04 May 2010

Searching for Amand - Topalon

The diagram below shows the number of page views (PVs) my World Chess Championship site (see link on the sidebar to the right) received each day during the month of April 2010. The sharp rise in PVs on 24 April corresponds to the first game of the Anand - Topalov World Championship match. The site gets more visitors every time a World Championship is held and I've often wondered where they come from. Since creating the simple database I described in Log Wallowing, I'm better equipped to do a detailed analysis.

The first statistic I noticed was that my page on the 2010 Anand - Topalov match was indeed the main target of the increased traffic. Already the second most popular page on the site for March 2010, it received seven times more traffic in April and surpassed the site's home page with almost four times as many PVs.

Where is all the extra traffic coming from? In a word: Google. Of the 175 referring sites that sent traffic directly to the Anand - Topalov page, 116 of them were Google domains. Those domains accounted for more than 90% of the traffic to my page on the match.

Google.com accounted for one-third of the referring traffic, which was three times more than runner-up Google.co.in, itself more than double third place Google.co.uk. The Google UK traffic was equivalent to internal references from other pages on my own site. Rounding out the top-10 referrers were Google Germany, Hungary, Canada, Spain, Croatia ('.hr'; I had to look it up), and the Netherlands.

Taking the many Google domains together, most of the referring pages were search results. The exceptions were mostly translations, like 'translate.google.fr'. Of the searches, about two-thirds used the search term 'Anand', and somewhat fewer used the term 'Topalov'. Most searches that used one name also used the other. The exceptions were language specific or typos: Topalow, Topolov, Topalpw, Tapalov, Topoalov, Topalev, Topolav, Topalv, Topalon, etc. 'Anand' is a little easier for people to remember: Anad, Annand, Annad, Andn, Amand, etc.

Around one-third of the searches used neither name. Most of these were some variation of 'World Chess Championship 2010'. Nearly 200 of these added the word 'Turkey', probably looking for one of the restricted championships instead of the title match.

The majority of the visitors who arrived at my site looked at the Anand - Topalov page and then moved offsite. My page, which isn't a news page, links to the official site, so I hope that many visitors went there. About 20% of the visitors looked at more of my pages on the World Championship and perhaps a few of them will come back some day. After all, if you like chess, you have to love the World Chess Championship.

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