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Not just for fun, Google Doodles drive traffic, too

Paul Cezanne Google Doodle from Jan.19
Paul Cezanne Google Doodle from Jan.19

Seems like every other day Google comes out with another Google Doodle, and not only are they fun twists on the famous logo, they can also provide a huge lift to Web sites that show up high on the search results that follow clicking on the doodle — more than a month's worth of unique visits in one day.

This week, we had three doodles, with Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday in concert with the national holiday, artist Paul Cezanne's birthday on Wednesday and the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address yesterday.

The owner of one site got in touch with The Next Web to share the bounty of the Google Doodle boost, which gave Art in the Picture three months' worth of AdSense revenue in one day.

Site owner Bruno Dillen told The Next Web 30.2 percent of visitors to the site that day stuck around and looked at more than one page, amounting to 2,472 clicks on AdSense units. Art in the Picture, Dillen's site, which gives visitors an introduction to art history, received 2.5 visits per second for the duration of the doodle for a total of 220,116 unique visits to the site — bringing more visitors to the site in one day than it usually picks up in a month.

But, as is normal with Google search results, it's the first one that really serves as a magnet for clicky fingers. In this case, the Wikipedia entry for Cezanne skyrocketed to 992,000 visits on its Google Doodle day, compared to not quite 50,000 visits for the entire month of December.

We don't know why the Cezanne entry was so appealing to folks, but it was, and its Wikipedia stats heartily trounced those of a civil rights legend and a former president. 

On its Google Doodle day, the Wikipedia entry for Martin Luther King, Jr. received 2,800 visits, compared to a little over 6,000 visits for the entire month of December. Finally, the visits to the John F. Kennedy Wikipedia article zoomed to 72,800 yesterday, up from 27,000 the day before. (However, the assassinated president's page is consistently popular, with more than 400,000 visits each month for the past three months.)

The Google Doodle team has created over 300 doodles for Google.com in the U.S., while the world has seen more than 700 designs.

The Next Web poses a good question: "If Google publishes a Doodle that favours you, what should you do?"

What would you do?