The Eaton Rapids Joe blog experienced a 40% drop in traffic during the month of May.
I cannot tell exactly when the drop occurred because one of my posts was listed by an "accumulator" and generated much additional traffic.
What is striking about the blog traffic is that it is surprisingly stable. I was running 500 hits a day +/- 40 hits.
Then something happened and BAM! down to three hundred a day.
I don't obsess about traffic. I was thrilled when I reached twenty hits a day. I figure if I reach out and make one person's day or get them to think, well, then I did something special.
Fishing around for reasons
It is entirely possible that the quantity and quality of my writing slipped in May. Only the mediocre are always at their best (Somerset Maugham). May is a busy month for me. I expect ebbs-and-flows in quality.
I suspected it was my series of articles on Rape. Talking about rape makes people uncomfortable. Some men may have been offended when I suggested that men avoid one-night stands as a way to avoid entanglement with "crazy women".
I floated the hypothesis by Mrs ERJ. She is always good for a fresh perspective. She raised an eyebrow and asked, "How do you know it wasn't all the 'crazy women' who were offended and stopped reading your blog?"
That possibility never crossed my mind. It never occurred to me that 40% of my readers might be 'crazy women'.
I checked with one other blogger, somebody who has been blogging way longer than I have. He said his traffic took an inexplicable 30% drop on May 12 and that it was a very clean break.
I am very curious if any of the other bloggers out there noticed a clean "step down" in the amount of traffic on their site during the month of May.
Spiders and monetizing the Internet
Advertisers are willing to pay money for "hits" as long as they are made by humans who buy things. They don't want to pay money for hits that are spiders or automated systems. Spiders don't shop on Amazon, for instance.
If this is a case of the .blogspot. platform purifying its traffic counters then it is undoubtedly a step toward .blogspot. placing ads on these blogs to pay the rent. I don't begrudge them an honest dollar. They have been very gracious in supplying resources at no cost to the blogger. Only a child would expect them to continue this as a public service.
I will not be surprised if advertising content shows up in one of the sidebars in the next six months.