Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has easily shattered his previous monthly traffic record–and the month isn’t halfway over. And this is a blog that has had numerous Instalanches. This provides the opportunity for an interesting case study!

Virtually all of the increase in traffic comes from one post! A mention of a certain tape involving one Ms. Paris Hilton. Giving the readers what they wanted, Kevin provided links to help Google and other devotees of Ms. Hilton actually download the video! His great public service is being rewarded to the tune of 10,000-plus uniques a day. (Indeed, my TrackBack simply mentioning the phenomenon that the Hilton tape seems to be causing was probably my most popular post yesterday; strangely, though, they seemed not to stay around to read the blog–it was also a very popular exit page.)

So, for all the new bloggers out there who keep asking “How can I increase my traffic?” we now have an answer: More porno, baby.

Update: Paris Hilton Nude Vincent Gallo Photos

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin says:

    To be more specifig, more celebrity porn. To a lesser extent, just plain old celebrity news makes for quick hits as well. Do they stay? Who knows?

    If you get 10,000 visits and 1% become regular readers that’s a none to shabby increase of 100 readers a day.

  2. Rodney Dill says:

    If you get 10,000 visits and 1% become regular readers that’s a none to shabby increase of 100 readers a day.

    Sounds pretty much like SPAM economics to me. Send out a million free emails for penis enlargement and if a minute percent respond my opening their wallets it is justified. Damn the 99.999% that didn’t want the message to begin with. This is more a rant against artifacts of the Internet as a whole rather than a slam just against Kevin.

    Any thing free is worth what you pay for it.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Well, unlike spam, there’s no harm being done here.

    In terms of traffic vs. readers, time will tell, I guess. I can’t imagine people who come in via Google looking for free porn are going to get too sidetracked looking at the blog, but who knows? Indeed, at some point, doing this sort of thing would be counterproductive, since people who come to read the essays will likely get turned off by it.

  4. Rodney Dill says:

    Well, I’d agree with less harm than SPAM, rather than no harm. Especially since
    1. You and Kevin, and anyone hosting a web site are presumably paying something for your bandwidth.
    2. People are pulling information rather than having it pushed to them.
    3. and, Kevin’s original post seemed to be more a commenting on the event rather than and attempt to capitalize on the search results the use “Paris Hilton” would bring.

    But, how many superfluous links to one piece of data are needed, not to mention misdirection links.
    One of the more serious drawbacks to any sort of research done on the internet is the time needed to sort through all the crap and to refine a search to eliminate unwanted search results.

    I was amused a while ago when there was a rash of blogs using words like “boobs” with celebrity names. I was amused mainly because I was already reading the blogs for other reasons. If I was a serious fan of a celebrity and was looking for information, or if I was seriously looking for celebrity porn I would not have been amused at the amount of misinformation that would be presented. Not that I think of either of these as serious research.

    It probably is self correcting in case of blogs, as you point out, as too much of this sort of thing would probably turn the more serious readers away.

  5. I tried that…didn’t work.

  6. Check our Hippercritical’s Site Meter.

    100-200 pre-Instalanche

    10,000+ Instalanche

    100-200 post-Instalanche (maybe 150-250, it’s hard to tell from the scale of the graph)

    Nope. 10,000 hits over a day, be they sparked by Glenn or Paris, don’t make it.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Chris–It’ll take a few days for Google to cache it.

    Commissar–I do seem to get a mild increase in traffic for a while after Instalanches, especially those to substantive posts.

  8. Kevin says:

    I had a post about the Hilton tape very early on (before it surfaced) that sat, and still sits near the top of the Google rankings for the relevant terms people are using to search the web for the video.

    They were and are visiting whether I want them to or not. They’re also scurrying through a lot of other blogs that show up in my referral logs.

    Partially for the reasons elaborated on by Rodney, and to combat the scourge of neon flashing porn site clickfests I decided to include a link to a clean (no porn spam) copy of the video hosted elsewhere. Given the tenacity of the searchers I’m not sure whether that had a substantial impact on visits initally or not. Actually I know it didn’t because I didn’t even have a link to the video until a few days after the spike started.

    As to whether a percentage of the increase sticks, it doesn’t much matter to me. I was happy with the slow but steady buildup before the whole Hilton episode.

  9. Here’s a “no spammy flashy pop-up porn site” link for the vid, for those looking here.

    Dunno about the advantages or disadvantages of the huge spike in traffic – I doubt that many will stick around to read the content, so that’s just a waste of bandwidth, which is too bad.