An old post coming back from the dead

Around the end of the year, the data team gets a lot of requests from the editorial teams to pull which posts had the highest traffic that year. Usually, they’re looking to figure out which of the posts they wrote that year did the best - but there are always posts that were published in previous years that gain enough traffic to show up on the list.

We call these types of posts “revival posts”, and this year, 18 revival posts showed up in the top 100 Gizmodo Media Group posts by pageviews. Here are the top five, minus one from the Gawker Media days that I probably shouldn’t link to here.

“Second Cousins,” “Once Removed”, and More Explained in Chart Form

Date Published: 11/22/14

Main Traffic Source: Facebook

2016 pageviews

This post, which explains how all of your relatives are related to you, had three traffic boosts this year - one in June, one in the beginning of September, and one, more predictably, around Thanksgiving. Looks like it just had a few waves of getting shared and reshared on Facebook - geneology is apparently always an interesting topic, for whatever reason that might be:

10 Facts That Everyone Gets Wrong About Vaping

Date Published: 11/19/14

Main Traffic Source: Search

2016 pageviews

Do you even vape, bro? The answer, according to this post’s traffic, is: yeah probably. This article has a fairly consistent level of traffic, although its popularity has been gradually decreasing over the year.

Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years

Date Published: 12/20/10

Main Traffic Source: Facebook

Pageviews from Dec 2010 (publish date) - Dec 2016

This post has resurfaced multiple times now since it was first published in 2010, on the actual darkest night of the past 500 years (due to a lunar eclipse coinciding with the winter solstice.) But, during the winter solstice of 2013, the spring equinox of 2014 and the winter solstice of this year, this post saw a huge resurgence in pageviews, due to people sharing the post on social media without looking at the publish date. Interestingly, and sadly, this post reached many more people during these spikes, when it was not the darkest night of the year, than it did when it was first published and the phenomenon was actually occurring. The author, Annalee Newitz, has tried to stop this post from continually popping up, but it just keeps coming back.

This year, the post saw most of its traffic boost from getting picked up on Facebook, where it went a little viral, got picked up by other news outlets, and confused people nationwide.


The morals of this story are: we should stop getting our news from just a headline on social media, and maybe Gizmodo needs to change that headline to something like ‘[UPDATE: THIS IS NOT TONIGHT] Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years.’

How to Crack a Wi-Fi Password

Date Published: 10/30/13

Main Traffic Source: Search

2016 pageviews

This is another post that gets a consistent amount of traffic year round due to popping up in user’s search results. This post was written to educate people on how easy it is for someone to crack your wi-fi password, so they can take steps to protect themselves from a hack. I’m just going to assume that was everyone’s intention while searching for this...

How to Make Your Vagina Taste Awesome

Date Published: 6/4/12

Main Traffic Source: Search

2016 pageviews

And yet another post that gets a bunch of search traffic all of the time. After the homepage this is the top Jezebel page in terms of search clicks.

There you have it! It’s always fun to look at which posts from years ago get a second (or third, or fourth) wind and why. The internet is a strange and mysterious place.