Some facts as celebration

I started writing this post a few weeks ago when 50,000 pageviews was starting to become visible in the near distance. One of you reading this today will be the official 50,000th person. (I won’t be able to tell which of course).

Recently I realised that should be at least 50k. WordPress (the site platform) was not reporting internal links from other WP sites, so I’ve no idea how many were missing, over almost two years (the first year I had low numbers anyway) and once the WP referrals started to be counted, the numbers jumped over a week, then they (WordPress) broke the reporting again, but it looks like I passed 50,000 some time ago, maybe weeks. Page views is a pretty inaccurate figure, but it’s one of only measurements I’ve got for this niche open water swimmer blog. (I actually hate that word blog, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, and will again). Traffic has been steadily incremental.

But Thanks Very Much Everyone!

This is the 492nd post! I have no idea how many words. About 600 images uploaded (Maybe two-thirds of those I’ve taken myself).

In Analytic terms, I broke into the Top 4 Million of popular websites … Yeah, I know, that doesn’t sound like much. It can vary on a given week though by up to three-quarters million ranking, which doesn’t seem to be traffic related or even related to the pages linking in. Links-in continue to increase, thanks very much to those who add my page to their links.

Links-In are important for Google Search results. The Site Page Rank is Three, compared for example to, also at Three and Evan’s at Four. Congrats Evan! The Page Rank Scale is out of Ten. However the Average page rank of the webs billions of page is … Zero! Google hold onto details on size of ranks, etc.

email Subscribers are from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Germany Switzerland and Netherlands, at least! Hello to you all and thanks very much.

Ok, it’s not quite what Google itself gets every minute (two million). But it’s not bad for a niche sport and again, it wouldn’t happen without readers.

What you readers have to put with:

  • Some guy blathering on about the sea and swimming.
  • Who regularly manages to put his foot in it (you should see some of the comments and emails I’ve received, and I’ve never tried to be controversial, natural Irish ability?)
  •  Who does continue to try to stick to his ethos of putting everything he knows about open water swimming here. Even if it’s sometimes wrong, or there’s better ways of doing it. And even with all the digressions.

I have NO regional stats however, but readership is about 50% USA, 50% everywhere else.

Apart from Front Page views, the most popular ever day was during my own English Channel swim (giving you value for money by spending an extra six hours in the water!) and the What Temperature Is Too Cold To Swim In articles (variation). Expect occasional further ruminations on this question as they occur to me.

The Top Ten searches that brought people here aren’t very revealing, they seem pretty random, except the loneswimmer moniker seems alive and well, and has grown in recognition beyond my imagining, thanks to the Sandycove Swimmers crew and Steve Munatones and Daily News of Open Water Swimming. Diana Nyad’s publicity for her swims seems wildly effective if the searches are anything to go by. Penny Palfrey is also hugely popular. A short post on a prehistoric sea creature, Anomalocaris brings in a lot! And in a windy world, we see an obvious interest in weather. As an open water swimmer, who therefore don’t look like an athletic ideal, I am delighted that people are open to the differences in athlete’s body shapes.

A lot of people have seen my Swim Box and were curious. I put the Swim Box up for a laugh, and I’m constantly surprised that it seems to have developed a personality of its own, and I often meet people who have already seen it, either on the site or at the Guillamene, before I’ve met them.

Another thing from the searches is that while the more technical HOWTO topics might not capture people’s attention when they are published (and very rarely garner any comments at all), they nonetheless bring in a constant flow of people.

Meteorology and sea-related related articles, such as exploring prevailing winds or tides or waves, bring in a continuous stream and occasional diversion on swimming locations and Irish landscape and language are surprisingly popular. My article on the etiquette of lane swimming is also a perennial, showing the frustrations of lane swimmers worldwide, and it’s been know to be printed out for swimming pools that care about their customer, unlike one pool I could mention.

95% of the time I can’t tell what will be popular, which is just as well I think, since I’m writing from whatever interests me and what I can consider relevant or useful to open water swimming. For example an ordinary post called about An Ordinary Irish Early Summer’s Swim was popular when I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested in it.

So far I’ve managed to stick to my own self-imposed rule, at least to my own standards. I do like to explore aspects of the natural world that occasionally seem tangential, but mostly the marine environment. Mentions of Irish Place Names and the images from my Project Copper, swimming all of Waterford’s Copper Coast were also popular. The inspiration from Evan Morrison’s Freshwaterswimmer to be more assiduous in posting mixed media seems beneficial, I’ve always been visually driven anyway, just not very good at photography, but if you take enough photo’s, some will turn out okay.

If I take out references to people, the top results become more interesting. Searchs related to Tramore and or the Waterford coast are unsurprising, since that’s where I swim and write most about.

prevailing winds
jellyfish id
different athletic body types
tall ships waterford
swimovate review
salt water chafing
destructive waves diagram
keypod review
third spacing
helvick swim
cold water swimming
peoples republic of cork
sandycove swimmers

Who would thought a swim watch review would be so popular? Also with Google’s Auto-complete now used as standard, terms will bring people here when they almost definitely were looking for something else (tentacle porn anyone?)

Given I write drafts for future posts, and usually have a list of posts ready in the background, I don’t often (but not never) write any posts specific to what people actually search for, as Finbarr and Lisa remind me when I write one of my more “flowery” posts.
About a third to more than half of views every day come from search engines, sometimes swim or weather related, general or a specific person (like Fran Crippen, Diana Nyad, Penny Palfrey). Shark-related brings in constant trickle.
According to a WordPress comment: Successful blogs draw between 30 – 60 % of their incoming targeted readers from search engine referrals.
My tagging system was very poor from a search point of view, and I’ve only recently changed it, and removed the tag cloud from the front page, leaving only categories. Tags will now be more post specific, which means the Tag volume will get larger, which will make searches more accurate, but a Tag Cloud feature will be too unwieldy for readers so I removed it.
I regularly get see some weird search terms that bring people here; sandycove nudist is one of my favourites, (Ned I guess). I occasionally get hits from people who have typed in an entire school homework question except for answer, e.g. if you are farther from the amphidromic point, the tidal range is … I hope you know the answer to this now, I’ve written about it here.
One of my favourites is:
How to tell a swimmer from a normal person?
(Expect a future post with that title). I’ve always said that open Water swimmers are the proud freaks, weirdoes and outsiders of the swimming world. Apparently the same applies to our relationship to the human race as a whole.
One question that reappears that I haven’t felt qualified to address is
Is swimming in cold water bad for pregnant women?” despite all my writing about cold. I’ll try to find someone who can answer this better, or I’ll look into the research.
I’ve asked a few people to write guest articles on subjects of their own choice, you’ve seen Julie Galloway’s guest post earlier this week, expect another high-profile guest post soon. Some others have said yes but we’re still waiting …(you know who you are).
Oh, and I still have plenty to write and post about, (though things will probably slow down a bit over the winter). There are enough and better people writing about most swim technique stuff that I can’t add much, so only whether it’s relevant to me, and therefore possibly to you.
Below are some of the funnier or just weirder search terms that people have inputed into search engines that have brought them to this site, because there was something apparently here. Some I can understand, others I have no idea. Would you imagine more than one person in the world is looking for pictures of jellies babies in relation to first aid in one day? Every term here has occurred more than a single time.
  • pictures of first aid/jelly babies
  • tennis tights
  • парусники
  • where are they putting the skips in palfrey
  • سباح
  • y u no
  • the most unusual thing ever
  • infrared pics of swim teens
  • shoe helps alleged swimming
Here’s to the next fifty thousand, or whatever. I hope you continue to visit.
Thanks again …
I’m just an ordinary swimmer, in the middle of nowhere.
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5 thoughts on “Some facts as celebration

  1. Pingback: 2 years, 200 posts: An overview and history of Freshwater Swimmer

  2. infrared pics of swim teens – sounds a bit dodgy! I wonder were they a bit disapointed upon arriving at your site with pics of yourself and Gabor etc

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