I write on a weblog called Small Business Trends. As the name implies, it is a very tightly focused business weblog. Janet Jackson typically doesn't make it into the Small Business Trends pages.
Not that she isn't an interesting topic. It's just that there's no obvious link between Janet Jackson and the subject matter of the weblog, the small and midsize business market.
Until last Sunday's Super Bowl, that is.
Imagine my surprise first thing Monday morning, when I got a call from a colleague who quipped that he would have visited the site sooner if he'd known it was R-rated.
I quickly pulled up the site, saw the recent referrers list, and just had to laugh. On it were some salacious and titillating referrer titles. All of them were from Blogcritics.
For those who aren't familiar with "recent referrers," the Small Business Trends weblog has a piece of code from Stephen's Web that tracks referring web pages. For my own use, I rely on site statistic tracking applications such as Site Meter. The recent referrers list is there simply for my visitors' benefit, because it lets them see where other visitors to the site are coming from. It acts as a kind of dynamically-generated blog ring.
So, how did the traffic from Janet Jackson posts in Blogcritics make it over to Small Business Trends? It seems that my name was listed on the Leaderboard as a top Blogcritics poster during December. Apparently people reading the Janet Jackson articles clicked over to my site from the link on the left side of each page. (The Leaderboard has since changed to list January's results and I am no longer on it.)
But being on it just a day or two drove considerable traffic to my site during those heavy traffic days — simply because Blogcritics experienced such increased traffic.
Now, most readers of Small Business Trends are business people. I couldn't help but wonder that some casual visitors might misunderstand all the references to female anatomy on a business site. Therefore, I had two choices: either remove the recent referrers code or post an explanation on the site and wait it out. I chose the latter.
Eventually the referrer list expired. Now it is just G-rated business stuff again. But the traffic was good while it lasted.
All of which goes to show that the Janet Jackson incident did its part to help the small and midsize business market, after all. Thank you, Janet Jackson!