Google Blog Referrals

Terry Oglesby wonders, “Have any of the rest of you noticed a sudden upturn or downturn since mid-April in visitors referred by Google?”

Indeed, I have, on both OTB Prime and Gone Hollywood (although, oddly, OTB Sports is seeing its highest traffic ever).

Terry’s suspicion, that “Google had redone their search protocols to highlight or otherwise favor Blogger/Blogspot blogs (that they now control),” is unlikely. Indeed, they bought up the Blogspot blogs about two weeks into my blogging career, back on February 17, 2003!

When I moved off Blogspot that April, it did take nearly a year for my Google traffic to follow me over, despite it happening very quickly for the other search engines, leading me to have the very same thought. My guess, though, is that Google has just changed their algorithm in some way that’s working to our detriment.

That happened to OTB over a year ago, when they decided to purge most of the blogs off GoogleNews without explanation. Also, for some reason, OTB doesn’t poll on Google Blog Search even though we’re very highly ranked on the main search engine.

Go figure.

UPDATE: This post, from my May 2003 archives, seems tangentially apropos:

There have been numerous musings on OTB about the lousyness that is blogspot. Kathy has offered to help people get off blogspot. Michele is begging people to do likewise.

Now, I understand why the very poor — who are not getting a tax cut anywhere near as large a tax cut as Bill Gates under the oppressive Republican plan — can’t afford a real host. But why the hell is Dave Barry (aka Cannot find server) still on it?

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, OTB History, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head 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. Heck of a good question. Several others, such as Little Miss Attila, have noticed this as well.

    My 1 1/4 cents is that a. more people are using google news, especially since they make looking at blogs easier, and b. more people are using google since Yahoo dumped their “categories.”

    And c., they changed their algorithm. I get some really weird search phrases.

  2. I noticed a significant decrease in traffic. I suspect it was a change in Google’s image search engine. But it chopped down my traffic 20-30%. I’m still trying to build myself back. The frustrating process has forced me to re-learn how to build traffic. I finally got around to submitting my weblog to Yahoo and Microsoft’s search–yes, for some reason they don’t have TAM in their indexes–and am broadening my weblog reading and commenting to diversify my traffic.

  3. Chip says:
  4. Bithead says:

    I have noticed something I had noticed something of a change in trend, in the traffic coming from Google, but had attributed it to a change in the way I generate my site maps. Which, of course, is used by the search engines.

    I will say, that not all of the traffic from the Blogger site I had, has followed us over, as yet… then again, it’s not been a year, yet.