Link Surge

April 19, 2006

Last September I participated in a meme about OS X applications. Ever since then the comment I placed on the originating site has garnered me perhaps four or eight visits a week. All of that changed on Monday.

In the last 48 hours my little site, way out on the tail of the power law curve of the World Wide Web, has had almost 300 visitors from that one comment. 159 on Monday, 101 Tuesday, and 37 today. 300 visitors is roughly what I get in two weeks normally.

One of the books I'm currently reading, Linked, talks about the distribution of links and sites on the WWW, and points out that it isn't a even playing field. A very few sites have most of the inbound links (sites that link to them), while a vast majority of sites and few, if any, incoming links. In other words, the graph of sites vs. incoming links is shaped by a power law, and not the usual bell-shaped curve. My experience this week and shown me what the power of just one incoming link can mean in terms of traffic to my site. As in the "real" world, it isn't what you know as much as it is who you know. Or, who knows you.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.