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Whatever Happened To The 45th President?

Ever since I installed Google Analytics on AustralianPolitics.com some 5 or 6 years ago, I’ve been addicted to studying the statistics in order to understand who’s using the site and how they’re doing it.

Last November, there was a spike in traffic in the week of the US presidential election. That’s a pattern with the site: major political events, especially elections, produce traffic spikes.

Because there’s quite a lot of material about American politics on the site, an apparent anomaly that I’ve long since stopped worrying about, it didn’t surprise me too much that the Obama-Romney contest would bring more traffic.

What I couldn’t work out, though, is what specifically caused the traffic spike. Tens of thousands of extra visitors came to the site that week. Google ad revenue rose accordingly and in fact it was this that alerted me to the spike.

A cursory check of the traffic stats didn’t provide any answers. The same patterns and proportions I see every month were also there in November.

I must have been asleep because I didn’t burrow into the figures to work out what had happened. Just before Christmas, I finally realised what had occurred. [Read more…]