One of my New Year’s jobs early every January is to have a look back on the traffic numbers for the site for the previous twelve months and to see how these compare with previous years. It’s that time of year again so here’s the end-2016 update.
I first began gathering traffic data (using StatCounter) a few months after I’d started the blog. This means that I’ve now got ten years of traffic data, although the figures for the first year in the series – 2007 – only start in April. Prior to then, in any event, it was just me that was looking at anything I posted.
The readership has, though, increased a bit since then. As the first graph below illustrates, this growth continued unchecked in 2016, with a 32% increase in page views recorded compared to 2015. The 2016 hit count topped out at a nice round figure of 2,762,167.
Mayo GAA Blog, annual page views 2007 – 2016
Every year I marvel at the fact that the time series graph for traffic to the site looks pretty much like a text-book exponential curve. Ten years on, that’s still the case.
Mayo GAA Blog, cumulative page views 2007 – 2016
This kind of breakneck year-on-year growth can’t go on forever and perhaps the first straw in that particular wind came in 2016 when, for the first time, the year didn’t see a new daily hit count record being set. That high watermark remains at 26,270 page views, a total recorded on 31st August 2015, which was the day after our drawn semi-final with Dublin that year. The day after last year’s replay (2nd October) came closest to beating it but that one topped out at 26,023.
The same holds true of the weekly hit count record, with Week 36 of 2015 (the week between the drawn and replayed semi-finals that year) remaining the busiest of all time. The monthly hit count record did, however, fall in 2016. In fact, it fell three times in a row last year, with first July 2016 surpassing the previous all-time high (set in August 2015), then August topping July and September outdoing the lot of them. The graph below illustrates this nicely, setting the traffic increases recorded in recent years in the decade-long time series:
Mayo GAA Blog, monthly page views April 2007 – December 2016
The above graph also gives an indication about why I was so keen to pull the shutters down on this place last October. Q4 is the only time when there’s anything resembling peace and quiet round here but as the above illustration shows, the most restful time of the year nowadays surpasses what were the busiest months just a few years back.
Such, I guess, is the insatiable desire for Mayo GAA-related news and the need to connect and chat about the topic on which we all obsess. As I said the other day and as these traffic figures show, the times we’re living in now are special ones from a Mayo GAA perspective. Long may we continue to be in such a fortunate position.