My Top Five Most Viewed Posts

As tends to happen with blogger events, topics come up and become memes within the event with bloggers picking up the topic and running with it.  For Blapril the latest relates to some talk about blog traffic, namely the top five most viewed posts.

The Blapril commeth

Blapril is still live through the coming week, and I still have one more post about it, but I figured I could jump in on this idea as well.

Well, technically, I have already jumped in on this idea in the past.  The annual commemoration of the founding of the blog sees me post all sorts of meaningless information about the blog, including the most viewed posts over the life of the blog.  It is when I bare all the stats.  The last time around was for the 13th anniversary which hit last September.

At that time the top five posts for all time were:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark

That has actually changed slightly over the past seven months.  The same five posts are at the top, with the order being adjusted.

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator – 65,769 views
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit – 55,530 views
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID! – 42,962 views
  4. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online – 40,210 views
  5. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark – 36,188 views

The first post is from August 2007 and was perhaps the first headline of mine that Google grabbed onto, boosting it to the top back then, with enough traffic to sustain it.  The post is also the quintessential example of low effort, high popularity having taken about a minute to crank out the not quite 150 words that surrounded the link to the actual guild name generator.

The second is another Google special, as people to this day still type in searches asking about running Civilization II on 64-bit.  Even though it is from 2011, the info in that post is actually still applicable, as it works with Win10 as well.  And it no doubt says something about how solid Civ II was that I still get traffic on this today, 24 years after it launched.  At least this was a post I put some actual work into.

Then there is the Alamo post, which I put together on a whim back in 2009 because Meclin used to love that Alamo forum post.  This one was a slower burn and is the one on the list that doesn’t rely on Google search results.  Instead, it is one of those things where one person uses a search engine to find it, then posts it somewhere on Reddit, and the traffic comes from that.  With the coming of WoW Classic and the related nostalgia, this post has been getting a lot of Reddit links and I expect it will one day top the all time list.  While I put some effort into putting together this post, it was basically copying somebody else’s work to preserve it.

How to Find an Agent in EVE Online was very popular for a stretch and actually represented some work I put in to help the EVE Online community.  It was popular back in 2007 when I wrote it because finding an agent was, like so many things in the game, an absurdly difficult thing to do.  CCP eventually made this better with a “Find Agents” button that brought up an easy to use (in EVE terms at least) search window… and then they made it a bit worse with The Agency interface, but it is still not as bad as it once was.  This post gets almost no traffic now and has been falling down the list as time goes on.

Then there is a Pokemon post.  If I expanded to the top 50, there would be a lot of Pokemon posts on the list like this one, that related to specific events happening in specific versions of the series.  Google loved my Pokemon posts and sent a lot of people here for them.  They were often short lived.  This one related only to Pokemon Black & White, which again puts the post back in 2011.  But for a brief flash they were quite popular.  If you wanted make a blog to just get a lot of traffic you could do a lot worse than covering Pokemon related news.

The most recent post on that list is from October of 2011.  They have an advantage in that was also a time when the blog was still getting more popular as time went along, things peaking in early 2013, at which point Google made some changes to their search results that directly impacted blogs.  So those posts were in at the peak time and have had longevity on their side.

This made me wonder what the top posts were back then, so I went back to some of my old annual posts to get the all time tops from past years, just to see how that top five evolved.

Back in 2009, three years into the blog, there were already two of the current five on the list:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. Shaymin Event at Toys R Us
  4. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  5. What Is A “Tank” In EVE?

Also there is a Pokemon event post.  And the Blackrock Spire post remained pretty popular over the years, as it currently sits at 11th place on the all time list.

At the four year mark the top two remained solid:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  4. Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
  5. Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?

At five years, which puts us in 2011, we have three of the current top five:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  4. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  5. Fighting Blood Elf Porn

With 2012 and six years of blogging, four of the current top five are now present:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  3. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  4. EVE Online – The Tutorial
  5. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit

In 2013, with the peak of the blog having passed, the top five actually includes a post from that year:

April 1, 2013 remains the best ever day for page views on the blog.  It has all been down hill from there.

At year eight and the start of the decline, still just four of the current top five.

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  5. First Pokemon Black and White Download Event – Victini

But there are two Pokemon even posts on the list.  See.

Nine years in things are still running along with the same top four, but there was enough Blizzard April Fools nostalgia to push the 2013 post back into the top five:

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  5. April Fools at Blizzard – 2013

That same list holds true for 2016 and the ten year anniversary, so I won’t post it again.  But the fifth entry, the Alamo post, is finally in the top ten, hitting 8th position.

The list is again the same for 2017, and the Alamo post is down at 10th spot.  Something must come along to give it a boost… like maybe the announcement two months later of WoW Classic.  November 2017 see it get 5,200 page views.

In 2018 the list changes just a bit as a Pokemon post gets a revival.  But Alamo is now in 6th position and closing.

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  5. First Pokemon Black and White Download Event – Victini

Which brings us to the 2019 list, which I posted way up the page, and the current top five.

Basically inertia and Google have kept four posts in the top five all time since 2012.  And, honestly, I do not see the current top five list changing any time soon.  The next post in line, the Victini post, which gets a sudden bump in traffic any time Nintendo mentions that Pokemon, sits in sixth place and about 3,000 page views behind.  Then there is a whole clump of posts about 5,000 page views back from it, which seems like a pretty difficult gap to bridge given the decline in traffic.

It isn’t impossible.  The most viewed posts for the last couple of years have clocked in at around 12,000.  But this year looks like it will fall short of that… except for Alamo.  WoW Classic nostalgia and posts to Reddit keep driving that post up.  It has nearly 12,000 page views already this year, about 10x the Blizzard April Fools post for this year, which fell flatter than usual.  If that keeps going it might go up another spot.  But beyond that, I think I am stuck with this top five for a long time to come.

Others who have taken part in this post topic:

Seeing that last one, I considered doing a bottom five as well.  However, WP.com will only show me the top 499 posts and, closing in on the 5,500 post mark here, that only lets me see the top 10% of posts.  So the top five will have to do.

I am glad now that I spent the time every year compiling these lists, though in reviewing them the seem a bit wonky at times.  That Victini post shows up and disappears.  I suspect that WP.com wasn’t fetching the full list at times.  But overall it lets me track the trends.

3 thoughts on “My Top Five Most Viewed Posts

  1. Pingback: Top Five Least Viewed Posts – Time to Loot

  2. Jeromai

    I think your stats solidly prove the point about views/popularity (aka what visitors want to read vs what the blog writer wants to write.)

    All new bloggers concerned about their stats should try writing a guide post. Nothing like seeing it overtake their other stats by an order of magnitude or more to drive the point home. My own outdated guide is still getting hits to this day and racked up about 56k views, whereas the next most popular (and also semi-guide-like, but no longer relevant) are in the 5-8k range.

    The more important thing is what the blog writer wants. Fuel ads and click throughs and views? Then better be a third party reference/guide site for a game or multiple games, those would catapult popularity much higher than an old-fashioned blog with *gasp* text in it. If not, then purpose is up to the blogger to determine and yes, the views will be lower than writing guides in the service of an audience seeking walkthroughs, live with it.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Top 5 most viewed posts #Blapril2020 | GamingSF

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