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This article was published on January 21, 2011

How much traffic can a Google Doodle drive to your site? Nearly 1/4 million uniques in a day.

How much traffic can a Google Doodle drive to your site? Nearly 1/4 million uniques in a day.
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Google’s Doodles – the fun pieces of art that Google replaces its logo with for special occasions – are immensely popular with the public, but how much traffic do they actually drive?

When you click a Doodle, it takes you to search results related to its theme. On Wednesday, Google celebrated the 172nd anniversary of artist Paul Cézanne’s birth with a Doodle, and one site to turn up in the top search results when users clicked through in many countries was Art In The Picture. The site’s owner Bruno Dillen has been in touch to share some pretty eye-popping statistics that demonstrate “The Google Effect”.

  • His site received 2.5 visits per second, every second of the day that the Doodle was live. In total, 220,116 unique visits to the site, more than it receives in an entire month, normally.
  • In one day, the site received 33 years’ worth of normal natural search traffic.
  • While you might expect these artificially high visitor numbers to include plenty of low-quality traffic, in actual fact 30.2%of visitors looked at more than one page. While that’s less than half, it’s still impressive, especially when you consider that the Dillen says that the site received 2,472 clicks on Adsense units. That amounted to 3 months’ worth of Adsense revenue in one day.

While Art In The Picture turned up second, third or sometimes lower in the results linked to the Doodle, the Paul Cézanne Wikipedia page was the top result. If this stat is correct, that page received just shy of 1,000,000 views as a result of the Doodle on Wednesday.

So, if Google publishes a Doodle that favours you, what should you do? Dillen says that if it ever happened again he’d have capitalised on it more. “I would put up a short message with an easy call-to-action on the landing page to convert wandering users into more useful users later on. Or I could plaster some more ads to earn a killing in one day.”

I wonder if we could convince them to do a “The Next Web” Doodle? What do you say Google?