Sunday, January 3, 2010

Relying on Google Search

So far, with the limited time that I've had, I think it's fair to confess that I've spent more time developing my blogs than I have promoting them. Which is not to say I've done no promotion, but I think it's fair to describe my getting-the-word-out efforts so far as 'scattershot'. I still get a large percentage of my hits from random Google searches.

One of the things that's enjoyable about Google searches is that a lot of trackers, including Sitemeter, which I use, will show you what the person who accessed your site via Google was searching for. So while someone who, for example, has a website devoted to Michael Jackson would be unsurprised to find someone searching for "Michael Jackson" or "Michael Jackson death conspiracies" turning up on their site, it's fun to find someone searching for something random like "Was Michael Jackson Egyptian?" or "Michael Jackson's bathroom habits".

Actually, I do have a site devoted to Michael Jackson. And I'd be surprised to find someone accessing my site after searching for "Michael Jackson", because that search will generate millions of hits and bring up commercial sites way before mine, which is probably buried on page 55 of results. It's an odd mix of off-the-beaten-path and still-searchable that brings results. You can never predict it. I have a site devoted to songs I think are terrible, and it regularly gets hits by people searching for Joanie Sommers, a highly obscure singer from the sixties. I guess for whatever reason there's a tiny bubble in the supply-demand ratio for 'information on Joanie Sommers', and my blog in some way seems to fill that. Who knew...

I have a blog called "Things with Awesome Names", where I talk about things merely because their name intrigues me. Like all of my blogs, it was struggling, stumbling along with random hits until a month or two ago I noticed a consistent pick-up in hits: analysing them revealed: (1) People were coming from Google Image Search looking for an (admittedly pretty) actress named Emanuelle Chriqui. My picture, or rather my hotlink to Wikimedia Commons, for whatever reason ranked high in results for image searches for this girl. Why? I have no idea. (2) People who were asking Google how to pronounce 'apl.de.ap' (from the Black Eyed Peas) were getting referred to my site (where I didn't answer the question but merely wondered aloud myself how it was pronounced). There were dozens of topics that I'd written about that I got no, or almost no, Google-based hits from. But these? They were bringing in visitors lieft, right and centre.

And then just as randomly, it stopped. "Things With Awesome Names" went back to begging for visitors. Then, I wrote a blog making fun of a Filipino celebrity named Dingdong Dantes, illustrated it with the cheesiest picture I could find of the guy, and watched the blog sit unloved for, like, a month. Then, out of the blue, I'm getting constant hits again from Google Image Search, constantly for this guy. And Sitemeter is telling me my blog's audience is like 20% Filipino and that more people are going to the page about him than even to the blog's main site. Why? Where did it come from? I have no idea. I also don't know why my hotlink to that picture gets hits instead of the original source of the picture. I know that Google favours its own, and technically all Blogspot blogs are 'Google's own', so there's a bit of favoured nation status happening. But the randomness of it makes me giggle.

1 comment:

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