Wednesday, 8 October 2008

You are what you search for

Frank Zappa recorded an album in 1981 called You Are What You Is. If the great man were still alive today, maybe he'd give it a slightly different name.

I've quite often wondered who reads my blog, and why. What do they find interesting? The barbed attacks on organised religion? The tongue-in-cheek reporting of ridiculous news and non-news from around the world? Do they like the videos I post from Youtube and my related comments on them?

Some time ago I read a report about how Google had analysed search trends in the US. They took a group of internet users and monitored their search activity over a 6-month period of time - and they discovered something quite interesting.

People try to solve their problems using Google. They type a question into the search engine as if it was some kind of agony aunt. How can I make my boss appreciate my work more? Why doesn't my girlfriend love me any more? Stuff like that. It's an interesting discovery and if you give it a try you'll probably find some "answers" to your nagging questions.

Of course at work we also analyse this kind of thing for our website. We do Search Engine Optimisation to try and improve our ranking on keywords that we think people are looking for - and that relate to us - in order to get increased traffic to our website.

So I thought I'd do a little analysis of my own based on all of this. I had a look at my blog stats and the keywords people had searched for in Google when they found me.

So what did I discover? What were they looking for? My barbed attacks on organised religion? My tongue-in-cheek reporting of ridiculous news and non-news? The videos I post from Youtube?


"Tattoed cunt" and "laxative challenge" (and derivatives thereof) both figure at the top of the list.

My question is: Does this say something about them or me?

Back to the thematic drawing board I think.

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