Monday, March 12, 2007

How I Went From 100+ Page Views A Day to a Whopping 5 a Day

I think it might be time for me to throw in the towel and loudly proclaim that I just don't "get it." What I'm referring to here is the process of developing web site traffic.

I'm looking for feedback from any SEO types out there - or anyone who might link to any of my sites out of good will or genuine interest.

Three weeks ago I developed a new site called The Sudoku Challenge. The idea is simple. Every day 10 sudoku puzzles are posted. Solve a puzzle and if you solve it quickly enough - you get your name on the scoreboard. The scoreboard starts fresh every morning. Sound simple, right? I mean, LOTS of people like Sudoku, so you'd think it'd be relatively easy to attract visitors and keep them coming back! Not so, batman.

Initially, I posted links to it on del.icio.us, reddit, digg, and netcape. After getting 100 page views a day (that's not a lot, I know) traffic has all but died. NOBODY is coming back to play.

I have also sent emails (individually written, not templated) to several sudoku related sites letting them know about The Sudoku Challenge. So far, no response.

So I ask you, what is it that I'm doing that is apparently so uninteresting? Is it time to throw in the towel with this idea? Is it time to resort to begging for links (like I'm sorta doing now)? Should I wait, is a month too short a time to decide if an idea is viable?

Any feedback or links would be incredibly welcome! Please comment or email me at john at todotoh dot com so I can thank you personally.

29 comments:

Jared said...

I think the Sudoku games is just saturated and peak popularity was reached and probably on the downward slope. Yahoo games lists 3 versions of the game alone, I don't think people are going to go out of their way to go to a stand alone site for it unless you're offering something unique to stand out.

John said...

Like offering a "make your own Sudoku book" type of feature? I had been naively thinking that contest angle was unique enough. But perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar idea that I started coding a prototype for, it was a cross between your idea and the brain training games - you would get an average score over the games you participated in. This could be displayed in a widget on your blog / myspace or whatever representing a certain percentile of sudoku-ers you are better than.

This could be used as a sort of bragging badge - and I saw it potentially catching on with the myspacers wanting to be "smart".

Then I saw http://www.sudokuslam.com/ and it disheartened me. (They're probably the reason why you're not getting too much return business).

Si said...

^^^ I should probably have signed in.

Simon

John said...

Hi Simon,

I totally get why you'd see a site like Sudoku slam and be disheartened. I did have a few moments of frustration when I saw the sheer number of Sudoku sites out there but when it really came down to it, I just said "f#$k it" and wrote the code anyway.

The vast majority of these small business ideas are going to fail and fail horribly. What I'm not getting in AdSense dollars, however I AM making up for in some really great experience!

I like your Myspace idea, too! I had thought of putting it on your blog, etc. but hadn't thought of MySpace. As an aside, if you'd be interested in building a badge widget for the Sudoku Challenge - I'd be up for talking about it! I do have RSS, if you didn't see the icon.

Anonymous said...

A meaningful widget would need a better database behind the site.

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