That Search Led You Here?

I thought I’d go with some light, summery fare today. The you-know-what queue is full of “comments” from banana nut muffins and people who want to share scorpions. Who the heck wants to share those? But search terms are another good source of blog fodder. And now that my blog is getting more traffic, I might be rising in the search results. Very slowly, but still, rising.

Some searches that lead to my blog make sense. “Should unpublished authors blog” and “what should unpublished writers blog about” led readers to my post “Do Real Readers Read Unpublished Writer Blogs?

Other times, though, the link doesn’t strike me as strong enough to warrant being a search result. A single graphic led several people to my post “When The Going Gets Tough.” I called the graphic “running character.” And yet it’s a result for searches on “running away from class png” and “running away from woman on beach” and “someone running away and another holding them back.” But why would someone run away from a woman on a beach? I think there’s a story in that one.

Speaking of stories, some searches would make good writing prompts. What could you do with “spring blossom tree” or “someone drinking coke looking confused”?

Does this person look confused?

 Some searches are downright intriguing. Russian searches? Ooh, Kat Donnelly’s ears perked up and Mikhail Chernyaev smiled when he read them (characters from my manuscript Summer at the Crossroads). I was copying and pasting “комнатные растения” and “красивые деревья” into Google Translate faster than you could say привет (hello). Alas, they mean only “plants” and “beautiful trees.” Darn—not good fodder for the manuscript.

But others leave me wondering, “What the heck? How did my blog come up a result for that?” What am I supposed to make of “please keep silence” or “lisa was here” or “which characters in this unit come to see themselves as thinking too much of themselves and not enough of others”? Huh?

And sometimes you gotta wonder what kind of day the searcher was having. It’s a bit disconcerting that “interrupt my sleep and i’ll interrupt your breathing” and “dirty mind test pictures” led someone to my blog. I don’t think any of my posts condone violence or are beyond G-rated….

Of course, I do rank up there for people searching on adverbs and adjectives. :) So searches like “i love them all adjectives” and “why do publishers and editors dislike adverbs?” and “why great authors despise adjectives and adverbs” will always bring a smile to my face.

How about you? Do you have a favorite search term that led someone to your blog? Any funny or intriguing ones that leave you scratching your head?

29 thoughts on “That Search Led You Here?

  1. Ha! As a former coworker of mine would say, “Every family is different,” and could be changed for your spam issues to “Every person is different.” There are all types, and you are so lucky to get a taste of what those differences are! (I would be very scared to sleep next to the person who was getting interrupted.)

    • Remember the post i did about our Mother’s Day weekend at the Catalina Hotel on South Beach? My blog has seen a huge spike in visits due to people seeing the dang new reality show, “the Catalina” on the CW network!! The show premiered the week after Mother’s Day so I assume when people googled it, my post appeared in their results. Talk about wierd exposure!!

      • What’s the old saying? “Any publicity is good publicity?” Maybe some of those searchers are gardeners, too, and will stick around. :)

        The longer I blog, the more searches I see bringing people to posts. And the more they don’t seem to relate! I wonder how good a job the search engines are really doing for some people?

    • Yes, some people should definitely sleep alone. I would not want to be that searcher’s partner. Maybe it’s a quote from a movie, but the sentiment is not appealing to me!

      I wonder if people go through hundred of search results before they click on mine or if somehow the blog ranks high in those searches. I’m sure an SEO guru could tell me, but I’m too lazy to search for one. :)

  2. Using search engine terms as a writing prompt–I like it! Could provide for some interesting stories. :) I’m still trying to figure out how someone searching for “2″ (yes, simply the number 2) ended up on my site. Who searches for “2″?

    • Okay, I just googled “2″ and got —- About 25,270,000,000 results. That’s more than 25 billion results (American usage!). I looked at the first four results pages, and your blog wasn’t there for some reason. It certainly should have been! :)

      I think someone should refine his or her search to narrow those results a bit…. What were they looking for? Maybe that could be an interesting short story title and subject…. Hmm…. :)

  3. Yes, search terms boggle me at times when I see them. I can’t think of any specific examples, and won’t make any up for your enjoyment–you can thank me later.

    • I know some people must be very disappointed in their search results when they land on one of my posts. But I hope others walk away with a sense of “I never knew that” or “That was interesting” — even if they never stop by again. :)

  4. Prompts can come from absolutely anywhere – I like taking inspiration from really commonplace things. :) Love the photos, I think the girl sort of looks bemused/intrigued. :) I’ve always wanted to visit the Kremlin, it’s such a fabulous looking building – I wonder if it’d be a disappointment in real life?!

    • I don’t think anything as “exotic” as the Kremlin could be disappointing. It might be different from what we’d expect, but how could it be disappointing? Russian Orthodox architecture is amazing, and it was a major influence on Serbian religious architecture. My mother is Serbian Orthodox, so maybe I’m a bit biased.

      When I consciously look for a prompt, I hit a brick wall. It’s when I least expect it that something jumps into my mind. My Muse likes to “yank my chain” in that respect. But I’ve learned to work with her methods, and I’m slowly getting better at turning her ideas into workable stories for our world.

      • You’re right, I’m pretty sure it would be fabulous to see. What an interesting cultural background you have. :) I feel so boring by comparison!

        Muses can be fickle little buggers, can’t they? It’s good you know the behaviour of yours! :)

  5. I put “Just Do It” in a blog title and every day, dozens of people come to my blog because they used “Just Do It” as their search term. Weren’t they surprised when they found a blog about writing, not Nike? From now on, I am putting product placement in every post.

    • Luckily, we can’t hear people swearing under their breath when searches like that lead them to our blogs! But that’s one way to increase the views. :)

      Much as I love those views, I’m far happier with the steady followers and commenters who actually like to hang out on my blog with me. :)

  6. I never thought about using those lovely annoyances as writing prompts. I usually don’t take the time to read through them all (thank goodness Akismet does it for me), but now I think I just might if I’m ever looking for a story idea.

    I am slightly worried that someone found you via ‘dirty mind test pictures’ lol. Are you ever able to narrow down to which post such searches bring them to, or is it just your blog in general? See, I have never tried to understand this idiocy, so the entire process is baffling to me.

  7. Sometimes I can tell, as with the searches for things like “unpublished writers blogging.” I’ll see that my “Do Real Readers…” post got some views. But other times I can’t tell. I’ll just see that my home page/archives got views, and somebody was referred by a search engine. I think in those cases, the search terms are in a post (or scattered across several posts) that’s visible on that home page. If the post is no longer visible, that may be when the search engines take them directly to an archived post.

    I think Limebirdbeth would tell us this shows the importance of proper post tagging. Matching our tags to our content will make us rank higher in search engine results. But I guess just having someone’s search terms in our blogs can bring them by, too.

    I blame the “dirty mind test pictures” on Carrie Rubin’s comments—just kidding, Carrie! :) But seriously, if something appears in a comment, I think search engines include that in their algorithms for presenting results.

    But sometimes you’ve got to wonder what people are really looking for!

  8. I haven’t had any interesting search terms for my blog yet, but I had one for the website I work on for my day job that I’ll never forget: “Come to the dark side, we have cookies.”

    No, the website didn’t have cookies, nor was there anything about the Force, on either the light or the dark side :-) Still scratching my head over that one.

  9. I love looking at the search terms, they’re so funny sometimes! I commented just the other day actually on someone else’s blog about how the search terms are quite regularly my name, and then I wonder whether the people were actually searching for me, or someone else with my name, and if they were searching for me, then why?!

    As I understand it, there are around 6-800,000 new posts put out on WordPress every day, that’s a huge amount of extra stuff going “out there” every day, and that’s just WordPress, let alone the other blog sites, and everything else. I therefore am absolutely amazed that the searches find us at all amongst this huge ever growing amount of web pages out there.

    • It is amazing when you stop to think how much is “out there” on the web. I’ve had searches match some characters’ names in my manuscripts like “Katharine Donnelly.” I’ve assumed someone googled herself or an old friend and my blog managed to be one of the top results. I always wonder what they think of the character….

      You never know, some of the searches could come from old boyfriends or friends we lost touch with years ago, wondering what we’re up to these days. But then why not say “hi”? Or are they looking for someone with the same name? Or is it another blogger who’s looking for one of our old posts?

      I love the funny ones. I just hope I don’t ever get many scary ones!

  10. I just had a quick look at mine for the last 30 days and one of them was “weird horses”. I don’t know what on my blog came up to match to that!

    • Hmm, weird horses? Now that is a strange search, indeed. But if those searches bring people to our blogs, maybe we shouldn’t look the gift horse in the mouth….

      Okay, that was just plain bad. Nothing clever is coming to mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon. :)

    • They’re not as risque as the ones Carrie gets, but some are getting good. :) My favorite so far, though, is the one RescuedfromtheBottomDrawer described above :D I’m still laughing over that one!

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