December 26, 2013

Canadian and UK Google Users Interested in 'Happy Holidays'

Français : icône pour articles sur le cananda
Français : icône pour articles sur le cananda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have had many traffic spikes over the years, and it is usually easy to identify the source. When pageviews for a particular post suddenly shoot through the roof, it is almost always because another blog or website has linked to it. The blog or website is usually another atheist-oriented site but not always. Some spikes come from social sites like Reddit or StumbleUpon; others come from mainstream news sites. Such sources are usually quite easy to identify via Google Analytics. A couple days ago, I had a spike on the post Rethinking 'Happy Holidays' that was quite different from anything I've seen before.

I consulted Google Analytics, assuming that the spike was happening because a reader submitted the post to Reddit or someone had linked to it on their blog. But there was no evidence of this. Instead, the primary source of the traffic was Google.ca, which I assume is the Canadian version of Google. This post was receiving a little more than twice the traffic as that coming from the U.S. version (i.e., Google.com). Late in the day and into the next day, I noticed another source: Google.co.uk. I am not sure why this post attracted so much traffic from Canada and the UK, both of which remain substantially higher than U.S. Google traffic.

From what I can tell by digging into the Google Analytics data a bit more, the spike had to do with a number of people using Canadian Google and then UK Google to search for "happy holidays" on December 24 and 25. Fascinating that so many people in these regions took time on these days to search the Internet for this phrase. I am not sure what to make of it, but thanks to you Canadians and UK Google users for the holiday traffic bump!

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