Wonkette NYT Traffic Analysis

Anne Marie Cox, the writer for Wonkette, was featured in the cover story of this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. I’ve always been curious about the impact of these things on a web site’s traffic. Thanks to Nick Denton’s policy of keeping stats public, it takes just a few clicks to find the answer. Wonkette’s September traffic:
wonkette traffic
Wonkette’s traffic has a familiar and consistent pattern: slightly stronger at the beginning of the week, peaking on Tuesdays, a little lighter on Fridays before plunging into the weekend (notice the weekend-like traffic on Labor Day).
The article came out in Sunday’s paper, and there was a significant increase in traffic that day: about 35,000 more Sunday visitors than usual. The increase is much more noticeable on Monday, when the NYT traffic is added to a weekly high-point. It looks like there were about 40,000 more visitors than usual yesterday.
An interesting phenomenon from all of this is that the increases are probably absolute. I suspect that if Wonkette didn’t have any readers, it would have received about 35,000 visitors on Sunday and 40,000 on Monday, so the percentage increase is a factor of previous popularity. Because Wonkette is already so popular, it doesn’t benefit as much from a big NYT article.