In a post two weeks ago, I described sanitizing a manuscript, turning “shit” into “crap” and “assholes” into “scumbags.” (See http://billadamsphd.net/2015/04/16/changing-happy-to-glad/).
To my surprise the hit rate on my site jumped from 10 a day to nearly 200 a day, then dropped back a bit, but still stayed near 100 for about 10 days.
Hordes more people were finding my site, presumably because of the obscenities in that post. But who were these people? Who types “asshole” into a search engine? Were they looking for porn? Sorry to disappoint.
I also noticed that my bounce rate dropped, from about 98% to 79%. When visitors come in on a particular post or page, then leave without clicking anything, that’s considered a “bounce” in the jargon of Google Analytics. That visitor bounced off of the site, did not stick. So you do not want a high bounce rate. You want visitors to click stuff and look around.
My bounce rate dropped by 10 percent because some of the visitors attracted by obscenity clicked something else; they didn’t bounce off right away. Maybe they thought the porn was hidden somewhere nearby? That’s hard to believe.
It remains a mystery, who visits this site, and why. But I did learn that to increase traffic, all I have to do us use bad language more often, dammit!