Friday, 25 February 2011


Those of you who, like me, use Blogger as your platform for spouting forth to the world will have noticed that a recent addition to the dashboard has been the Stats function. Since its appearance in the middle of last year, it has been busily collecting data about my blog and letting me know, amongst other things, which posts are the most popular on the basis of cumulative hits. This has given rise to some interesting facts and inferences.

What has become clear is that four of my posts are considerably more popular than the other 200-odd and when I mean ‘considerably’ I mean at least double the hits of the chasing pack and in the case of the top two, significantly more. I am a little puzzled about this because if I have one criticism of Blogger it is that it does not appear to push metadata to the major search engines like Google with any enthusiasm unlike Wordpress which seems to do a much better job. So how are readers finding these pages? That aside, these are the posts that have the largest number of hits over the last six months.

By far the most popular is ‘Beatles Remastered’ (Jan 2010). This one sent my hits through the roof to a level never achieved since. What is it about The Beatles that 40 years later the world is still desperate to read about them? Actually, I feel a bit guilty about its popularity as the post was more a ‘what I got for Christmas’ post than an in depth review of the Remastered reissues of The Beatles back catalogue. I can imagine all those readers avidly seeking out my post in order to find out what I thought about the ethical implications of the correction of Paul’s slightly off key backing vocal on ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and being horribly disappointed. Oh well.

The second most popular post has been ‘Lesley Duncan, Singer Songwriter (1943 – 2010)’ (March 2010). This I find particularly heart-warming. To know that there is a large number of people in the world that care about Lesley, who after all was not a big, nor particularly well known star, restores my faith in the human race. I’d actually written this post some months before her death and had intended to post it immediately but other more pressing posts got in the way. So it was pure coincidence that it was eventually published a few days before she died at the age of 66 after a long illness and I quickly had to go back and rewrite parts of it, post publication, to turn it in to a sort of eulogy.

Third in the list is ‘Curved Air – Reborn’ (July 2008). I find this astonishing given that it was originally published in mid-2008 and is still a post that garners a record number of hits. It comprises little more than a review of their reunion album which was released through violinist Daryl Way’s website that year prior to their reunion tour. Clearly there is a lot of interest in this band from old fans like me who remember the glory days of the early 1970s. In fact, despite my comments about metadata above, the post has occupied a front page position on Google for two years now.

The final post in the Big Four is ‘Cult Bands – The Violet Hour’ (April 2010). This is similar to the Curved Air post in that it appears there are hoards of Violet Hour fans still out there pining for their lost band despite the fact that they only lasted a few years in the early 1990s and produced a lone album. Presumably that is the attraction?

So I’m a bit flummoxed. The evidence of post 1 shows that the biggest band of them all still attracts a huge audience, yet posts 2-4 indicate a solid following for those lesser names, stitched into the margins of the vast tapestry that is Rock ‘n’ Roll. I think this is saying, write what you feel? I hope so.

STOP PRESS:  Just heard of the sad death of Nicholas Courtney, known to all Dr Who fans as Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.  A massive loss to the Dr Who family.  RIP Nicholas, and don't forget, 'Chap with horns, five rounds.  Rapid!'


luminous muse said...

Stats, stats, stats. I am on wordpress and the biggest juice I got was on "Bach and the Beatles." Apparently a fair number people google that (!)

You've given me the push I need to finish my post on "SEO Games." A real barn-burner, I promise.

music obsessive said...

Hi Luminous - you wouldn't believe what people Google - well, perhaps you would. Seems like the Beatles still rule in blogland.

I'm looking forward to your piece on SEO as I'm a bit flummoxed about how Google Blogger posts don't get picked up in Google Search. Some of my stuff never features in Google at all, yet it is clearly named and labelled. Weird.