Where’s My Traffic?

At about the same time I left on vacation, my website traffic took a significant hit. It’s tough to quantify, but it could be as much as 30%!

I shouldn’t care, though I do. I’m not writing for a mass audience. I’d just like to think as people discover my little essays, my readership will grow. That’s been this blog’s history.

For totally unrelated reasons, I took a look at Google Images tonight. I’ve written in the past that whenever Elena Dementieva does well, this site does too!

My photos of her are no longer on the first page of links… nor the second.

It’s probable Google has redone their index. I am not the beneficiary.

There’s little I can do except hope for more links. I know some of you reading this have blogs of your own. If you ever find anything here worthwhile, please link back. That’s how Google assigns value to a site.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to be happy with what I’ve got, which is after all more than I ever anticipated when I started 1,132,582 page reads ago.

Following Elena Dementieva By Remote Control

Elena Dementieva and I have never met. We’ve been just feet apart, at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament in New Haven. I had just gotten my Canon and was anxious to take some sports photos. I had a press pass already, so what the heck!

Elena is strikingly blond and tall and lean. You catch a glimpse of whatever it is that passes for underwear as her tennis outfit rides up while she lunges after shots.

I was very pleased with the shots I took and put them in my photo gallery. They sat there until Google started crawling through, finding my pictures and their captions. All of a sudden I was on the first page of Google’s images results! In fact, my shot is now on the top line.

Whenever Elena does well, I do well. I woke up this (late) morning to find nearly 2,000 page reads on my site. That’s more than I usually get in a full day – certainly many more than I expect to see on the 4th of July.

I didn’t have to think twice. I knew she had to be in late contention in a tennis tournament. In this case it was Wimbledon. Elena made the round of 8 before being defeated by Maria Sharapova.

By tomorrow, my Elena Dementieva traffic will be gone, only to reappear when she gets hot the next time. Meanwhile, that one photo of mine has been seen 29,000 times! I can’t even imagine what would happen to this site if she won a major.

Thanks Elena

Web traffic’s way up for the past few days. Must be Elena Dementieva!

From Google News:

Sharapova ousts Dementieva to lift Pacific Life Open title – Daily Times – 3 hours ago

Sharapova dominates Dementieva in all Russian final – Sports Network – Mar 18, 2006

Dementieva: 3-setter, anyone? – San Diego Union Tribune – Mar 17, 2006

A few years ago, at the Pilot Pen, I took some photos of her and posted them to my gallery. Somehow Google felt they were ‘important’ enough to show with their first page of Dementieva pictures.

Now, whenever she does well, so do I. Let the clicks begin.

At this moment, I have about twice the traffic I’d normally have on a Sunday evening. I hope she does better next time.

What Hath Google Wrought?

Within the past few days my website traffic has taken a real jump. It varies from day-to-day, but this spike was double what I normally receive… maybe a little more!

I’ve been pouring over my site logs but until a few hours ago hadn’t been able to figure it out. In fact, I was about to go to the actual raw logs, which record each and every file requested… millions per month… when it began to make sense.

Google images!

You know about Google‘s main page, but there are offshoots as well. One of them categorizes just about all the images on the web.

In my case, somehow a photo I took of Elena Dementieva, playing at the Pilot Pen in New Haven, got onto the bottom of the first page.

That photo, over the past few days, has brought more traffic to my site than my home page!

Traffic is good. The more people who sample parts of the site, the more people will read my little entries.

In the meantime, this mystery is solved.

Pro Tennis With My Camera

I was lucky enough to ‘sneak’ down to the photographers row at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament being staged in New Haven, CT. Actually, I was properly credentialed to be there, though my job doesn’t include carrying a camera. I brought my three week old Digital Rebel and my two Sigma lenses.

The press photographers I sat with were evenly divided between pro Nikon and Canon cameras and lenses. Using my ‘thin’ Sigmas, I was giving up at least 2 f stops to everyone there.

The match started well after 7:00 PM. There was little natural light left. The majority of what we got was coming from the stadium lights.

I asked the Hartford Courant photographer to my left how fast he was shooting and he offered up 1/500th. That would be enough to stop the players but not the ball. I switched to shutter priority and ISO 1600.

The top photo is Elena Dementieva serving. This is a crop with my 18-125mm lens at 77mm f/5.6 1/500. All the photos received noise reduction, level adjustment and sharpening.

Next up is Claudine Schaul. It’s a full frame using my Sigma 70-300mm lens at 300mm f/8 1/500.

After returning to my office, a photographer I work with (now video, but formerly still) talked to me about timing shots. While I was shooting I heard a chorus of shutters every time the ball hit the racket. He said everyone’s a little off on the first day, but by the end of a tournament it becomes much easier to time your press to catch the ball in the frame.

I was surprised at how most of the photographers looked at their pictures between serves.

My final shot here is Claudine again. Full frame, Sigma 18-125mm at 125mm f/5.6 1/500.

Blogger’s note: Click on any image to see it in a larger version.