To Wallow in Obscurity
Someone noted in comments that one of the consequences of moving the site to a new host — and of changing its url — is that I might be wrecking my Technorati ranking for a fair amount of time, since all the old links point to the old site, and the new ones will point here, and Technorati might not count them as coming to the same place.
That’s entirely possible if Technorati doesn’t automatically make the switch, and the image above shows the disparity in ranking between the old Whatever and the new. But that’s not all of it, either. I also lose the ability to accurately count how many people are visiting the site, since now the numbers are split between the new site for daily visitors, and the old site for pre-10/07 archives. This is not insignificant since my archives are in fact very active, thanks to some stuff in there that’s perennially popular, like “Being Poor” and Bacon Cat and my advice to teenage writers, all of which get thousands of visits monthly. Those visits get recorded by 1&1.com (where the Scalzi.com domain remains housed), but none of the visits to the current Whatever get noted, because they’re redirected to the new host. WordPress.com and 1&1.com use different stat suites, so it’s hard to make one-to-one comparisons regarding traffic.
Now, as it happens, we’ll be porting the archives into the new install — it’s happening already, in fact — and then we’ll set up redirects so the most popular pieces in the archive come here instead of the old site. But all of this takes time and in the meantime my ability to count the number of people who pop by the site on the daily basis is compromised. My assumption is that traffic is not going to change hugely one way or another (my ability to count people as they come through the turnstiles is not a factor in whether people choose to walk through the turnstiles at all), but until everyone’s reliably coming the new site instead of the old, it’ll be difficult to say one way or the other.
Does any of this matter? In the short run, outside of the ego of a high Technorati ranking and the fun of looking at my stats, no, not really. It’s just interesting to me in a technical sense, and points out that estimating eyeballs online is something of an inexact science.
It also lets me know that I need to learn to get used to WordPress’s stats counters. I had them for the old site but didn’t use them too much because, well, they didn’t cover the whole site like the 1&1 stats package did. But now they’ll have more direct application and that’s work paying attention to. One of the features that I like is that now in addition to seeing how many visits there are to the site, I can also see how many people are reading a particular entry through syndication. This is something I didn’t have before, even using the WP stats on my own site, and it’s very cool; something new for me to geek out about, in any event. And, clearly, I do love geeking out on this stuff.