Update: This essay is mostly pointless, for reasons explained by Seth Finkelstein. See his comments or the update in midstream. (A pointless essay at W.a.R.? Well, no earthshattering surprise here…) For the record, though, I’ll leave the essay in place.
Three months and three issues.
Readership? OK. Hard to be sure how it compares; Urchin and Weblog Expert measure things differently. I know that the old site’s still getting a fair number of hits–actually, the average visits per typical day hasn’t dropped all that much, but there aren’t the usual issue-publication spikes. That’s reasonable: The new issues aren’t available at the old site. (Overall traffic on the old site is only down about 20% in the months since the move as compared to the months prior to the move.)
I think there are fewer readers for the most recent issues; it’s hard to be sure. There are more than enough to keep me writing. And readership for any given issue continues to grow over time. It’s likely to be a very long time before I ever have another essay that appears to have more than 19,000 readers (most of you can guess which 23,000-word, entire-issue essay that was).
But I was reminded today of just how much of one non-negotiable currency went away with the move. I got around to loading the Google Toolbar on my current version of Firefox (and have since moved the desired Google Toolbar items to the Bookmark toolbar or the Navigation toolbar, so I can keep the number of open toolbars down).
One amusing/impressive/terrifying portion of the Google Toolbar is the PageRank item.
This blog has a surprisingly high PageRank (6 at the moment), just as it has a whole bunch more daily visits than make any sense to me.
Cites & Insights had an even higher PageRank: 7, the number that search engine optimizers are supposedly willing to donate limbs to reach. Why not? Librarians are heavy linkers, and C&I has been around for a while.
The new site? Zero. Nada. Not even up to 1. See next paragraph: It’s really dropped from 7 to 6.
Update, Sunday, October 15: While I’ll leave this essay in place, turns out that the toolbar PageRank is out of date. Seth Finkelstein pointed me to a tool that checks Google’s data centers; they consistently show a PageRank of 6 for http://citesandinsights.info. I’m not quite sure what 6 means in the scheme of things, but I know it’s plenty good enough. (This blog and my home page have the same rank. Eventually, I expect that the new C&I site will make it back to 7. No hurry.) Thanks, Seth–and as for the essay in general, the right summary may be “Never mind.”
I ‘ll check every six months or so and see how long it takes to reach a nominal PageRank.
Fortunately, PageRank really is non-negotiable in this case. I’m not planning to add external ads to the C&I home page (if there are ads, they’ll be for my own books, if I ever get around to doing them). I took the ads off W.a.R. because they were taking up space and not yielding worthwhile revenue. For the highest-readership issues, most people don’t arrive via the front page in any case: They go directly to a PDF download or an HTML essay.