A Paradigm Shift Toward Traffic Optimization with the Social Web

SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been the buzz since before Google was in its infancy.  I remember old Submit-it.com and submitting my URLs to "hundreds" of search engines.  That method trying to submit to thousands of the search engines and adding categorizations, keywords, and titles is a thing of the past.

The next shift was optimization for the search juggernaut Google, essentially it was all about trying to optimize your PageRank.  This obviously continues to be very important.  Live never really shared what we could do to optimize our sites to get better rank, and I don’t hear much buzz on Live SEO on that topic either.  (Do a search on google for Live SEO and you get a bunch of articles on making sure you test your stuff live or long live search.  The name Live was a mistake, but that’s another discussion.)  A great means of tracking your authority toward PageRank progress is with Technorati in the blogging world. If you optimize for Google, Live should follow.

The new paradigm which is still in its infancy is Social.  It involves the communities of Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed, as well as the most common social bookmarking sites of Digg and Del.icio.us.  It’s important to begin to understand the new social web means of tagging, liking, and discussing content and participating in these communities. Genuine participation and interest in content really helps.  You could get flagged if it looks like a pure marketing/promotion game, like with google if you break the  . 

Why hold back my stats when I think it helps illustrate the points I make here…  I hope you can appreciate what it means to actually share actual usage… Most people wouldn’t dare.  I encourage it.  I’d love to compare.  I don’t care so much about volume over time here.  I’m interested in understanding referrals and global usage.

(Before I get into the diagrams I need to explain a support issue with my RSS feed.  SharePoint RSS feeds were not designed to be "burned."  So on my feedburner feeds when I use livewriter or even SharePoint and save the images locally, I get relative URLs for my images in my feeds.  The work around is to host my images on another server, or not use SharePoint for my blog.  So if you frequently see missing images on my blog, you’ll know why.  Honestly I do get more feed reads than I do page reads on a given day.)

Here’s a diagram of Direct Traffic – those who simply type it in the browser, Referrals – people clicking links, and Search Engines where people put in keywords to get to pages.

Traffic Sources



Non Search Engine (Referrals)


Ignoring the blogs.msdn.com referrals from my old blog, the #2 and #3 referrals are social places while at a little more than 1%, but they are becoming more significant.  Facebook and twitter.  Friendfeed while not yet on the list is quickly working its way up.  I haven’t invested much yet in Digg, or other social bookmarking places, but it appears based on my referrals, that despite the links in my RSS neither do my readers.

I see a lot of discussion on the interweb about how best to promote your content through social bookmarking, twitter and so on.  I also people that just plain loath that people would even think of doing such a think.  Is there a balance?  I think so.

Other fun things on this report… Heather Waterman’s quality referrals are sticking around for nearly 10 minutes.  Thanks Heather.

Search Traffic (Of 18,000 visits) 


Look at the google dominance.  WOW!  Google – 94% Live – 5% Yahoo – 1% (rest of the 10 (yeah only 9) who cares) I get more traffic from a few tweets.  Talk about consolidation and domination.  What could I do to get more live SEO/optimization, or is that the issue?  This says to me that among the tech crowd we use google for Internet search.  This doesn’t say anything for the mini, by the way.

Understanding Visitors


IE’s powerful control is reducing, but among SharePoint IT folks (SharePointJoel.com fans) IE holds fairly strong at 75% with firefox at 20% with Chrome coming on at 3%.

Where do the Visitors come from



Top 4 US, UK, Canada, Australia – Ok, all English Speaking (Australia a surprise for some of you, an impressive 4%)

Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden a lot of Europe representation that adds up easily to another 10%

India, Singapore, Malaysia – Not to be ignored!

UAE – represented!  Definitely the Hub of the middle east for SharePoint.

Surprise Israel at 27, and Japan at 28?

How about a second opinion.  Here’s my old blog with stats for about the last month… This blog is nearly 100% search driven.  I obviously do very little to promote this content.  Not bad for showing country maturity though.  China and Japan both get a tiny boost here.  The India element here in this chart as #4 is very impressive to me.  I believe the US to be overstated since leased lines, NAT and other proxies will often force routes through US IPs.

Second Opinion Top 25 of 134! countries


Other surprises among the 134 countries…

Egypt – #35 (Yeah, I need to spend some time there with the User Group that meets at the pyramids and in Luxor)

Iran – #45 These guys are serious about SharePoint.  Don’t be surprised what’s going on with SharePoint behind that border. (Above South Korea at 46! and even above Iraq at #82, but there is 22% grey area (probably some Iraq in that area))

Kazakhstan #65 – They run their government on SharePoint right, maybe that’s the Greeks #47.

Obviously this is an English only blog, so things obviously change when content changes languages.

Now you’re wondering where I got these charts.  Ok, you guessed it, these are Google Analytics.  So maybe there is a possibility that the search data is skewed, you tell me.

Here’s a simple global usage chart from sitemeter.com based on continent.


Now ask why is Australia/New Zealand interesting and why you shouldn’t ignore Asia?  You can also tell why I haven’t spent too much time with South America (sorry Luis), or maybe it reflects that I haven’t invested much of my time there.  At one point I had a request to translate my posts into Spanish, and I said that was cool as long as they linked back to the original.  I still think translation is important.  I think Japan would really enjoy my blog if it was translated into Japanese for example.

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