As we explored earlier, 2014 was not the easiest year. That said, as the year is coming to a close we find ourselves seeing everything through the rosy lens of optimism. At SimilarWeb we had the good fortune to experience more peaks than drops (pun intended), and the same goes for many of our blog posts.
So in the spirit of positive new beginnings for 2015, here’s a look back at our top 10 most popular blog posts. These were the posts that went viral, that got the most feedback, and that people (ourselves included) are still talking about. We hope you like them just as much the second time around.
#10: The Penguin Problem
People seemed to gain a lot from this post on Google’s continually optimized new Penguin update, maybe because we illustrated how specific sites were affected. Our follow-up article on 5-Step Penguin Recovery also got a lot of shares, but wasn’t quite as popular as our original insight on the “Penguin Pattern.”
#9: Black Friday Goes Global
We dove into the recent trend of Black Friday Sales around the globe, a topic that our readers were clearly eager to explore. Whether it was the success of Alibaba for Singles Day or the near-failure of other international shopping days, our international take on Black Friday proved more popular than stories on its domestic predecessor.
#8: The Aaron Paul Formula
Mix one part TV star of a hit show, add an Emmy speech and name-dropping a website, and you’ve got the recipe for success (and by success we mean so much traffic that the site crashed). When Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul mentioned his wife’s website in his Emmy acceptance speech, her website Kind Campaign couldn’t cope with the subsequent rush of traffic. We were curious to see how this free publicity took down the site, and so were our users.
#7: The Very Profitable Post
We think the title alone drew visitors to this post – and the title itself pretty much tells it all. By writing an article entitled “The Five Best Online Glasses Stores,” Lifehacker helped out all of their recommendations in a big way – with a huge influx of referral traffic. Just how huge was the referral traffic? You guessed it – total sales from referral site traffic to these 5 websites was an estimated $3 million.
#6: The Interview
(no, not THAT interview)
Our interview with marketing industry leader and Orbit Media Co-Founder Andy Crestodina was one of our most popular posts this year. Why? Crestodina is a well-known marketing guru, and his insights are driving thousands of readers to his blog every day. So it would stand to reason our interview post would get a few hits. In our interview the Orbit Co-founder discussed vital topics for every content marketer, including blogging, great content marketing sites…and pizza.
#5: Panda, Good & Bad
This blog post was the second in our dual approach look at Google’s new Panda 4.1 update. The first article focused on winning and losing sites; this follow up post went into detail about the aftereffects (both good and bad) of the Panda update. We took a close look at Panda targets – including content farms and thin content – as well as site performance. The post also explored how some sites (like Honigkiat) were big beneficiaries of Panda, and how other sites could learn from their experience.
#4: SimilarWeb’s New App Analysis
New product updates from SimilarWeb frequently get shared, but none more than the announcement of our App Analysis and mobile web data launch. Now that we were bringing the same kind of trusted data analytics to mobile, a whole new world of data insights were readily available to our users. For those in the mobile industry, app analysis was a veritable goldmine of information.
#3: SimilarWeb vs. Alexa
Directly sourcing our competitor Alexa could be one reason why this article became the number 3 blog post of 2014. We used their own data to show how SimilarWeb was surpassing Alexa by rank, illustrating a sharp increase in traffic (according to Alexa, their own traffic began descending). In terms of actual site traffic, we weren’t sure about Alexa’s claims that we surpassed them, as they had more traffic quantity. According to our own stats (drawn from a panel of users several times the size of Alexa’s) Alexa still beats us in terms of traffic, although our engagement metrics are slightly better.
#2: It’s all in the Display
This post’s place at number 2 on our list was honestly a little surprising. Maybe because unlike many of the other articles on Black Friday, we didn’t focus on which retailer was most successful in terms of desktop visits or even sales; the post highlighted ad campaigns alone. We thought such a niche topic might not be of interest to everyone, but apparently we were wrong. As the article stated, we’re a visual culture, and clearly the effectiveness of ad creative during the holiday season was a valuable insight for many marketing professionals.
#1: The Best Schem(a) of All
By far our most popular post of the year, SimilarWeb’s SEO expert Roy Hinkis really broke the mold with this article on the undervalued Schema markup, which powers “rich snippets” that are vital in terms of superior search visibility. This post took an in-depth look at the oft-overlooked structured markup types, and which sites were benefiting from them. Schema has been touted as “the future of SEO,” and it was clear from the response to this article that our readers thought so, too.
Thanks for coming along on this trip down blog memory lane…stay tuned for more great blog posts in 2015!