Spikes are spikes because they come back down.
Not so long ago I had a spike. I traced it to wowinsider, sending visitors to a post linking cross-realm LFD, Nazis, and terrorism. You know, a typical boring post. about 1650 more people visited than usual, give or take 50. That's a whole lot. Or at least to me it is. I think Tobold calls that Wednesday from 4-5.
It doesn't look like many stayed. Or any.
The obvious explanation is that what I write or how I write doesn't appeal to the same audience. Makes sense. But then why link me? That would be as absurd as referring people to a cocaine dealer at a state dinner. I'm really bad at analogies.
It may be a mildly altruistic attempt to help a blogger and show readers something new. If so, it fails. This time I took the time to glance a bit more closely at incoming visitors and I finally figured it out.
People don't read linked content. On average visitors spend about a minute and twenty seconds. Except on the days of the spike. On that day, it dropped more than in half. That suggests a whole lot of click, glance, leave.
So that's that.