SBS Blog: 2006 Stats & Year in Review

Filed in Site News by Matt McGee on December 27, 2006 5 Comments

2006 has been, without question, the best year of my life that didn’t involve getting married or having a child. A large part of that is due to what began on April 18, 2006, the day Small Business SEM was born. That, plus a visit to the Search Engine Watch Live one-day seminar in Seattle on May 23, led to a new job doing strictly what I love most (SEO), opportunities to speak at two Search Engine Strategies conferences, and, best of all, countless great new friends in the search industry and elsewhere.

So I look back very happily at this year, and as many others are doing this week, I also want to share some inside information about my blog. Maybe there’s someone else out there in the same shoes I was 9 months ago, thinking about starting a blog and not knowing if it’s worth it … maybe seeing what happened to this rookie search blogger helps you decide. Todd encouraged me, so maybe I can pay it forward. 🙂

Visitor Stats

Traffic (also see full year chart below)

Visitor Sessions: 22,599
Avg. per day: 88.61
75% from U.S. (6% from UK, 4% from Canada)


MSIE 6.0: 38%
Firefox 15%
Firefox 7%
Firefox 6%
Firefox 6%


Win32: 85%
MacPPC: 11%
MacIntel: 2%
Linux i686: 2%

Blog Activity

Most Popular Posts/Pages

1. Top 21 Signs You Need a Break From SEO (also the most commented-on)
2. Local Search Marketing Guide (plus its sub-pages)
3. Barriers to entry … or opportunities?
4. Strange goings-on with Merchant Circle
5. How to Market on Flickr
6. About SBS
7. 8 Simple Steps to Make a Page More “Local”
8. Optmizing PDFs for SEO
9. Directories
10. 61 Things I’m Reading Now


Performancing Metrics doesn’t do a great job of tracking referrers … well, they don’t present the data very well when it comes to big picture reporting, so this may be a bit off. Bloglines, for example, only shows up as individual user referrers — I can’t see one entry with a total number of referrals from Bloglines. Ditto with each search engine. Ugh.

1. StumbleUpon
2. SearchEngineWatch blog
3. Bloglines (estimate)
4. Google Reader/Personalized home page
5. SEOmoz
6. Link Building Blog
7. Search Engine Guide
8. Stuntdubl
9. Cre8asite Forum
10. NetVibes


Bloglines: 35 subscribers (currently)
Feedburner: 143 subscribers (average over past 30 days)

Visitor Session Chart, 2006

SBS blog stats 2006

To me, this chart shows the value of:

1.) Persistence. It took almost two months of posts before there was any real, measurable traffic. Blogging into a void is not easy and not fun, but you have to start somewhere. Baby steps first. Then you start walking, and every once in a while you run (see spikes above).

2.) Linkbait. (AKA “quality content”) My Local Search Marketing Guide put this blog on the map, thanks primarily to a link from Rand (which was unsolicited, as I recall, but I could be wrong) three days after I published the guide. That led to a Search Engine Watch blog feature a day later, and then all kinds of links came in. The value of good content, indeed.

Then in September there was the Top 21 Signs You Need a Break From SEO post, which was a much more blatant attempt at Linkbait — and even more successful. I detailed the process of writing and getting links for that post, and I think that background is good info. for small business owners.

3. Networking. Going to the SES Conferences has been an invaluable factor in the growth of this blog. Not just being a speaker, which is a great benefit, but also the chance to meet other SEOs/SEMs face-to-face, to hang out and talk, make friends, etc. Doing so gives other search bloggers more reason to bookmark this blog, or subscribe to the feed, and that increases the likelihood they’ll link here (on those rare occasions) when I have something worthwhile to share.

For example, Bill Slawski links here occasionally, in part I’m sure because we met in San Jose and he knows I’m not a total dork. On the other hand, Michael Gray and I haven’t met, so he may think I am a dork, and is less likely to link here. Without the networking, I have fewer readers and fewer links. My intended audience is small business owners, but I know where my bread is buttered.


This won’t be my last post of 2006, but I do want to thank all of you who read this blog, all of you who have commented, linked, said something nice, etc. It means a ton to me, and I always welcome your thoughts, feedback, and ideas.

Comments (5)

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  1. John Carcutt says:

    I’m glad you had such a great year Matt. As you know I did as well .. 🙂

    I am glad to count you as one of my new friends in the industry and was very glad I was not the only first time speaker on our panel in San Jose.

    I hope the coming year is just as great, if not better for you.

  2. Andy Benkert says:

    Congrats on a great year, Matt. And thanks for the great info you have provided. I have learned a lot from your blog, and hope to take your advice and get something of my own going soon. I look forward to reading your posts and wish you the best in the coming year!

  3. Matt McGee says:

    John & Andy — thanks for the kind words, very much appreciated.

    John, it’s been fun hanging out with you this year. We need to keep in touch outside of the conferences, too, dude.

    Andy, if I’m actually helping you get started, that is VERY cool. Please keep me posted on what you’re up to.

  4. earlpearl says:

    Congratulations Matt. Terrific growth, interesting comments on achieving growth. Good luck moving into the new year.


  5. Matt McGee says:

    Thanks, Dave – best of luck to you, also. Happy New Year!

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