What Search Terms Bring People To Your Blog?

I’m going for a more light-hearted post today. I think my brain wants a little break from meatier topics as it works on the second draft of Death Out of Time. (As an aside, I had a good block of time to work on it yesterday. I got more done than I have in a few weeks. I’m hoping that’s a good sign.)

My curiosity about search terms is rather voyeuristic at this early stage of my blogging. Why? Because not many searches bring readers my way.

I know, I know. I should be better with using good tags and making offerings to the Google gods so they’ll like me and move me up in the search rankings. But I’m happy with my slow, steady pace. I can handle it.

But the last week or so, more searches than usual have brought visits to my blog. And it’s interesting to see what they are. The following data are courtesy of my cool WordPress site stats from yesterday:

Search Views
jmmcdowell 4
scales clip art 2
charater comes from 2
friday the 13th writing prompts 2
why do publishers and editors dislike adverbs? 1
adverbs pictures 1
new year adjective 1
katharine donnelly 1
adverb 1
jmmcdowell.wordpress.com 1
flamingo summer theme 1
snagglewordz versatile 1
“death out of time” 1
i hate adjectives 1
more clip art science pic 1
time travel clipart 1
where do characters come from? jmmcdowell 1
character come from 1
chatacter comes from 1
characters comes from 1
character comes from 1
jonas salk 5 adjectives 1
close couples clipart 1
science fiction archeology 1
Unknown search terms 1

“Character” variants — Maybe someone had a rough day typing? Or couldn’t remember the title of the post? But no worries. They got there.

“Clip Art” variants — Being good and citing my images has brought some unexpected traffic my way. Of course, the viewers won’t be finding “new” clip art. And they may question how good a job their search engine of choice is doing.

“Jonas Salk 5 Adjectives” — My first thought was, “Hmm, that’s an interesting search. Wonder if it’s for a class project.” And then I was scratching my head about “Jonas Salk.” How was my blog a result for that? But then I remembered Carrie Rubin mentioned him in a comment in my post “Losing the Academic Writing.” Someone was probably very disappointed in this hit.

“Death Out of Time” — Very specific. I’m guessing someone had heard about the book draft from someone else.

“Katharine Donnelly” — Wanna bet someone googled herself? I wonder if she’d like an avatar who’s an archaeologist with a clandestine sideline. . . .

“Science Fiction Archaeology” — Maybe someone out there thinks like I do?

“Why Do Publishers and Editors Dislike Adverbs?” Yes! My personal favorite! Maybe I rank up there on the “adverb”-related searches. There must be tens of people searching on that every year or so, don’t you think? Of course, then there was…

“I hate adjectives” — That one should NOT have led to my blog! I don’t hate them! Like adverbs, they should be used in moderation, but they are not hate-worthy.

So there they are, the searches that led to my blog. Not too many, yet, but I haven’t been at this much over 3 months. But I’ll bet some of you have some good ones you could share.

So how about you? Have you mastered tagging and Google? Do you have favorite search terms that led someone your way? Something funny? Off the wall? Or totally unexpected?

36 thoughts on “What Search Terms Bring People To Your Blog?

  1. It’s so interesting to see what brings people to your blog. Yesterday I got one which was “skeleton riding a fish”??
    Not only do I not know what on earth the person was searching for I have absolutely NO idea why my blog came up as one of the results!


    • Wow, that’s a good one! I’m not sure what they were looking for either…. Maybe you used the words in different posts, or they showed up in someone’s comment? I wonder how many results would come up in general for that search.

      Thanks for sharing! I’m hoping we’ll have fun with these 🙂


  2. Very cool, and very funny. No, I have NOT mastered the art of tagging, which is a big no-no seeing as how my mentor, Limebirdbeth, has gone out of her way to talk about how important it is!

    Sadly, it is one of those things on my need-to-get-done list along with eight-nine other items.

    I think it’s a hoot how some people find your blog, and I have wondered if they are happy with what they find or not? How do you know which followers you snag just by a random search? I tend to think I get more followers by being active through other blogs. I highly doubt that I’ve captured followers via random searches.

    But it’s worth following up on, for sure. Thanks for a fun post.


    • Oh cool—thanks for reblogging! That’s the first time anyone’s done that on my blog! I hope people will have fun with this post—maybe check their own search stats if they haven’t already. There are some good ones out there!

      Thanks again! 🙂


        • Hi, I’m an archaeologist living near Washington, DC. I’ve only been blogging for a few months, too. I’m focusing on my writing—I’m working on two novels, but I like to read different kinds of blogs, too. Sometimes I get ideas for things to write about on my blog from them, but I also just enjoy reading what others have to say.


          • any way best of luck in the blogging fieldd.nice to meet u.im from india(kerala).computer enginneer.if u have doubt in computer field pls feel to contact.nice to meet u.good dayy.pls snd ur email id r facebook


  3. Today, it was ‘poems about being wise and age 25’ that brought one person to my site. Funny enough, ‘character’ has brought one or two in previous times. I’ve been blogging for roughly 3weeks but actively. Search terms probably start becoming a source of traffic with time. Initially, a search couldn’t even bring up my blog but now, it does. Thanks for the share!


    • You’re right, it does take a while for the search engines to include a new blog. It took maybe two months before a search brought someone to mine. I’ve had a lot of fun checking them now and again to see what’s brought people over. Sometimes you have to wonder!

      That was a pretty specific search someone did this morning that brought them to your site! I’d bet your blog ranked high in the returns.

      Thanks for sharing your search!


  4. Oo, I didn’t know you could run stats to this detail. Just tried and there are very few!

    This one’s a little strange: “who is your target audience for your laptop?” eh?

    While this one’s a little counter-intuitive: “why i love writting” (typo copied verbatim!)

    Hmm, if I was trying to bring people in via google search terms I’d probably be a bit disheartened, but I hadn’t even thought about it before!


    • You know, I actually came across a WordPress blog where the word “writing” was meant to be part of the name—and it was spelled “writting.” Maybe we should be glad the search engines can figure out what our typos are supposed to be!

      I’d bet you have posts and/or comments that include the phrase “target audience” and the word “laptop.” But they’re probably not in the same post! And that’s where the search engines linking ability probably frustrates some searchers who don’t use quotation marks for exact searches.

      More tags! I think I hear Limebirdbeth…. ;P


  5. Isn’t it great to see the variety of search terms blog posts generate? Unfortunately, many of mine are more colorful than yours due to some of the entries I’ve posted (I should know that posting on placentas, six-packs, and Man Babies will produce odd searches!)

    I, too, need to be better at tagging and getting Google’s attention, but there are just too many other areas where I’d prefer to focus my attention! Fun post!


    • Aw, now can’t you share some of the less colorful ones? You’ve got me curious! But I can see where your posts could come up on some interesting searches. And now that you’ve shared placentas, six-packs, and Man Babies here, maybe this one will bring some “interesting” search traffic! 🙂


      • Oh, man, I don’t even want to tell you the one I got yesterday–it might land you some really scary searches! But as you pointed out, I’ve probably already given you that gift with the above comment!

        I’ve been planning to do a word search post myself. Then you’ll be able to read them without tainting your site 🙂


  6. I have nothing out of the ordinary to report. 😉 However, a good friend of mine, who is a photojournalist, received a query to her site from this: turkey vulture anus

    I don’t want to know!


  7. OK, so here are ours for today:

    lest we forget font
    writing fun
    25 cent words
    first line novel checker
    nerves when meeting up with an ex boyfriend ( eh?!)
    love ur day
    i lost my novel
    interusing your self by lovely way ( I.. what..?!)

    Some make sense… others… just do not make any sense to me!


    • Most of those are logical. Do you all use the word karma a lot? It’s not ringing a bell with me! I’d guess the words in “nerves when….” all show up somewhere in your posts and/or comments—just not all together! There’s that frustrated student again, writing the paper at the last minute and cursing his/her search results!

      As for interusing your self. . . . The mind boggles. There’s the “good girl” response of “I have no clue” and the grown woman thinking, “I’m afraid to ask! Better not go there!”

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂


      • Um no not really. I did a post AGES ago about karma, but people still keep on clicking through to it. Very random. Haha, yeah that poor student getting disappointed.

        No, I have no idea. Some of them completely baffle me. The weirdest ones we’ve had are:

        muscleman in manchester
        traduction flabbered and…


        r the hunger games real?

        Oh dear god…


  8. Pus pocket and ingrown toenail weirdly get me good hits. Handmade jewelry is a double digit bringer. There are some weird ones every week too. Like Kata sex. I was on kata beach but I most definitely did not have sex there nor did I talk about the two together. That guy had to be wicked disappointed when he clicked on my link. 🙂


    • OMG, those are too funny! I get the handmade jewelry one. When WordPress sends me an email that you liked a post or left a comment, your Mala Handmade post is one it always recommends for a visit.

      Oh, if these people only knew how much fun we can have with their searches! Oh, but wait. What do people think of my searches. . . !

      Now if someone searches Kata sex, they’ll have at least two disappointing WordPress blog links!

      Thanks for the share! 🙂


  9. I’ve never clicked on site stats, I don’t know if I tag well in terms of SEO but i know i tag my posts very accurately according to what each is about. Thinking about it now, I actually do very little on the dashboard that isn’t directly related to posting entries.
    This is a very good topic! Reading about how others approach blogging is very interesting, yeah?


    • I go for the “post accurate” approach rather than try to figure out SEO-friendly tags. I like the slow, steady approach for the blog. I don’t think I could handle the pressure of suddently having hundreds or thousands of followers!

      It’s fun to check out the stats, though, just for the interest factor. You can see if your posts are getting shared, search terms that brought people to your blog, and nifty graphs and numbers for the life of your blog.

      Thanks for commenting! (My favorite part of the posts!)


  10. I get a lot of Buffy-related hits, as well as some other fun ones. I get at least 10-20 hits a week from people searching “Abraham Lincoln hat,” which I find amusing. 🙂


    • I can totally understand the Buffy hits 🙂 But I just searched your blog for “Abraham,” and WordPress told me there were 0 results. So I wonder what the “missing link” is that ties your blog to such a search?

      I really enjoy checking them out. If I get more fun ones, I may have to do a follow up post 😉

      Thanks for sharing!


  11. You’re making me nervous now – have I spelled everything correctly?! Never mind all the UK/USA English variants! I didn’t realise you could run stats like this either, something else to do when I should be writing. Great post:-)


    • I know I’ve barely touched on all the ins and outs of WordPress. I click around on my stats and enjoy seeing the numbers generally going up ;). But some people are really into them. When I discovered the search terms, it gave me the idea for the post. There are some really interesting searches being done out there!


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