I eagerly watched my hit count go up. The post received over 500 hits in the 5 hours immediately following the appearance of the NYT link. But wow, did the traffic drop off fast. I’m still getting a trickle of hits on that 2-year-old post each day, but my overall site traffic is back down to pre-NYT levels. Here’s a chart of hits on my site over the past month. Can you tell when the NYT link appeared?
For what it’s worth, I think the earlier jump in activity from late October occurred because that was right around the time I worked with my hosting provider to reinstate some third-level domains (such as coltrane.room34.com) for links to subsections of my site. I had used these third-level domains several years ago but they had been “turned off” for at least 3 or 4 years. I can only assume from the increase in traffic that there are still sites out there that have been linking to these URLs for all of that time, even though they didn’t work.