Operation Global Media Domination: the Thank God It’s Not Me edition

Total Information Awareness

Scientia est Potentia

As longtime readers of the ol’ raincoaster blog know, occasionally we take a good long look at our stats, indeed, nearly disappearing into our own fundamentals from time to time, most particularly when something has either gone spectacularly well or when it has gone spectacularly badly. We call this Operation Global Media Domination.

As you, gentle reader, are doubtless also aware, recently things have been going spectacularly badly with the exception of the unfortunately shortly-lived Cusack Effect. You may be sure that I am doing all in my power to drag my hits out of the ditch in which Automattic has thrown them (and a long, technical rant on why will doubtless be forthcoming) including appearing on podcasts, speaking at conferences (four this month: FOUR) and pimping out my blog in my linkblogging every chance I get.

It’s paying off slowly, as we’ve gone from about 650 hits a day in May up to 1100, but when Automattic made the link from the global tag pages NoFollow, they basically threw me off a cliff, or at least my hits. My graph:

I die! I DIE!!!

Is it any wonder I'm so fucking CRANKY?????

But there’s something worse than facing that graph: facing THIS graph:

Nick Denton is not a happy man

Nick Denton is not a happy man

Can you guess when the new Gawker redesign was implemented? Can you believe a man as smart as Denton has a cash bet that pageviews are going UP? Can you believe he still doesn’t see the problem?

Can you ever be thankful enough that that’s not you???

Nick Denton BOOM Winning. Just ask him.

Nick Denton BOOM Winning. Just ask him.

14 thoughts on “Operation Global Media Domination: the Thank God It’s Not Me edition

  1. Sitemeter only does bar graphs.

    And yes, all the links from the Global Tag Pages are now NoFollow. As far as I know, however, the links from each of our blogs to those pages are still Follow. It’s EXTREMELY annoying and pretty much wipes out the best source of SEO on WordPress.com, to the extent that I’m thinking of taking raincoaster.com off WP.com.

  2. Nope. And what’s really infuriating is that I’ve been working with one Support person for WEEKs trying to find out what happened. Surely she must have known? But she seemed genuine and helpful. Andrew finally told me last week about the NoFollow and the timing of the change roughly coinciding with my stats drop. Did they just not tell the other support person? And why in hell not fess up?

    I expect Google changes led to this, but it’s not to the individual blogger’s benefit, to say the least. My hits went from nearly 3k to 650 BAM like that.

  3. Well, if it makes you feel better, I’d pretty much kill for 625 visits a day.

    Since you’ve mentioned WordPress, and possibly going off it, I’d like your opinion as a “professional blogger”. I’m about to undertake, with the kind assistance of a much more tech-savvy person than myself, a redesign of my humble blog. One suggestion, by both her and a much-more-successful-blogger friend was to leave my safe, stuffy Blogger for WordPress. On the one hand, my very own domain sounds very nice. On the other, I hate change, know how to work Blogger for the limited amount of things I do, and don’t want the handful of readers I do have to get confused and have to change all their links, which is a pain in the ass. Any advice, oh wise Canadian one?

  4. Well, if you’re leaving Blogger for WordPress you can just insert a javascript redirect so that anyone going to your old blog is automatically diverted to your new one. If you don’t do that, you’ll lose readers. Your feed readers and email subscribers will have to be changed over to the new feed though, and they will have to do that themselves.

    But if you really just want your own domain, can’t you get that at Blogger too?

  5. The WordPress thing is really about making a nicer, prettier site. What do you think of WordPress? Do you think it’s worth it? Why are you thinking of leaving?

  6. I really love WordPress, but there are two kinds. This is WordPress.com, I’m only thinking of going to independently hosted WordPress.org, and I’m thinking of leaving because by making the Global Tag Page links NoFollow, they’ve reduced the SEO advantage that being at WP.com used to confer.

  7. Does he mean “we broke the Sitemeter code”? It’s theoretically possible, but if he did, it would give no readings at all, and certainly would imply a level of ineptitude that’s even more jaw-dropping than the currently accepted level.

    Quantcast seems to have a relationship with Gawker; if you visit their main page, you can see it. Is it a paid relationship? I don’t know. But it should cast doubt on their reading.

  8. I bet this is how it worked: The Sitemeter code deliberately wasn’t included in the new theme, therefore these are only measuring the ca.gawker.com and blog view stats. This is specifically to push everyone to Quantcast, whose stats favour Gawker. I could be totally off here, but I doubt it. One of the reasons I liked Quantcast was that it made my own stats look better; now something there has fundamentally changed. You can see my Sitemeter stats in the sidebar, and check out my Quantcast stats here:


    It’s clear they are measuring very different things. The WP.com stats, despite being derived from Quantcast, are much closer to the Sitemeter stats (in part, WP.com claims, because they eliminate bots, which would imply Denton is artificially inflating his counts by treating them as real readers, maybe even running bots).

  9. The redesign is surely inflating pageviews. When I click on something it rarely works correctly and I have to click on something else and then back to what I want and then it might load right. Visits are still way down on average even with Quantcast’s numbers.

    I’m not sure if Sitemeter was having some kind of problem with their #! setup or if like you said they just liked the way the Quantcast numbers looked compared to the Sitemeter numbers.

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