The first stage of grief, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously postulated, is denial.
So it’s hardly surprising that Paul Elam and his gang of flunkies and fans at A Voice for Men have responded to the news that my site is besting AVFM in traffic by trying to claim that my traffic is somehow … fake.
Elam’s “evidence” for this assertion? He poked around my site for a few minutes and couldn’t find any posts that felt really “viral” to him.
He explained his, er, logic in a post yesterday. (You’ll have to excuse his terrible prose; he’s apparently running out of ways to call me fat.)
The gynecomastia plagued mammoth hunter’s sudden, meteoric rise into alleged relevance can only be explained by one thing. There must have been a stratospherically viral article (usually meaning more than two paragraphs) penned by the Wizard of Wallow that must have been picked up by every major media outlet in the mainstream.
Trouble is, we could not find it. A complete search of his website for something that coincided with his liftoff into the upper echelons of Alexa rankings, only turned up more of his usual fare. Quote mining, distortions, lies, poorly written snark and hundreds of comments, most of which have nothing to do with the OP and everything to do with kittens.
I’m not sure how one is supposed to be able to tell how much traffic a post has generated just by looking at it; it’s a bit like trying to tell how fast a car can go by looking at it parked.
But using some methodology of his own, apparently based not so much on what is true as on what he desperately wants to be true, he concludes that I bought the traffic using some of that sweet sweet cash I apparently get from the Femilluminati overladies.
So, that leaves us with only one other conclusion about David’s strut-worthy presence on Alexa. He paid for it. Yes, for those who cannot create real traffic, it can be purchased. Of course, purchasing a fake Alexa ranking is, well, fake. But what better tool for web presence could there ever be for a fake writer, with fake ideas waging a fake war against fake enemies for the approval of fake allies?
Also, I’m a big fan of fried chicken. (How did he know?)
A fake Alexa ranking fits on David Futrelle like a day old bucket of fried chicken fits in his lap . And it will probably last about as long given it requires regular financial maintenance.
Elam’s preoccupation with Alexa is a little weird. I didn’t even mention Alexa in my post comparing my traffic to his. Alexa’s numbers for my site and his are based on estimates — extimates that I’m pretty sure are something less-than-reliable, at least when it comes to my site.
No, the reason I know that I’m getting more traffic than A Voice for Men – or at least that I was getting more when I wrote my post on the subject – has nothing to do with Alexa rankings. It’s because Elam posted a screenshot of his actual traffic stats. Which I was able to compare to the traffic stats I get directly from WordPress. (You can see my screenshot and his in my post om the subject.)
The closest thing to “evidence” Elam has to back up his false accusation that my traffic is “fake” is based on something called Google PageRank, a zero-to-ten ranking that provides at least a rough representation of a site’s importance in the internet world. (Zero is totally obscure; ten means you’re as popular as Google.) Unfortunately, Elam’s internet research skills leave something to be desired, and his “evidence” isn’t actually evidence of anything real.
Elam reports that when he typed his site’s url into a site that tracks PageRank it got a rating of 5. He typed WeHuntedTheMammoth.com into the same page and it gets a PageRank of … zero.
Which would be pretty damning, except that it’s meaningless.
You see, the real URL for this blog is manboobz.wordpress.com; that’s the URL that WeHuntedTheMammoth.com redirects you to. And if you type manboobz.wordpress.com into that same PageRank site that Elam used, you’ll see that my site has a Google PageRank of … 4, pretty close to that of AVFM.
Seriously, Paul, try it yourself if you don’t believe me.
So, no, Paul, I didn’t buy traffic or whatever it is you think I did to get “fake” traffic for my “fake” writing.
You want to know the real secret behind the increased traffic to my site? Well. I don’t know if you realized it, Paul, but last year was kind of a breakout year for online misogyny. You remember that whole GamerGate thing? I wrote a lot about that, including a number of posts that collected together a lot of information that other people found useful.
If you look at my most-read posts from the past year – here, here and here – you can see that a lot of people did in fact find them useful: each one was shared on Twitter and Facebook literally thousands of times, as you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of each post. (Or did I fake those too?)
Also, I started writing more than one post a day. All else being equal, more posts means more traffic.
The flipside is that all this misogyny and all this writing kind of burned me out, and I’ve been taking a bit of a breather for the last few weeks, writing fewer posts and taking some days off. So my traffic has slowed a bit. Heck, my traffic may have dropped back down to AVFM levels.
But I’m not worried, Paul. As long as terrible and ridiculous people like you keep saying and doing terrible, ridiculous things, I’m not going to run out of things to write about. And as long as people are interested in hearing about people like you, it seems likely that I’ll continue to get enough traffic to reduce you to tooth-grinding rage.
I can only hope you’re able to work y0ur way through the other stages of grief until you finally reach acceptance. Because right now your desperation is so obvious it can probably be seen from space. It’s not a good look for you.