Friday, July 17, 2015

Top 5 Blog Posts by Page Views

It's been awhile since we've reported which of the posts on this blog are most popular, and since a trend has established itself over the last four years, it's time for an update. Listed below are the five posts that have been viewed most as recorded by the statistics feature built into Blogger. Although I often have reasons to doubt the data, it's the best record I have to date. In order of popularity, I present the top five blog posts.

When we first reported the most popular posts in May of 2011, this post was only a few months old but still managed to rank #7 against many posts that had been around much longer. This post has been consistently popular since its publication and continues to rank near the top regardless of the time scale: views in the last month, week, or day. Comments left on the post indicate there are other do-it-yourselfers that have referred to my story, which is gratifying, but makes me wonder how they found my page?

Since Google refers more viewers to this blog than any other source, I've assumed most of the visits to this post came from Google searches on radon systems. I think that may be a faulty assumption. My search for "radon mitigation system installation" revealed that my blog post didn't show up in the first 62 pages of results, at which point Google refused to show me any more of the alleged 102,000 results for my search. Evidently some other sources are directing folks here, and at a pretty consistent rate since 2011.

2. Gutter Hanger Testing

This post is a perennial favorite as well, indicating to me that the need for clear answers on gutter hangers has not abated since 2009. This post was at the top of the list when we first reported ratings in 2011, but by the spring of 2013 it had surrendered the top spot to the radon system installation post. While now running far behind the #1 post, this post still has a comfortable lead over the third place post.

3. Freeport McMoRan Morenci Copper Mine

I suspect this post gets most of its views from folks looking for information on the company that runs the mine, but I still hold out some hope that there are a few people out there that appreciate my personal perspective of my tour of the mine in 2010. This post actually passed the gutter hanger post in popularity in early 2012, but conceded the first place position by fall of that year, and was passed by the radon installation post a few months after that.

4. Corn Growth Chart

I think it's appropriate that at least one of my corn posts is popular enough to be in the top five, since it seems every time I meet someone that has visited this blog they mentioned my corn growth posts. This post shows up on the second page of Google search results for "corn growth chart," and even appears near the top of the image search for the same term. If you put the phrase in quotes, it's Google's top result! I suspect that may have driven a lot of the visits over the last six years, but a scarcity of views recently may allow other posts to accumulate views more quickly and knock this one out of the top five.

5. Williamsburg in the Fall: Buildings

Of all our posts on Colonial Williamsburg (36 so far), this one from 2009 has most consistently held a spot in the top 10, although three other CW posts have visited the top ten as well. A Google search for "Williamsburg buildings" (quotes included) finds this post on the seventh page of results, but changing the search terms to "Colonial Williamsburg buildings" moves it up to the third page. Although this post is not far behind the #4 post, its views per day rate is almost identical, which means I don't expect it to move into the #4 slot very soon.

It's probably not surprising that all five of these posts are at least four years old. An older post has more opportunity to attract views, and has an advantage over newer posts on total views count. For that reason I decided to calculate views per day rates for the top ten posts, and others that were close to the top ten, but posted recently enough that their popularity over time has not yet been fully realized. Interestingly enough, the #8 and #6 posts for total page views rank in the top five for views per day.

Honorable Mention:  An Experiment in Greenwich

This post ranks #4 in views per day, but since it's less than three years old, it still only ranks #8 for total views. While writing this post, I finally realized why (Spanish version of TripAdvisor) referred so many visitors to my blog. On this page: the fourth responder included a link to my post on Greenwich, and by doing so, helped boost the ratings of the post. I'm glad at least one person linked to this post, since it's one of my favorites.

Honorable Mention:  Basement Bathroom Project

Although this post gets the fifth most views per day of all my posts, I'm at a loss to explain why. Having lived through the project, the post brings back lots of fond memories, but the pictures only show the ugly stages of the project before the pretty, finished pictures were taken. Nonetheless, it's views per day rate continues to be strong enough that it should move into the top five for total views if its pace continues.

I'll try to remember to report these ratings again before another four years passes, especially if we have a change in the top five posts. In the meantime, you can elevate your favorite post in the standings by visiting it several times each day. Imagine the satisfaction you'll feel! I'll keep trying to post something at least moderately clever, and you keep refreshing your browser, and together we'll shake up the ratings!

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