The Sad Secret of Blog Archives

The sad secret of blog archives is that the archives don’t seem to work like you think. They don’t really increase views over time like you’d sort of expect. And I think that’s more the reality of blogging in the 2020s and the crushing power of SEO, than anything.

It’s kind of crazy, because it goes against my own internet viewing habits. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve randomly discovered some website with tons of articles. I came there just to read one, but then I ended up clicking through other links and now oops I’ve already gone through seven. Heck, whenever I find new sites like that, I often end up adding it to my RSS feed and building up a whole new bunch of posts to read someday. I love when a cool site has some meat on its bones, where you can go through years and years of backlog posts and find cool new things to read.

But the secret of blog archives is that most people don’t do that anymore. I thought that having 220+ posts would make views more consistent on this site, but really it’s just not happening. As I said in a post about two years ago, people don’t binge blog archives much these days. Even when my Web Fiction Directory post gets views almost every day, and a couple more posts are quite popular, it’s not very often where I see a day on my stats where someone spent a while on the site and reading a bunch of weird old posts.

I tried to encourage this with my 200-post celebration last fall, and that post itself worked a little, but the secret of blog archives is that now, too, even that post stopped getting views.

In the 2020s, I think blogs just can’t spread much anymore. SEO is very difficult to break into anymore, as search engine quality declines. Social media makes link sharing more and more difficult to combat spam, and it basically takes already having a big following to get any impressions for sharing a blog post; the sites would rather you post on their platform.

So it makes sense. Old posts aren’t actively being shared anywhere, and they aren’t showing up in search engines much. How are people even going to find them, except by clicking through the blog? But, also, time on the internet is increasingly monopolized, and it’s a lot easier to kill 5 minutes on the train by scrolling through a news feed rather than reading an article or two.

I do enjoy, though, when I see those random days where a person reads a bunch of posts and I get a bunch of “1s” everywhere.

secret of blog archives
My favorite days are like this, but with 1000% more 1s

Anyway, it’s not like I’m ever going to STOP posting blogs just because nobody reads them. I have too much fun for that, and too much stuff to ramble about. But I wanted to shine a light on the fact that blog archives don’t really do much for a site traffic in most cases.

This time, though, I’d like to spotlight a few “deep archive” blogs I’ve found over the years. These sites have a LOT of stuff for you to read, and I really recommend them!

Hardcore Gaming 101: Deep-dive video game overviews

Unseen64: Canceled and beta video game overviews

dperkins.org: Japan travel and life blog

Retro Pokemon TCG: Histories and decklists for old Pokemon card formats

the m0vie blog: Really cool blogs about movies and comics going back many years. I like the Ultimate Marvel overviews.

Retrolove: More cool retro game posts

Super Mario Broth: self-explanatory

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