For the past several months now, and particularly since I left the States to return to Southeast Asia back in September of last year, all of my web sites have largely lain fallow. As the ESL teaching career ramped back up, I didn’t find much time to post stuff – actually it was kind of a conscious decision; I didn’t want to spread myself to thin, and frankly I was ready for a break from the keyboard.
Now that I’m dipping back into this hobby/pseudo professional endeavor, it’s been interesting to look at what’s happened with these sites in terms of traffic, search engine rankings and whatnot. Traffic of course dropped off considerably, as one would expect. Each one however, including this one, seems to have maintained a certain level of minimal, consistent traffic – fruit born out of diligent search engine optimization perhaps, but in the case of my personal blog, The Gecko’s Bark, it’s partly due to luck.
As noted previously here, when I first started tracking The Gecko’s Bark through Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, I learned that some accidental keyword optimization drove a lot of unexpected traffic to my site. While “seximondo” is not the big traffic driver it once was – although it still drives a measurable chunk of traffic – my under construction gif still is. In fact, while the site lay dormant for months at a time, it became the major driver of traffic to the site – all because I had taken the time to do the image tags and labeled them things like “under construction” on my “coming soon” post way back when, when I renamed the site.
If you type “under construction gif” in Google (just a regular web search, not an actual image search); one of the gifs I used on my site is one of the ones that pops up under the image search results at the top of the page (or you can just click on the image above). If you look at the actual page rankings though, Gecko’s Bark shows up at no. 97. So it’s safe to say that the several hundred visitors a month coming to my site over the past six months or so that are driven there by “under construction gif” searches on Google are coming through that one image that pops up ahead of the initial search results.
This still kinda boggles my mind. It’s not like I have pages and pages of content all optimized around “under construction gif” – just that one page and a few posts over the years that comment on this traffic-driving phenomenon it’s become. I suppose it’s just the fact that people keep clicking on it, so much so that now it’s become self-fulfilling; those click-throughs keep the image high in the rankings. Last time I looked at this, when you did an actual image search for “under construction gif,” the gif in question on my page was still pretty low in the actual rankings. Not so now; it is among the first five shown in the image search results, as well as web search results.
All because I filled in the image tags.
Of course it helps that the image I chose is a bit naughty. Sex sells, I suppose.