Online traffic is back on track at theorion.com thanks, in part, to a nice bit of spot-news reporting about a reptile photographed in a salad at Sutter Dining.
Michael Catelli's story, which was posted a half-hour before noon Friday, had attracted more than 3,000 page views in four days, pushing visits to the website to 3,652 for the day it was posted, almost 1,100 more than the day before.
It was by far the most viewed story of the week.
Visits to theorion.com for the first week of September stood at just under 20,000 compared to about 14,274 during the same week last year. So, after a slow start, the website is now ahead of year-ago numbers for visits, though page views are still running way behind.
Some other interesting first-week-of-September numbers (from web hosting service BlueHost):
• Bucking a national trend, theorion.com still gets almost all of its traffic from people who go there directly (86.9 percent of page views) rather than from search engines (7 percent) or social media (5.7 percent).
• Facebook referrals accounted for two-thirds of that traffic coming from outside sites despite a much more active Twitter feed.
• 78.7 percent of visits lasted 30 seconds or less. That number was 75.8 percent in September 2014.