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TouchArcade’s Top Stories of 2016: Pokemon, Pokemon, and More Pokemon

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One of the fun things to do at the end of the year is pull up the site stats for all of 2016 and see which stories resonated most in our community with the best metric we have: How many unique page views a particular article got. This year was absolutely dominated by Pokemon Go (Free). The amount of traffic this game generated for us was so extreme that it actually broke a lot of the automated reports I use to figure out which direction we should be steering TouchArcade. In trying to get more analytical about optimizing our content to fit what people seem to actually want to read, I was using all these tools to figure things out like, “Oh hey, this game’s upcoming release announcement saw abnormally high traffic outside of the standard deviation of similar articles, we should focus on this game more than we usually would when it’s released." I’ve got a bunch of other tricks up my sleeve, but that’s the general idea behind it. Pokemon Go messed all this up, with random two paragraph news stories doing 100 to 500 times the traffic anything else we posted that day, which has really complicated using all these tools and training them to just disregard anything to do with Pokemon to generate any sort of useful report.

If you found yourself angered by the amount of Pokemon Go coverage you saw around here, it was for a good reason- Each article was breaking new traffic records, and love it or hate it, Pokemon Go was responsible for the largest overall growth spike of new readers in TouchArcade history. Here were our top Pokemon Go stories of the year, which again, blew everything else out of the water to an extent that’s really just hard to fully comprehend:

Following that, our standard content typically fits into three categories: News, reviews or previews, and guides. For the sake of making this particular breakdown a bit more 2016-centric, I’m only listing articles that were actually written in 2016, which gives things posted earlier in the year a little bit of an advantage as they’ve existed long enough to have a larger tail. Typically speaking (most) articles see most of their traffic inside of the first week they’re posted, so really the only stories that are potentially underrepresented here are the “Best of" stuff we’ve been posting in the last week or so.

News

Reviews / Previews

Guides

The challenge of running a web site like TouchArcade is maintaining the delicate balance of writing these types of articles like the ones above, which seem to interest everyone while still doing things like Shaun’s RPG Reload series which I feel like are consistently some of the best content we publish, even though they generate almost no traffic. Sadly, the internet as a whole is just trending away from being willing to read or share long-form articles. Us shifting gears to be so heavily supported by our Patreon has helped a lot with us being able to continue to produce the kind of content that our core community loves instead of doing what everyone else is doing and doubling down on nonsense listicles. If you see something you like on TouchArcade, share it with your friends. It helps a lot.

We’ve been doing it a ton lately, but it’s worth one more massive shoutout to the (as of this writing) 607 people supporting us on Patreon, which amounts to far less than 0.1% of our total unique visitors in 2016, for allowing us to keep being awesome.

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