What is Google’s importance to website traffic, relative to other sources? Based on my blog’s experience, it is not just important, but effectively everything.
My blog is small. Most of my 330+ articles will never be read. And most of my articles are about my astrophotograhy, a niche topic. So when it comes to searches, not just Google’s, there is little chance for this type of content getting any sort of traction – maybe from the “large” astronomy sources, but not from a personal blog.
But this, dear reader, is where the bad news from this article ends. Google and other driver sources may not be interested in most of my content, but Google is definitely interested in a few of my articles. And in the case of one article I have written, Google is very interested.
According to Google’s own Analytics, my blog operates not by the 20 / 80 rule but by a skewed 7 / 93 rule – seven of my 330+ articles account for 93% of my website’s traffic over the past month. And the per article percentage is logarithmic as you approach the top article.
The breakdown of my top articles has been highly informative, driving my writing decisions when it comes to producing useful content people may want to read. More specifically, my top articles share in common being “how to” guides on very focused topics.
But content can be great yet not matter if there are no means for consuming readers to find the articles. This is where the search engines come into play and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And to be even more specific, this is where Google plays it part driving traffic to my blog.
The accompanying image to this article shows the source breakdown of new visits to my website over the past month (above). It is abundantly clear that user searches from Google drive near all of my traffic, made possible by the SEO favorability to several of my articles. This is both amazing and frightening. Amazing, because Google’s SEO enables people from all corners of the planet to find my blog. Frightening, because the organic viability of my blog is nearly solely dependent on one tech giant.
Direct traffic to my site is second most as source, and the most perplexing. I guess folks are bookmarking certain articles, or referring to their browser history for reference to prior articles they read, emphasizing again the importance of useful content people want to use, and re-use.
The chart also shows the relative un-importance of the other search engines. DuckDuckGo and Bing are marginal at directing traffic to my blog. LinkedIn and Twiiter (t.co) send very little visitors here as well, competitive with Baidu, a Chinese translation search engine.
I do not exclusively write blog content for Google SEO. And in fact, I consider it secondary or tertiary in importance to blogging about topics that interest me. But when I do write content that I think might be a candidate for SEO, I do factor the above chart and analysis into my editorial decisions.