Search Terms

I don’t know how much most of you know about the whole wordpress setup. I’ve actually got two blogs through this site (the other is related to a podcast I do with a friend) and so I’m on here pretty regularly. Even when I wasn’t posting while writing my thesis I tried to pop on at least weekly to check on everything – you know, moderate the occasional spam comment, keep tabs on readership. That kind of thing.

One of the really cool things you can do with WordPress is monitor what kinds of search terms have brought people over from their respective search engines. There’s a little box off to one side that lists general search terms that tend to be popular. Most of these tend to be centered around the new nerf gun models out that year. There is also a small section that lists the top search terms for that day, and how many people each term brought over.

When I checked that particular box early this morning I got a pretty good chuckle. The first item on the list was “Mudd sorcery boots,” which brought over two people. Listed just below that – still with two hits – was the search term “Mark Singer crotch.”

I don’t know what I find funnier…that my blog is the second thing listed when you type that into Google or that it brought two people over to my site. You do realize what that means, right? That means there are at least two people out there who randomly decided to Google Mark Singer’s crotch. Even now I find myself giggling.

Other top searches for that day were “Shakespeare ‘you, sir, are an ass’,” “Shore Leave bad experience,” and “why do my zippers look so bad when I sew?” That last one made me laugh as well. I wondered the same thing so many times. It was interesting that I was the top listing for both the Shakespeare and Shore Leave search terms.

It really makes you think about the kinds of things we Google every day. It also makes you wonder why anyone was Googling Mark Singer’s crotch in the first place. Were they looking for pictures? Trying to find something that referenced Sam Witwer’s comments at Farpoint? Just goofing off? Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll ever know. For me to know, one of those two people would have to leave a comment here and explain why they typed those words in particular into the search engine.

Anyhoo, one of the other really cool things that WordPress does is help a blog owner know which posts have been read the most often. There’s another little box that will pop up under the recordings of the day’s hits that’ll list which posts have been read that day and how many times. It’s kind of helpful, as it reinforces the results of the search term data and, by seeing what tends to pull folks over from places like Google and Yahoo, I can get a better idea of what most random visitors are looking for when they swing by.

That little box doesn’t tell me one thing, though. It doesn’t tell me what my usual readers are looking for. I’ve put up a poll before to get some feedback and there’ve been three votes (and yes, Tristan, I see you want more robot suits featured in the blog. I’ll have to find someplace to fit that in). The poll only covers a few vague categories, though.

I’d like to ask a favor of you folks. At the bottom of each blog entry is a little bar of stars. I think there are five. If there is a particular entry that you like more than any other – something you think was especially useful or interesting, or even just kind of funny – could you go ahead and rate it? I won’t drop all my other plans and focus on just creating similar posts or covering just a few topics but knowing which entries are helpful or popular gives me feedback that I can use to make this blog that much better for all of you.

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