Some days I wonder about how web traffic works. In the last two days traffic at my blog has jumped 300%, and 60% of that traffic has been for a single page. This has happened before. Usually it is because some other far more popular website has featured a post of mine and the flood gates open for a couple of days. This is not what has happened this time. The traffic is not from one person or from the same referring link, but from all over. Google searches, no referring link, encrypted searches. And very different places too. Oregon, California, Utah, Connecticut, Michigan, and even the UK, Philippines, and Australia.
That page itself was not exceptional. It was about Henry G. Sherwood and a company of saints he led from Tennessee to Missouri in 1837. The only item of note was that Abraham O. Smoot, who was in the company, had estimated that there were 200 people in the company. It was a figure quoted over and over again by historians. But it was certainly wrong. There weren't even two hundred saints in Tennessee at the time to have joined the company. Forty at most joined from Tennessee and Kentucky combined. Others joined along the way from places unknown, but also headed for Missouri. I suppose the group could have grown to 200 by the time they arrived, but I really think it was more hyperbole that anything else.
About a third of visits are just searching the web and my post comes up first. Most of the rest look like they are heading to my post deliberately.
*Google search 30% (i. e. "Henry G. Sherwood")
*Encrypted search 8%
*No referring link 25% (Typed the URL by hand, or copied and pasted it in)
*Google based link 31% (with the name of my blog, and "Henry G Sherwood" right in the link, like they knew I had a post about him.)
*Other search engines 6%
But why this post, and why this weekend? Was there a paper just released on him? Is there a Sherwood family reunion being planned. Did an online university give an assignment on him? I have no idea.
6 days ago