Keyword Traffic vs. Social Traffic

Keyword vs. Social
I’ll admit I’m a bit of a stats obsessed freak when it comes to my personal projects. I simply can’t stay away from my Google stats, raw log file stats and of course my Ad Sense stats.


After my last blog posting on the iPhone 2 I detected a large increase in keyword searches that landed people on that article. A quick check on Google and I was ranked #5 for the search phrase “iPhone 2″ and that was resulting in 79 (so far) incoming visits. 79 may not sound like a lot but it’s almost 3 times the previous month’s top keyword total and there’s only been 6 days in July.

This got me thinking, is traditional keyword targeting a better traffic/income generator than the new breed of social sites (Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon)?

With each article I publish, I attempt to ride the social wave just like my original 19 Things NOT To Do When Building a Website article did several months back. I’ve had the lucky experience being on the front page of Fark.com, Reddit.com, Digg.com and Shoutwire/TorrentSpy and it sends a ton of traffic and assuming your web server stays up (I didn’t survive the Digging) it also means a good chunk of money gets racked up in your advertising/affiliate programs you’ve implemented on the site. But getting into the home page of any of these sites is not an exact science and there’s a ton of competition just like there is for keywords. However the pay off is a “long tail” effect on traffic, and if I gain traction for any of these keywords, I can leverage that for a longer more sustainable gain in traffic.

One of the other things I’m most obsessed about is keyword and search engine usage reporting. I’m a sucker for any service or tool that shows me what real users are searching and in what proportion to each other. One of these tools I subscribe to is WordTracker’s weekly keyword report which shows me the top 200 keywords people are using in two time frames 48 hours and 90 days.

This got me thinking; I should experiment to see if keyword targeting is more worthy of my time blogging than social site bait.


Here’s the plan: I’m going to attack this list and start at the bottom, crafting articles using the non adult, n non offensive keywords in an attempt to place in the search engines for searches of this popular term. Some of them won’t relate to my current blog theme, but running Oomny.com has shown me that you can rank for some fairly weird stuff.

First up on the list: global warming

There’s no way in iceberg melting hell I’m going to rank for the keyword “global warming” but I guess I’ll start with it. Maybe some obscure or second rate search engine will find it and give me some rank loving. But it brings up a concern for this experiment, will the top 200 be too competitive? This will only be solved by playing out the experiment and measuring the results.

My next post will be on global warming and won’t mention this experiment as it will attempt to be helpful and contain relevant information.

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