Wednesday 21 March 2018

How Much Traffic Does a Google Doodle Drive? The Data Says, A Ton

Originally posted on Steve Rubel’s blog.

The Google Doodle is – arguably – one of the biggest PR coups in the world. Not only does it include a prime placement on the single most popular landing page on Earth, but it also can drive a ton of traffic to sites that rank highly on the search term Google ties to it. Just how much traffic? How about 2M page views or more if your web page is the top result. Let’s take a closer look at the data.

Most Google Doodles are tied to holidays, historical events or iconic figures from history. Some are regional in nature, others are global. You can find a list of them here. Given their broad nature, most of the searches that the Doodles link to tend to rank Wikipedia articles very highly. Therefore, if we look at the amount of traffic these Wikipedia pages get on Doodle Day, we can get a sense for just how powerful they are as a traffic driver.

That’s where comes in. The tool, which was developed by Henrik – a loyal Wikipedia user from Sweden, uses publicly available data to chart the daily traffic that any article on Wikipedia receives. Using this site, if we compare traffic on Doodle day vs. the monthly norms, we can get a sense for the power of the Doodle.

Here’s a random sampling that examines the traffic to three recent Google doodles and how they fared in driving traffic to Wikipedia articles that ranked first, second and third – at least on my screen…

May 9, 2011 – Roger Hargreaves (Wikipedia page is the first result)

3,500 article views for all of April 2011

1.9M article views on Doodle Day (and another 200k the following day!)

April 26, 2011 – John James Audubon (Wikipedia page is the third result)

14,491 article views for all of March 2011

1.1M article views on Doodle Day

April 3, 2011 – Ice Cream Sundae (Wikipedia page ranks second)

10,366 article views for all of March 2011

481,000 article views on Doodle Day

As far as I know, you can’t convince Google to create a Doodle for you. However, should you get lucky, you better be ready to turn on the bandwidth. All hail the Doodle.

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