2012 blog in review

As is annual tradition, here’s a look at this site’s most popular posts, referrals, and searches. Traffic is up slightly this year according to Google Analytics, with 96,344 visits compared to 91,504 in 2011. As measured by SiteMeter, the numbers are 109,911 and 105,669, respectively. All the stats below come from Google.

Interestingly, the percentage of traffic coming from search dropped from 62% last year to 50% this year. Referrals from other sites rose from 21% in 2011 to 33%. Direct traffic remained almost exactly the same at 17%. The biggest factor in the change appears to be continued growth in sharing on social media and Reddit.

I had hoped that this might be the year that the camel cricket post is unseated from the top slot. Alas, it’s not to be. The stapler post, a gift that keeps on giving, moved up to number two. Only two posts from this year made the top ten: A cocktail named after the Pigou Club and a review of Tyler Cowen’s book about food, showing the importance of the econoblogger demographic.

Top posts of 2012
1. Camel crickets invade DC
2. The stapler’s secret
3. How to get rid of camel crickets
4. An Economist Gets a (Zero Martini) Lunch
5. Virginia ABC gets slightly less archaic
6. Made in Oregon, stolen by Portland
7. Get sweet on liqueurs
8. Miracle fruit — I’m a believer!
9. My coffee smells like tuna fish
10. Finally, sampling miracle fruit tablets

As in previous years, camel crickets dominate the top search keywords. The most surprising appearance on the list is the Norwegian town of Haugesund, which is mentioned briefly in a post from 2005. Amazingly, 736 different search phrases that include the word “stapler” brought people to this site, including questions like “what does stapler do” and “what does a stapler looks like?” These people lead lives that are either far more boring or far more exciting than I can possibly imagine. “Sex at Starbucks,” “neuticles for humans,” and “what to mix with MD 20 20” are other intriguingly or depressingly common search phrases. If included, my own name would come in at number three.

Top search referrals of 2012
1. how to get rid of camel crickets
2. weird fish
3. camel cricket
4. Portland Oregon
5. Haugesund
6. French vermouth
7. coffee bitters
8. shaker
9. spider cricket
10. Ayn Rand Medicare

There are no major changes to the list of top ten countries from which people visit, with the exception of Sweden knocking Spain off the list. At the city level, visitors from New York surpassed Portland, London rose in the ranks, and Boston replaced Philadelphia.

Top visitor countries from 2012
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Canada
4. Australia
5. India
6. Germany
7. Philippines
8. Netherlands
9. France
10. Sweden

Top visitor cities from 2012
1. New York
2. Portland
3. Washington
4. London
5. Chicago
6. San Francisco
7. Seattle
8. Los Angeles
9. Boston
10. Houston

There are a lot of changes among top referrers, with social media remaining strong and Reddit taking the top slot (thanks primarily to multiple Redditors discovering the stapler post). Google Plus came in at 29th. Econobloggers show well in this list too.

Top non-search referrers for 2012
1. Reddit
2. Facebook
3. Gojee
4. Twitter
5. Marginal Revolution
6. The Hairpin
7. Liquorious
8. Greg Mankiw’s Blog
9. 12 Bottle Bar
10. Lifehacker

For what it’s worth, I have a couple weeks of data for the cocktail section of the site. I’m hoping that this will get a lot more search traffic in the coming year; as of now, search accounts for just 7% of the visits. The most popular recipes so far are as follows.

Top recipes from the cocktail section 2012
1. Averna Stout Flip
2. Hot Buttered Chartreuse
3. Aquavit Hot Toddy
4. Amsterdam Hot Chocolate
5. Hot Caipi
6. Menta e Cioccolato
7. PX Flip
8. Clubland
9. Van Houten
10. Spiced Plantain Syrup

As always, thank you all for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic 2013.