As we nail down 2014, please excuse my annual self-indulgent post to begin the new year as I look back over the last one. I have ignored the WordPress annual statement to produce my own review.
The top ten most visited posts on my Travel Blog always surprise me but then I don’t pretend to understand how search engines work. I say visited pages rather than read because I am neither conceited enough or sufficiently naive to claim that a visit equals a read. I know that a lot of people will arrive here by mistake and swiftly reverse back out via the back button!
Just to go back a bit, in 2012 the site recorded 170,900 visits and I was optimistic that as I kept posting this number was just going to keep going up but then in February 2013 Google made some devastating changes to its search algorithms and the numbers halved overnight and have never fully recovered. I finished 2013 with 79,470, a decrease of 115%.
I thought it was important to keep going so in 2014 I have posted 320 times and the total number of visits is recorded as just over 101,000 so there has been some significant recovery. My other companion blogs, Scrap Book Project and Another Bag More Travel have recorded about 105,000 hits between them.
Interestingly, WordPress statistics reports are consistently lower than third party statistics counters but I am reporting here on the official site numbers.
These are the Top Ten posts of 2014:
Catalonia, Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi
A newcomer to the top ten and straight in at number 1 with 5,430 visits. I posted this in August 2013 following a week touring Catalonia in the North-East of Spain and pulling in a visit to Barcelona along the way. I’d like to think that this is because it is a knowledgeable and scholarly assessment of Gaudi’s architectural contribution to the World but I think it is more likely because the image attracts visitors as it easily found in a Google search and people seem to like it because it has been copied several times!
Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine
This post is down from number 1 in 2013 to number 2 this year with 4,010 hits. I posted this in April 2010 after returning from a visit to Krakow in Poland. It was a good trip but I am not sure why so many people would hit on it. It is not as interesting as my trip to Auschwitz or the Crazy Mike Communist Tour. Once again it is probably the image but interest in this post however is on the slide because someone stole the image and their version of it now comes up before mine in a Google search. How annoying is that!
Royal Garden Party
3,300 hits, staying in the Top Ten and up three places from number 6 represents a very successful year for this post. This one has been around for a long time ( since June 2009) and has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one. I think people assume that I have connections with the Royal Family and can be of some assistance.
Moscow and Lenin’s Mausoleum
This post stays in the Top 10 for a second year with 2,225 visits after an original posting in July 2012. Cameras and mobile phones are strictly forbidden inside the Mausoleum because the Russian authorities don’t want snapshots of the great man turning up on the internet in people’s Blogs or Trip Advisor reviews so they have to be left in a locker room and if anyone tries to defy this and is caught by the thorough security checks then there punishment is to be sent to the back of the queue! I shamelessly stole this one – well, people steal mine!
1,330 hits and a fourth year in the Top Ten but dropping three places and presently running out of steam. A bit of a surprise because this is the account of a day trip to Mount Vesuvius whilst on a holiday to Sorrento in 1976 with my dad. From my memories of the same holiday I posted several blogs about visits to Capri, Naples, Pompeii, The Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only achieved a handful of hits between them.
The Twelve Treasures of Spain – Seville Cathedral
This year’s second new entry with 1,050 visits. The “Twelve Treasures of the Kingdom of Spain” was a contest/poll that was conducted by the Spanish Television Company Antena 3 and the radio broadcaster Cope. The final results were announced on 31st December 2007. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the eight out of the twelve that I have visited. Third in the competition was the mighty Spanish Cathedral in Seville, Andalusia..
Seventh place with 1,005 hits which demonstrates the importance of an ‘About’ page.
Completing the Top 10 this year are three more newcomers:
Weekly Photo Challenge – Signs
I try and regularly take part in the Weekly Photo Challenge and often use it to provide a link to an older post. I get a respectable amount of visits but they are rather like a Mayfly and only live for a day but for some reason this one has just kept on going. Only posted in October 2014 it has attracted 905 visits and has muscled its way into the top 10. It is a signpost in the village of Ballyvaughan in Southern Ireland and I can think of no reason why it has been so successful.
Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi
A second top 10 appearance this year for the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi (maybe I am an expert on Gaudi after all). After I had taken a look at the official Twelve Treasures of Spain I thought it might be fun to draw up my own personal alternative list. I included Antoni Gaudi in a general rather than a specific way. I posted this in March 2013 and it has made its way into the top 10 with 820 hits.
Every Picture Tells a Story – Benidorm c1960
I posted this in March 2010 so it has taken a long time to get to the top 10. It is actually one of my personal favourites. It has crept in this year with 765 visits but I have no explanation about why it should suddenly spike like that! It is a story about the Spanish seaside resort of Benidorm inspired by some photographs that I came across of my grandparents on holiday there in about 1960.
Dropping out of the Top Ten this year were: Norway, Europe’s most Expensive Country, Travel Tips when Flying Budget Airlines, Danger in Naples, Camorra, Vesuvius and Pollution, Onyx UK and an Inappropriate Visit to the Moulin Rouge and Twelve Treasures of Spain – Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
If you have read one of these posts or any of the 1,475 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’, then thank you very much! I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said: “The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”
I’d be interested to know about other people’s most popular posts in 2014 and the possible explanations why? Comment and let me know. I’m a sucker for statistics!