Data on Blog Post Distribution via Seeking Alpha and Yahoo

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about why the Seeking Alpha deal with Yahoo Finance was important for my blog (full disclosure: Benchmark is invested in Seeking Alpha) . It was all about distribution. What I did not realize at the time was how impactful it was. The following is an analysis accompanied by many charts and screen shots to show the results (sorry for the length).

My second post on the Yahoo/Facebook deal was picked up by Seeking Alpha. It was then distributed on Yahoo Finance on the YHOO ticker symbol. Because I wrote it early, it was the top placed story in the headlines below the Yahoo chart when the market opened at 9:30AM EDT. Below is a chart showing the hourly progression of traffic to my blog on the day the post appeared on Yahoo Finance via Seeking Alpha.

16 O’clock in Israel (where I am) is 9am in NYC. Look at the spike in the pre-market and early opening hours of the market. Now look at the chart below.

Thursday 9/21 is the day my blog post was picked up by Seeking Alpha and posted to Yahoo Finance. You can see that visits to my blog increased 4X+ on Thursday. But here is the real interesting part, you can see that visits to my blog went up even higher on Friday. When I came back from the Rosh Hashana holiday, I could not figure this out initially since the post was off of Yahoo Finance’s main page. I then found the answer comparing the following 2 graphs (thanks to Google Analytics for all these great free charts).

The above graph is from Thursday’s traffic. Note that most of my traffic is coming from Seeking Alpha and 2 Yahoo properties. In a normal day, my direct traffic accounts for more than 50% of my traffic and Thursday 9/21 it was under 15%. Now look at the chart below.

All of the sudden a new traffic source appeared: thestreet.com. I had never before received any traffic from thestreet.com so I was curious where it came from. After searching the site, I found my way to this post by James Altucher (thanks to James for the kind mention):

I am guessing that James either saw my post on Seeking Alpha or on Yahoo Finance and linked to it. This was a spillover effect from the Seeking Alpha pick up that upped my exposure for a second day. Some of it (about 15%) was probably still traffic from the Seeking Alpha/Yahoo Finance posting but the rest of it was from a secondary source that found me through the original distribution. Friday, as you can see above, was 5X the traffic of Wednesday. So in the 2 days following my post being picked up, I had an order of magnitude more traffic than a normal day. What’s more is that it was all new readers. In a normal day, 60% of my readers are returning visitors (nobody is that interested in what I have to say so I assume the other 40% are Google crawlers or accidental tourists). See these charts below for a breakdown of traffic on the 2 days the post ran on Seeking Alpha, Yahoo Finance and TheStreet.com (9/21 and 9/22).

You would get a similar picture if you look at the geographic breakdown. On normal days, I get about 50% of my visitors from Israel. On those today’s Israel was a small blip on the map compared to California and New York.

Given that I started writing my blog to try to get a better understanding of the dynamics of the blogosphere, I found this entire experience very edifying and interesting. Has anyone had similar experiences?

[Originally published on 26th September 2006 by MIchael Eisenberg]