Mysterious Traffic Spike–in November 2020

Normally, I don’t spend much–well, really, any–time worrying about blog traffic. I used to work at encouraging traffic, but, as I have explained previously, I stopped a long time ago. Once in a while a post triggers an email from an old friend or acquaintance, and that makes me happy, unless they hated in it, in which case, whatever. But yesterday’s post for Russian readers had me clicking on the little map in the right column, and that led me to glance at the stats.  They’re under-counts, since anyone who blocks cookies or some other things won’t be counted, and lots of my friends are in the privacy and tech community and likely block more than enough stuff not to be counted. But they do tell me something about trends.  And there sure was a big spike in the data back in September 2020:

Looking at the Discourse.net archive for September 2020, I can’t imagine what set it off, and I don’t have logs that go so far back; I did win an award that month, but at most you’d think that would cause a few hundred hits, not eighty thousand.

The 40,000 in July 2020 is also a mystery. My biannual local ballot recommendations for the Judicial elections are popular, but the idea that they get more than a few hundred hits at most strains credulity.

On the other hand, the chart just records hits and doesn’t say what they were to, so there’s no evidence that the traffic was caused by a then-recent post.  It really could be anything I’d published up to that date. Maybe some new search engine repeated Google’s old mistake and ranked my post “How Not To Pick Up Women Online” highly for people searching for a similar phrase without the “not”.

Any ideas, anyone?

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