Or maybe I should have titled this post “be careful what you ask for”.
Emily Heath found my blog (I’m thinking that was via another blog we both follow rather than the result of some random search term) which made me check out her blog and that gave me a good laugh so I’m mimicking her clever post. Is it still plagiarism if I admit it up front? Emily, I don’t know you but I’m just sure you won’t mind this a bit – after all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.
And now, to the point of this post. 2012 is behind us and it’s a good time to reflect on the year. Since this is a blog, that means reflecting on the blog. WordPress allows blog owners to look at stats about the blog including – and this is the crux of my post – search terms people use to find your blog. I’ve had a look at mine summarised for the past year and waxed philosophic as a result. Here are my top 10 observations.
1) Bandicoots are hot ticket items. 8 of my top 10 search terms included the word “bandicoot”. It also appeared in bunches of terms lower on the list; 89 search terms in total accounting for literally hundreds of searchers finding my blog! And for the 2 of you who searched for “small holes in yard” I can tell ya now, the answer to your question is “a bloody bandicoot”. My takeaway from this is that if I ever want the most popular blog on the planet, I will create a bandicoot blog with a heavy focus on poo.
2) “ascaridia galli” is another hot topic. This term was searched for 30 times to reach my blog. It’s a worm that I deduced my chickens
have had. I’m starting to see a trend here in search terms. It looks like what comes out of the back of animals is something people want to investigate in the privacy of their home office rather than asking a friend.
3) “laura rittenhouse” showed up 22 times. Who is searching for me by name? I’m not famous – darn it anyway. Perhaps friends hear me talk about my blog and are too embarrassed to ask me for the link but slink off to look me up on the sly later. Again and again because they don’t bother saving the link? (I do not have 22 friends who I tell about my blogging)
4) “how to make a nest of raw parrot” showed up 3 times. THREE. Are there really 3 different people out there who want to use an uncooked bird to create a nest? No, I think the same person just kept entering the same stupid search term because s/he was unwilling to believe that no one used raw parrots to make a nest. I certainly didn’t provide her/him any help and I hope no one else did either!
5) “what garden pestsceat tomatoes in spossums and tomatoesydney” Aren’t search engines amazing? This mysterious person who clearly can’t type – possibly was very drunk – found his or her way to my site where s/he could share my pain over those darned possums eating tomatoes right off the vine!
6) “how to cut alura for propagation” I don’t know what alura is (are?) I typed in my own search for “alura plant” and the internet really wanted to show me “Laura Plant”. In the end I’ve decided there might be a plant called alura, though I’m not positive, but I sure don’t have one. What’s really weird is when I typed in the full search term, my blog doesn’t show up in the first many many pages. I wonder which post some search engine offered this unsuspecting seeker of wisdom.
7) “mandarin type 4458” I can confirm I have less idea about what this is than I did about alura. Is it a variety of fruit? Maybe a typeface for documents? Perhaps a style of Mao jacket? Whatever it is, no helpful hints about acquiring, building, enhancing, enduring, … one appears anywhere on my blog.
8) “lap chicken” Huh, imagine that. I wrote a post about having a lap-chicken (after Rosie hopped up on Frank’s knee) and someone (or 6 someones) searched the internet to find out about lap chickens. What a weird and wonderful world cyberspace is.
9) 1393 unknown search terms. Seriously? Why are so many unknown? Is the CIA hunting for me and they are somehow blocking the terms that lead them right into my inner sanctum?
10) Last but not least, my favourite observation is how many of the many search terms actually made sense. By far the majority brought to my mind a post or 2 of mine that someone might have read and afterwards felt that searching actually paid off. Maybe the internet isn’t all smoke and mirrors after all.
Here’s to the next year of meaningful searches meeting relevant posts – and maybe a few from left field just to keep it interesting.