wanted to share a little bit now.

The time period covers December 1 through 10, before we officially launched. We had some stories up, and some traffic, but I imagine the entire month of December will look much different.

Over the 10 days (including two weekends), we’ve had about 30,000 page views. That’s an average of 3,000 page views per day. We’ve had about 15,000 visits, about 1,500 per day. Thanks for coming by!

As a marketer, I always find referrer information far more fun than visits and page views. Over the period, we had just over 10,000 visits come from referral links:

Referrals Visits
Google (Reader & Personalized Home Page)


Search Engine Watch Blog






Daggle (Danny Sullivan’s personal blog)




Search Engine Watch




John Battelle’s SearchBlog


My Yahoo


Google Blogoscoped


Dave Winer’s Scripting News


Official Google Webmaster Central Blog


Search Engine Roundtable


Search Engine Guide




Search Engine Journal


Third Door Media (our "parent" company)


Calafia Consulting (Danny’s consulting site)




The biggest difference between the referral traffic I see here and what I saw over at Search Engine Watch is that here, it remains mostly feed driven. Google was a huge driver of SEW traffic. But that was keyword driven, and especially Google News driven. I did a post on Daggle last month, Case Study: Digg Versus Google News Traffic, that gives you a glimpse of that. At Search Engine Land, Google referral traffic (where someone clicks on a link from Google) is far above keyword driven traffic. I’ll come back to this in a bit.

Readers beyond Google are also important. Bloglines is a huge powerhouse, above a place like My Yahoo. That might change when I do some formal submissions to My Yahoo. If you’re seeded as a default choice in My Yahoo, tons of traffic flow. I’ll blog more about this and the entire promotion process I’ll be going through for Search Engine Land. Also a call out to reader Netvibes for kicking us traffic!

As a brand new site, it helps to have friends get you going. My alma mater Search Engine Watch remains the biggest friend, in terms of traffic sent our way. Threadwatch — I remember when it was just a baby itself — is now a referral powerhouse. Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz has pushed us love, as has John Battelle at SearchBlog, Philipp Lenssen’s Google Blogoscoped, Dave Winer’s Scripting News, the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, Robert Clough and Jennifer Laycock’s Search Engine Guide, Loren Baker’s Search Engine Journal and Gary Price’s ResourceShelf. Thanks, everyone! We hope to send you it all back and more in the months to come!

A brand new site also benefits if you have other sites that are more mature. My personal blog, my personal consulting site and Barry Schwartz’s Search Engine Roundtable have all contributed. Even the brand new site for Search Engine Land’s publisher, Third Door Media, kicked in some traffic.

I mentioned Google News. We’re not in there yet. I haven’t formally submitted and don’t plan to until later this month, as I will with the other news search engines. I think there are pretty good odds we’ll naturally get added. But we’re brand new, so a period of proving ourselves before allowed into the select group of news sources is totally understandable.

Over at news site Techmeme, Gabe Rivera wasted no time having faith in us. Thanks, Gabe! We were listed there I think as soon as we started posting content, making Techmeme our biggest news search engine traffic source at the moment. Want to be in Techmeme yourself? Gabe gave tips in his How do I get my blog to show up? post that you should check out.

If I love referral data, I love search query data even more. What terms are people using to find the site! It’s really, really sad:



search engine land




ask city


search engines






december 11


search engine land


live search books


searchengine land


So sad. I’m used to a huge, diverse query stream ranging from lots of traffic for a topic currently in the news to lots of traffic for terms relating to standing content about meta tags or, hmm — search engines. My query stream here is pathetic. We rank for our name!

If I’m doing my job, that’s going to change drastically over the coming months. Our new site should grow to be trusted in the search engines, if we’re getting out quality content that attracts links. Plus, each new article is a new entry point, giving us a longer tail of possible terms to connect on. In fact, beyond what’s shown above, there were about 200 other terms that all drove us traffic. The tail can be very powerful.

FYI, it’s Google that’s our big driver of search-related traffic. Google sent about 800 visits via search terms in the period above, compared to that 1,229 that came off of Google feed reading related links. In comparison, sent us 40 search-related visits, then Yahoo 37 visits, AOL 5 and MSN 2.

Hope you enjoyed the glimpse! Let’s see how it looks when the entire month finishes. I want a happy query stream that makes me smile!

Related Topics: About Search Engine Land: Monthly Stats | Channel: Other


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • SearchRank

    With SES Chicago last week and still digging out from being backed up this week, I forgot all about adding SEL to my blog roll but have just given you some link love.

  • Aaron Pratt

    I know you are an old hat at this stuff Danny but if I could give you any advice it would be to just let it happen. Meaning, do not do any form of link development. You have plenty of natural buzz to gain this “trust” (that people believe in) in weeks rather than months or years.

    I would love to be you, you can just focus on your work and not fight for attention like most of us are required to do to get anywhere out here.

    Please do not also fall prey to lame “10 ten” type posts or I will throw rocks at your blog! ;-0

    You are one of the sites in my free personal study of search, thank you, you can’t learn any of this in college.

  • James

    Thanks for sharing your stats, I certainly hope that you are able to continue doing it as it will be very interesting seeing them evolve over time.

    It is interesting to see sending you more search hits than yahoo. This could be because you have been talking about the new ask city product and people are more likely to be searching for commentary about that using the search engine? Do you think that is the case or is it just that ask is quicker on the uptake for new sites perhaps?

  • feedthebot

    It is great that you will stat info monthly, this will interest many and provide a good reason for visitors to return to your site.

  • இ Search Engines WEB

    The Stats are valuable for ANOTHER REASON – this offers an insight into the comparison of just how accurate COMPETE & ALEXA are (especially since there is a STRONG bias towards tech sites)

    Please consider getting the free or paid versions of Sitemeter. Many top bloggers are doing it, and it gives a continuous insight into their stats.

    Also the analyzing the search terms will give insight into how Google ranks sites – and how they develop Trust Rank and PageRank

    since this is the Title of the blog-it will be interesting to watch how long it takes to rank for these terms (searchenginewatch is doing great for SEARCH ENGINES)

    Search Engine Land: News About Search Engines & Search Marketing


    HERE are the stats for the top technorati bloggers compiled from Free versions of Sitemeter

  • wowter

    The low search traffic data looks like a prime example of the Google Sandbox. Just wait and see. Search will drive you’re statistics later on much more than feed readers. Although they are a trustworthy audience, they can never generate the traffic for a site like this as search will.

  • web-widget

    Hi Danny,

    Think its great that you are sharing your stats, give all us folk that are cutting our teeth a real insight in to how it can be done when you know what you are doing.

    Would be amazingly cool if you shared what you where doing to get the top spots of the keywords you where chasing and watch the stats evolve over the months, that would really have me hooked in and find it very interesting and invaluable.

  • drew stauffer

    Thanks for sharing these stats Danny. It’s great to see what a powerhouse can do from the very start.

    Keep it up.

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