Coming First in Something

Okay, it might not be a marathon, 10k or even a 5k but I’m coming first in some ways.

When I originally started this blog I would go onto Google and do some different searches to see where I came (if anywhere) in the list/results.  I used to just search on “virtual runner” or “the virtual runner” and I’d be lucky to be anywhere!  Eventually I started creeping up the rankings until I was in the first few pages of result until I finally reached the top.  Now when I do either of those searches I’m number 1.  Where’s my medal?

On 07 June 2009 I decided to create a page on my blog which listed all the “best running blogs” that I had found.  It was meant to be a source for visitors to get involved and find more information, a way to advertise other bloggers sites and a way to drive traffic to mine.  The link is here (opens in a new window):-

I added the different blogs that I read from time to time and eventually people started contacting me asking to be added to the list as well.  If they’re actually a blog about running or something to do with running then I usually put them on there.  I try to avoid sites that are selling something.  Blogs should be more about information and entertainment (not that mine is that entertaining).

My plan was for the “Best Running Blogs” page to creep up the Google rankings as people did searches for running blogs, and it worked.  At first, nothing.  Now, you do a search on “best running blogs” or “top running blogs” in Google and take a look at who is top!  Yeah baby.  This means more traffic to my site and more traffic to the blogs on my list.

Because I use the services of I can also see the effect that Best Running Blogs page is having and who is getting the majority of the traffic from my site.  Below is the 1st page of “exit links” people of followed when eventually leaving my site.  The numbers down the side show how many times they’ve been followed.

List of Exit Links from my running blog

Exit Links that people followed when leaving my site.

Perhaps I should let some of these people know?  Nah, it’s nice that traffic is being driven to some quality blogs and the traffic to my own site is increasing on a regular basis.  Who would’ve thought stats could be so interesting?  Well, they are to me in this sense anyway.

Another thing I can see is what people type or search for when they end up at my site.  It’s called a “Keyword Analysis” and I’ve got a small part of mine here for you to look at.  See what’s right at the top:-

Keyword Analysis shows what people have been typing to end up at my site.

All of this makes me think I should do more with the Best Running Blogs page as it seems to be increasingly popular.  Should I make it more functional?  Should I add more blogs?  Should I have some sort of ranking system for people to vote on favourites etc?  Or, should I just leave it how it is?  Why fix what isn’t broken.

I also see that my friend Robby has been searched for 3 times recently.  It could be more but the free service at only keeps a limited number of entries/records at any one time.  In fact, if you now do a Google search on “robby kilborn” my site is at the top.  Well, it is on my computer!

And finally, the free service at (among other things) gives me the ability to see where my recent visitors have come from.  Because it only keeps a limited record of entries at any time on the free service at there aren’t that many to see:-

A map that shows the recent visitors to my blog and where they are in the world.

So, nothing really “running” related today but I thought it was interesting so I wrote about it.  If you found it dull… then why have you read this far?  Jeez…


9 Responses to “Coming First in Something”

  1. The Green Girl 23/04/2010 at 13:59 #

    Hi, Virtual Runner! ::waves::

    I’m hoping to find some more blog friends so I just sent you an email to ask you to add my blog to your list.

    Congratulations on your strong Google rankings!

    • The Virtual Runner 24/04/2010 at 17:45 #

      I’ve got your email and I’ve had a look at your blog. I’ll add you as soon as I can get around to it! Thanks for visiting!

  2. The Green Girl 26/04/2010 at 18:12 #

    Thank you so much, Virtual Runner!

  3. Pete (aka #18) 27/04/2010 at 14:30 #

    Well I read it to the end, but then I’m a geek!

  4. Phil 28/04/2010 at 16:11 #

    Great stuff :) very interesting.

  5. paul rhodes 30/04/2010 at 09:20 #

    good on you, i used to do a 70’s rock blog and found best album lists did the same, my top was ‘best moustaches in rock: ? go figure right ! Ive just started a runninig one…im from Sydney..can we swop links

  6. Trying to Run 30/04/2010 at 12:27 #

    Maybe not surprisingly that’s exactly how I found your blog – doing a search for “running blogs”.

  7. Dominique de Rooij 23/05/2010 at 08:10 #

    I totally agree with your theory. That’s some solid advice there.
    You have got a great blog going. Keep it up, I am loving it.

    I wish my blog is like yours.

  8. abbyfleming 08/10/2010 at 23:09 #

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to ask if you could please forward this onto all your contacts and raise awareness of what these 3 guys are doing for charity – it is truly inspirational. They need to increase awareness of what they are doing to raise more money for charity.

    To see a taste of just how hard running 2,000 miles is watch this video:

    Fo more info on the run go to

    Please forward to your friends and work colleagues. It takes 2 seconds and could make a lifetime of impacts

    Please help them, help others

    Thanks and hope you are all good

    Abs x