This week has been another exciting week in athletics, as Usain Bolt has been smashing sprint world records again (his own records no less). This he resulted in a huge increase in traffic on the Internet as people search to find out more about him, who he is, how he trains etc. The iaaf.org website boasts of seeing over 1 million unique hits after the Bolt factor kicked in.
In the early days of the Social Media Internet, people used to speak of the SlashDot effect, which was the sudden increase in traffic to a website when it featured on the front page of slashdot.org, a popular website for “nerds”, i.e. computer and Internet enthusiasts. The term the Shashdot Effect then spread to cover all similar events when a very popular website would link to a smaller less known site. Although no doubt still important, traffic to website has moved from click-throughs to organic search.
When someone like Usain Bolt comes along and makes huge sensations in the real world, people hit Google in their millions to find out more. This results in some fitness and athletics websites seeing their traffic, and their revenues, skyrocket, thus the new phrase online, The Bolt Factor.