Late last night I was about to head to bed and was doing my last stats check (I have a little routine I go through at the end of the day) when I noticed on my ProBlogger stats two incoming referral links that caught my eye. They were from Slashdot.org.
They say that before a Tsunami that there are telltale signs of the onrush that is about to occur – and with Slashdot the signal of masses of traffic is about 15 minutes where a tiny trickle of visitors come over before the post with your link goes live on the front page.
Sure enough – 15 minutes after the first couple of visitors came an onrush of traffic to this post. Since that time around 40,000 visitors have passed through this blog.
Interestingly I noticed a couple of distinct differences between this time and the last time that ProBlogger was Slashdotted.
- Last time despite getting very similar levels of traffic – the post in question was inundated with 91 or so posts – this time there has been very little response from Slashdotters (most of the comments on it came before the linkup).
- Last time was a record level earning day from Adsense – this time there is a small rise in my daily earnings (it was double normal levels last time in comparison to a 5% increase today). This is despite ads being in the same sorts of positions on the blog.
Why the difference? Here’s my theory.
Last time when I was slashdotted it was to a post that had no outbound links in it at all. It was a post that was completely about my experiences. This time around the post being linked to had an outbound link in it in the first sentence and while it was about my experience – it gave readers an opportunity to leave my blog early on.
Of course perhaps the Slashdot visitors were just not in the mood to comment or click ads or perhaps it was because there was some other reason – but to me this illustrates just how much outbound links can impact upon both the interactivity on your blog and Adsense ads.
I know of numerous Adsense publishers swear by not giving their readers any links to click on their sites unless they go to another page on the site or unless they have some money making ability.
I personally don’t mind other competing outbound links. Most of my blog have many of them and seem to do well – in fact I believe they are part of the reason my sites build traffic (a story for another day) – but I suspect if I took them all off today my Adsense CTR would go up and that I’d probably grow my page impressions. I guess it’s about making choices to do with your blog’s priorities.