Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016! We wish all of you a very happy, prosperous, and rewarding year.

Several years ago, we began a tradition where we shared some internet statistics about this website. We know that many of you write your own blog, so we think the information may be of help to you based on the 2,667 blog posts we have written. And even if you do not run a website yourself, the things you can learn about how people operate today are still fascinating.

  • Total number of sessions (i.e., the number of times anyone visits our website) are up a whopping 27% over 2014 – the same growth that we experienced last year.
  • Our number of page views (i.e., the number of pages each person looks at during a session) is up 40%, which means not only that more people visited, but they visited more pages on average during each visit (i.e., pages per session is up 10%).
  • Very interestingly, the number of visitors using a mobile device (phone or tablet) was 59% compared to 55% in 2014.  Considering the rapid growth in prior years (2011 – 7%; 2012 – 21%, 2013 – 38%), it looks like we may finally be seeing a leveling off of the growth in mobile traffic versus desktops. (But, for those of you with your own websites, having a “responsive” website (one that adjusts for different screen sizes) is an absolute must).
  • Though our traffic from social media still grew 23%, other sources such as our email newsletter grew faster. Still, social media provided 56% of all of our traffic. The lesson if you own a website is that you must have a social media strategy.
Sort of the way Social Media works some days.

Sort of the way Social Media works some days.

When you are talking social media, you have to discuss the giant behemoth – Facebook. Of that 56% of our traffic from social media, a full 90% of that is from Facebook. To put that into perspective, all search engines combined only provide 12% of our traffic while Facebook provides 50%.

Anyone who runs a website can tell you about the love/hate relationship with Facebook. They are huge in driving traffic, but they also control that traffic harshly. An average Facebook page post is only seen by 16% of “fans” of that page. That’s right, of all of the pages you like on Facebook, you see only 1 in 6 of their posts. Yes, you can affect that % by “liking” posts, commenting on posts, and sharing posts.

And, yes, that is why we encourage everyone to sign up for our newsletter (top of the column on the right of this page). You will receive an email every morning.

So what about all of the other social media? We are working hard and have seen some healthy growth from Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, but they still are very small compared to Facebook. (And places like Google+ continue to decline).

Now let’s talk about search engines. We have seen a healthy 44% growth in traffic from search engines, overwhelmingly Google, moving to 12% of our traffic from 11% last year. While common searches were for “thundering herd” and “Siberian Huskies,” let’s talk about the unusual searches.

  • July 16, 2013 – We have no explanation for either what people were looking for or why it led to us.
  • Scream – That totally cracks us up, but Cheoah and Typhoon are proud.
  • Squirrels for Peace – A very old joke for us, but it still drives traffic.

squirrels_for_peacehi

  • Canine Medical Decision – A really difficult post for us to write, but it must have hit a chord.
  • Cheesewhiz RV Face – We know what it means to us, but why oh why are people searching that on Google.
Cheesewhiz RV Face

Cheesewhiz RV Face

  • Daisy the Golden Retriever – Daisy is an Urban Legend about a Golden Retriever who rescued hundreds of people during the tragedy of September 11, 2001. We posted a tribute to dogs of 9/11 way back in 2010 that still receives visitors to this day – and they often find it because they are trying to find out if Daisy is real. While Daisy is not real, we did highlight several real canine heroes of that day.
  • How To Look Tough – We are glad to be able to give advice in that department, though we are not sure if Typhoon’s advice was helpful.

And now for everyone’s favorite section. The most popular items of the year:

  • The most popular post from this year – Blowing Coat – The Fast Method .
  • The most popular post NOT from this year – the post we mentioned above about Daisy and the Canines of 9/11. Amazingly, this page received more traffic in 2015 than any post we created in 2015.
  • The most popular story. Despite being from 2006, the story of Frankencouch has year after year been an all-time favorite.
  • The most popular dog page. Last year it was Qannik. The year before was Typhoon. But the champ of many years before that has reclaimed her title. Of course, Queen Natasha the Evil is back as the most popular individual dog page.
  • The most popular video is, once again, Taste Test. We have to tell you that this has never made sense to us, but apparently it has been mentioned by other blogs and continues to be our most popular video. And we mean by a long shot. Everything else combined does not get as many views as that video.
  • Most popular video from 2015 was Queen Natasha’s post-surgery celebration – I Feel Good.

Spam. What possible internet conversation can ignore the bane of anyone who works in cyberspace. In 2015, our spam blocking software blocked 214,480 spam comments (i.e., comments we never even saw because the software blocked them). Yes, you read that number correctly. What is really interesting is that 115,706 of those came in the first three months of the year, meaning we were on pace to have almost a half a million spam comments. We added some security layers to prevent the biggest offenders from even getting to our server which dramatically cut that rate (same sort of security approach we use against repeated hackers – a sadly common occurrence – as in several times a day).

So, dear readers, those are the highlights. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know and we will try to address them.

9 Comments

  1. Melon on January 6, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Thankyou for sharing these statistics and tips for running a website/blog! I found this helpful and am going to see what I can do to improve Melon’s Animal Adventures 🙂

  2. Dennis the Vizsla on January 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    hello thundering herd its dennis the vizsla dog hay happy noo yeer to all of yoo!!! dada seems to find those statistiks fasinayting but i do not unnerstand them at all that is why he is the kompyooter persun and i am the dog i gess!!! ha ha ok bye

  3. Sue Koda and Hazel VerSchneider on January 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to the herd. Koda wanted to tell you about his new little sister. As you know, Misha, his “grandma” as we called her passed to the bridge in August and I was dead set against a 2 dog family any of ever again. Well so much for that thought.
    The beautiful Treeing Walker Coonhound – Foxhound mix named Hazel. She’s 1 and we got her from the Va Beach SPCA.

    Koda here Mommy calls Hazel HazelNUT when’s doing her puppy type stuff. And boy does she do that puppy stuff again. She thinks everything is a chew toy including mommys arm. She’s not the happiest in the crate or going for rides but I’m the big brother and it’s my job to teach her or so mommy tells me. Being 6 I’m good at all my stuff now.
    Talk to you later I gotta go teach Hazel how to snuggle mommy she’s getting good at it.
    High-paw!
    Koda?

  4. Rebekah on January 1, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Happy New Year!

  5. DJ on January 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Happy New Year to the Thundering Herd and Hu-Dad! I read your posts every morning! I look forward to reading the antics of the herd every day! I can at times relate them to the antics of my girls Cierra and Maggie. Love the stats! I must say they are very impressive! Thank you for all you do! Wouldn’t start my mornings any other way! Cheers!

  6. Debbie Moore on January 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Just a note to let you know how much delight I receive from reading and viewing posts about the herd…I have a half Husky half German Shepherd (dominant husky) who looks just like Q tip except with brown eyes… And having dogs most of my life I can honestly say that (Poncho) has given me more laughs than any other… Keep up good work and thanks again!

  7. Susan McManus on January 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Happy New Year to the Thundering Herd! I can’t begin to tell you how much reading the antics of this special group of pups helped when I was bedridden after a terrible fall last year. I loved getting to know the past members. Rusty with his balloon and walks made me laugh. I cried when you lost him. Typhoon is such a clown. Kiska is gorgeous with her long fur. Qannik is adorable. He looks like a giant cotton ball. Natasha looks so sweet, as do Frankie and Cheoah. My family laughs when I tell them it would be wonderful to meet them one day. They kept me going through broken bones, MS, and other things. God bless you during this new year. Looking forward to more antics in 2016.

  8. Laura on January 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

    LOVE the stats! I’m gonna show them to my hubby…although he probably will see them on his own (he does websites for a couple local biz, and never has time for ours) #barefootshoemakerschildren

  9. Jane on January 1, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Happy New Year Thundering Herd. I truly hope this will be an even better year than last year. I read your post every morning. You usually bring my a smile and laugh to start my day. I appreciate that. I love seeing all of you beautiful babies every day. I so miss my Aries. Huskies are and will always be my favorite breed of dog. Thank you for all you do. Hugs and kisses to the herd.

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