Not road traffic, but online traffic – the good kind. The story of visits to The Xenophile Historian website has been a roller-coaster experience. According to my counters, for the first years (1997, 1998 and 1999), when the site was hosted on Geocities, it got about 2,500 hits, most of them mine. Traffic picked up after that, in part because of good indexing on the search engines, and because word of the site got around.
The Xenophile Historian’s best year was in 2003, when it was getting as many as 900 hits per day. Then they dropped off. I blamed it on Wikipedia, which was getting popular around the same time. At the lowest point after that, I estimate the site got 100-200 hits/day. Don’t get me wrong, Wikipedia is a fine website, and it singlehandedly made all other encyclopedias obsolete. But because Wikipedia articles head every list in Google searches, it has also taken away as much as three fourths of the traffic that used to come to me!
Not until this year did I see a recovery. It is probably due to several factors: the links I posted on this blog and on Facebook, the always-increasing content I have added to the site, my book, history students looking for answers, etc. Whatever the reason, traffic is back up to 400-800 hits a day. All right!
Best of all, I am finally making some money off it. Since 2006 I have allowed Google ads on the top and bottom of almost every page on the site. Whenever people view or click on the ads, it is credited to my account. When the money in that account reaches $100.00 or more, Google sends me a check. For the first five years, I received four checks, not quite enough to cover the cost of hosting the site. However, I just found out that in November, I qualified for another check. 2012 will be the first year in which Google paid me more than once.
To all my readers and visitors, as they used to say on the old Bartles & Jaymes commercials, “Thank you for your support!”