New Proof of the Correlation Between Google Referrals and Blog Commenting

Back on January 26, I wrote about the benefits of reading the blogs of others. Those benefits included:

  • Establish Name Recognition and Authority
  • Inter-Blogger Relationships
  • SEO Juice

The thing is that I was working largely on common sense and reputation. I’ve always heard that participating on the blogs of others had a positive impact on SEO. I didn’t have physical proof.

The Evidence

Exactly two weeks later, I’ve seen enough to say I have strong evidence of the impact of participating in the comments of other blogs on search engine results.

I first began reading and commenting on other blogs on January 20. It became a significant part of my routine starting January 25. While it’s always possible that other factors were involved, I have seen a clear and obvious spike in referrals from Google starting about January 25.

The Data

I don’t typically like to publish my site statistics, but I found this information quite enlightening. Taking a quick glance at my roller coaster traffic during the past month and a half, it may not be obvious to the naked eye (click on the image for a closeup):

Traffic Chart

It’s easy to be distracted by my record traffic from 12/30 through 1/8 when I had a blog post that went viral on Facebook. While the sharing on Facebook did impact my referrals from Google, the success or failure of each day was incredibly reliant on Facebook.

Lately, however, I’m getting an average number of referrals from Facebook while getting a record number of referrals from Google. While none of the total traffic numbers during the last 10 days topped any of my top 10 days of traffic during the stretch of 12/29 to 1/10, my lowest number of Google referrals during the past 10 days (535 on 2/5) was higher than all of my Google referral totals during that record traffic period.

Let’s put it another way. I received 1,101 referrals from Google on 2/2 when I received a total of 4,169 page views. But I received less than half (430) the number of Google referrals on 1/6 when I received more than three times the total traffic.

Another good way to show the impact is by comparing similar days of overall traffic during these separate periods.

Traffic Chart

When you look at it this way, it’s pretty obvious. Google is referring a much bigger chunk of my traffic.

The Correlation

It’s always possible that I’m seeing benefits from the changes to Google’s search algorithm, “Panda.” But my understanding is that those changes were largely made earlier in January and later last year.

If the bump in Google referrals was due to something I did, the only significant change I’ve made is my reading and commenting habits on the blog posts of others. I’ve maintained a very strict Monday through Friday posting schedule throughout the entirety of this analysis.

What it Means

What does this mean? It’s tough to say, but early indications are that I am no longer so reliant on a blog post going viral on Facebook. I am getting a consistent push from Google, which is keeping my traffic more consistent. I used to see days of traffic that would dip below 300, 200 or even 100 page views. Those days appear to be over, thanks to Google.

Time will tell. But early indications are that I’ll see fewer major dips in traffic since Google will be a more consistent referral source. And if I ever get another blog post to go viral on Facebook, my biggest traffic days should be ahead of me.

How about you? Have you seen a direct correlation between your activity on other blogs and your Google referral traffic?