My State Of The Blog Address

Over the years my traffic has gone up and down. It was highest just before I was struck by a hacker and lost my Google mojo.

Earlier today I got an email from someone who just discovered this blog. He couldn’t sleep and aimlessly went from page-to-page. He joins the 73,807 visitors in 2009 who came here 165,558 times and viewed 297,223 pages! My page counter currently reads 2,120,588 pages served since I began.

Over the years traffic has gone up and down. It was highest just before I was struck by a hacker and lost my Google mojo. Google has reinstated me to their index, but the traffic has never quite recovered though it’s getting close, again.

All of these statistics are possible because of Google. There’s a little piece of code on every page which connects to Google Analytics. GA quantifies everything that’s going on.

There was a time I was making a few bucks a day&#185 from the blog. Now it’s a few pennies. That’s Google related too-Google AdSense.

Posting my blog entries to Twitter and Facebook has made a difference. I know most readers don’t read every entry I write, but from time-to-time there’s something that catches social networking eyes and traffic spikes.

The blog is read around-the-world though over 2/3 come from the United States. Foreign viewers tend to come for something specific, stop by and never return. Connecticut provides the most readers. As far as I remember I have never mentioned this blog on-the-air.

I was REALLY sick… doctor to your hotel room sick… and didn’t post October 22, 2006. That’s probably the last day I missed. An unwritten rule demands a post every day. Often there’s more than one.

Each entry is written and rewritten. Seriously, everything is rewritten. Mistakes still get in. Helaine is my best editor, though she continues to refuse my offer to let her make the corrections on her own.

Writing this blog is the most disciplined part of my life. Until I began I had no idea how much one could enjoy writing.

&#185 – Before you poo poo a few bucks a day, over the year it added up to hundreds of dollars, which paid for the web hosting with a little left over for coffee.

The Company I Keep

A while ago I decided it would be a good idea to let Google sell ads on my website. Actually, it originally started as an experiment – I just wanted to see how it worked.

I don’t get a fortune from these ads. It pays for my web hosting – not much more. We’re not taking any vacations on this money… even a vacation to Cheshire.

Here’s the funny part – I don’t see the ads!

There are two reasons I don’t see them. First, I use Firefox (instead of Internet Explorer), with an ad blocking extension. It’s sort of scary. I see very few ads on any site… even the most populated.

The second reason is more important. I don’t want my page views to count. On this little website, if I correct an entry or move something around, my ‘hits’ become a substantial fraction of the total traffic.

Saturday, while looking at Helaine’s computer, I caught an ad that upset me. I sent the following to Google.

There was an ad listed on my site for Their ad’s bold type offers advice on how to cheat at hold’em poker. There might be controversy about online poker in general, but I don’t think anyone condones organized cheating. I certainly don’t and find it morally and legally wrong.

I will block this advertiser, but I think you should consider whether this text, or their product, is appropriate for AdSense.


Geoff Fox

A quick clarification. Though I don’t choose the ads that appear, I can remove or block advertisers I feel aren’t appropriate. I block my TV station’s competitors. I block some national weather providers. I now block this poker site.

Here’s Google’s response.

Hello Geoff,

Thank you for your email regarding a Google AdWords ad.

I’ve forwarded this information to our AdWords team, who will remove the ad in question if it is in violation of any AdWords policies. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your concerns.

For additional questions, we suggest you visit our AdSense Support site at . If you’re unable to find an answer to your question on our site, please feel free to reply to this email.



The Google AdSense Team

They probably won’t tell me how this is resolved, though I’m hoping this kind of ad is now out.

This Webmaster’s Frustration

This blog sits on a computer somewhere in the Chicago area. I don’t own that computer. I’m sure I share it with dozens, maybe hundreds of other websites.

That’s fine… until it’s not.

Over the past few months I have become more and more frustrated as has become slower and slower to respond. I assume it’s hurting traffic to the site, as people get frustrated (probably after 1-2 seconds) and move on.

I’m not sure how much I can expect. It costs about $100 per year to run this thing. Do you get dependability for that price?

A few days ago an offer came in the email from another web hosting company. They’re larger and are offering more. I think I’m going to be moving.

Imagine moving from one house to another and everything ends up exactly where it was. That’s what I’m going to try and accomplish. I don’t know if it’s that easy. I sense it is not.

If I don’t move the website exactly as it was, I lose out on all the traffic sent to me from Google and other search engines. I need to be very careful.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be planning my strategy. It will have to be methodical – something I’m not known for.

Before the move happens, I’ll post a warning. It’s possible there will be a day or two of intermittent service or other hiccups. I just don’t want to enter the “crying lane”!

Who Came Here In 2004

Last year, on December 31, I posted a little summary of what happened on this website in the previous year. I just looked back and was amazed how things have changed. The number of people and unattended, researching, web crawling computers, has increased greatly.

The content hasn’t changed. It’s the same drivel I’ve posted here since day one. This blog is nothing but inconsequential, random, musings about what’s important to me. That’s why whenever anyone else buys into reading it, I am both astonished and flattered.

In 2003&#185 approximately 17,000 separate viewers came calling to this site. Collectively you visited 30,000 times, downloading 872,000 files. My page counter now sits just north of 60,000.

That was then, this is now. The page counter has moved from 60,000 to 355,554. This year you visited 256,409 times downloading about 5,000,000 files (each image within the blog, plus other insertions in a single page, counts as a file). My server, located in Chicago and maintained by has spit out 51.7 gb of data.

Though there was a huge spike after I wrote about Ashlee Simpson’s Saturday Night Live debacle a day before it hit the bigger websites, a smoothed traffic line shows my audience steadily building. I am averaging over 1,000 visits a day.

There are three ways I look at my traffic and all tell slightly different stories. On each web page is a counter which increments once any time someone reads a page. I don’t think it is triggered by web crawlers that sites like Google and Yahoo use, though I can’t be sure. There is also a control panel counter I can see in the web site’s “back office.” Finally there’s the counter from the company that I allow to place ads on the site.

They’re always different. Always.

Speaking of ads, since I added them as an unobtrusive experiment, they have paid for my web hosting. The aggregate total in $198.44, of which I’ve already received about $144. This site makes on average 89&#162 per day. As I write this, I have made 7&#162 today. Some days are better than others.

Before you poo poo that number, multiply it by 365. I was going to publish a blog anyway, why not put these few ads off in a corner?

The number one search term was “John Mayer,” though that’s misleading. Ashlee Simpson probably drew more traffic, but there were multiple search terms (and spellings) used. As with last year, I’m surprised that traffic has come here after searching for things like, “hot water pipe is frozen south korea” or “chuck woolery wives&#178” or the always popular “carrot top shirtless&#179.”

Google also sent a lot of traffic my way because of an entry I had which debunked a popular picture of a tanker sailing into a hurricane. If you search Google for “hurricane photo” my enticing picture is on the bottom right. This one link was clicked 55,599 times by Google’s users.

I have tried to write something every day. Sometimes that meant scraping the bottom of the barrel. My apologies. Other times my life was centered around things I couldn’t or wouldn’t write about publicly. Those days were the most difficult for blog writing.

There are now over 900 individual entries in this blog. There are also thousands of photos in my photo gallery. If you ask Google what they have archived on this site, the response is 11,400 pages!

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting and sending grammatical and spelling corrections. It’s all really appreciated.

My daughter says whenever I put something in a text box, that’s an immediate sign that’s it’s really boring.

Happy New Year Steffie

And Happy New Year to you too.

&#185 – This blog began in early July 2003, so last year’s numbers represent approximately half a year.

&#178 – After Jo Anne Pflug I am lost.

&#179 – This particular term was searched for 399 times. Some people need to get a life.