Nurse Ratched has a fresh post based on a discussion that has been ongoing the last couple of days:
I think [the value of search engine hits] depends on the purpose of your blog. If you are primarily blogging on new technologies, or blog software tips and tricks, or how to get the most out of your computer, then search engine hits are every bit as good as any other visitor. But if you are trying to build a community of visitors, or if your blog is primarily for commentary on current events, or if it in any way is enhanced by there being a context, then search engine hits are less valuable. It doesn’t mean that the other visitors need to be bloggers, just that the experience is enhanced for reader and blogger through repeat visits.
As I noted in her comments, summarizing some discussions in my own comments section to several posts over the last few days: I think [her] distinction is the correct one. I’ve noticed, now that Bear is tracking blog traffic in addition to links, that many of the high traffic blogs get very little linkage and in some cases, vice versa. Many of the high traffic/low link blogs seem to be tech sites that don’t generate buzz but provide info. Really, they’re not even blogs in the conventional sense. Also, a few Howard Dean campaign sites seem to get a lot of traffic but little linkage.
The best way to get traffic is to get Glenn to link you. I had that happen three times in the span of a few days in March, and my traffic went through the roof, peaks upwards of 4000 visitors a day. It helped get me some exposure and some repeat customers, but the traffic otherwise disappears in a few days. On the other hand, getting blogrolled by a low traffic site will generate a link for the purpose of the TTLB Ecosystem and a few visits a day, but nothing like the traffic from being linked by a biggie. Indeed, even being blogrolled by a biggie doesn’t generate much traffic unless they use blogrolling and highlight recently updated blogs.
Joy talks about this, too.