Happy New Year Wishes For 2017 From An Sionnach Fionn

A happy New Year’s Eve to the readers and followers of An Sionnach Fionn, and as always a big thank you for your support and contributions throughout 2016. It’s been an interesting year for the website, beginning with a massive soar in visitors in January and February, followed by a catastrophic plunge in May and June as Google changed its inscrutable search algorithms. The recovery from that hit has been modest at best though 2016 remains set to be the best year so far in terms of new readers. That couldn’t have happened without the incredible publicity the website gets from people sharing posts and articles on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. All those “likes” and “tweets” really do count, so I thank you for them.

Talking of which, Google Search remains the biggest “referrer” of visitors to An Sionnach Fionn, followed by Bing (and its Yahoo and other offshoots), Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard (a surprising one) and Reddit. Referrals from Irish rather than international platforms have dropped significantly, mainly because of a preference for social media alternatives or interfaces among internet users. Formerly important websites likes “politics.ie”, “republican.ie”, “thejournal.ie”, “broadsheet.ie”, “peoplesrepublicofcork.com”, “boards.ie” and several others now generate relatively little traffic for ASF. In terms of countries, the majority of readers come from Ireland followed by the United Kingdom (including for statistical purposes, the UK-occupied Six Counties), the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. A somewhat eclectic but consistent mix since 2014.

The top articles published in 2016 in order of popularity were:

  1. The IRA’s Assassination Of The American Leader Of A British Death Squad In Ireland
  2. Who Won The Irish-British Troubles?
  3. Improvised Armour, From The British Army 1916 To The Islamic State 2016
  4. Was A Serial Rapist And Child Killer A British Spy In Ireland?
  5. Glasnevin’s 1916 Wall Of Shame
  6. The Torturers And Murderers Of The Royal Irish Constabulary
  7. An Irish Girl Rebel And The American Poet Joyce Kilmer
  8. The New York Times Argues That The Irish Are Actually British
  9. A Name Does Not Grant Legitimacy, Whether It Is Real IRA Or New IRA
  10. The Reconstruction Of The Ballinderry Sword, A Medieval Ulfberht Blade From Ireland
  11. The Battle of Hastings And The Irish Exile Of The English Princes
  12. Antipathy To The Irish Language Is A Legacy Of Colonialism
  13. When The IRA Busted Britain’s Spying Operations In Europe
  14. The Fantasy History Of The 1916 Easter Rising
  15. Beyond The Pale. Irish-Speakers In Modern Ireland
  16. History Is Written By The Victors, Even When They Lose
  17. Irish And Celtic Origins In The Late Bronze Age
  18. The Four Jewels Or Treasures Of The Tuatha Dé Danann
  19. Dublin, Easter 1916, Their Sympathies Were With The Rebels
  20. Captain Robert Nairac, Britain’s Death Squad Adventurer

An interesting collection, though some of my favourite posts from the past twelve months were:

Here’s wishing you all a very happy 2017.

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6 comments

  1. Still the best blog on the net! Onward to even greater things in 2017. How do we, as readers, help you with the search engine, issue?

    1. Thanks for that. On the search engine issue, that is down to Google changing its search mathematics. Stats were skyrocketing since end of 2014, then in the summer of 2015 they just plummeted. There were no significant changes announced in how Google worked its searches, that I could find, but it was definitely there. It effected my Page Ranking as well (where you appear on a Google search, page 1, 2, 3 etc.). The system can be “played” but I doubt anything sinister. Just Google doing its thing. Nothing to be done about it really.

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