Visits to my blog dropped dramatically about a week ago, as you can see below.
This is not due to an actual decrease in readership. Rather, I would more accurately describe it as the elimination of an artificial inflation of site visits.
About a year ago, I noticed a jump in visits after I wrote one particularly problematic post about the afterlife (problematic in terms of collecting accurate data about blog readership - the topic itself is probably at least 60% silly, possibly as high as 85%).
Sitemeter.com seemed to indicate that this increased traffic was coming from google image searches, although there was no apparent way for me to discern the exact search terms. Maybe there was/is, but I couldn't seem to figure it out or forgot about it or was lazy. Anyway though, all I had done was link to the image on another site, so I was surprised the image search was leading people to my blog. I even got a couple comments on the post from unknown people who seemed quite eager to share the depth of their wisdom and the acuity of their insight. A month or so ago, curious to see how much traffic my blog was actually getting, I saved the file to my desktop, uploaded it with a new, simple filename, and waited to see if that changed anything.
It did not.
Last week, still curious, I changed the term "Michelangelo" to "Signore di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni." That did the trick. The average number of daily site visits dropped about eighty percent at this point. That is all.