For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Search Query Awards

February 24th, 2008

search-query-stats.jpgAfter I successfully installed this blog and managed to publish a significant amount of content, one of the more enjoyable aspects of website management has been the ability to monitor the search queries that people use to find this site. It is also important from a marketing perspective because if we can figure out exactly what people are searching for, we can then tailor our articles to better match their queries and eventually receive more traffic. Analyzing the search statistics can also help us to determine what kinds of products could be sold to visitors from within our articles or as part of a website monetization strategy.

Aside from the monetary aspects, I have been having fun with simply looking at the kinds of keywords people come up with when they try to use a search engine to find information. Over the past few months, I have built up a fairly large archive of search terms that people have used to land on this site. A few days ago, I came up with the idea of going back through the lists and selecting some of the more unique or outstanding search terms and showcasing them in a single post under various award categories. As long as I continue to receive significant amounts of “long tail” search traffic, I could even make this a regular feature (perhaps once per month) if there is sufficient interest for this particular topic.

Another idea that I had was to pick out the most interesting questions asked in recent search queries and answer them in future posts, especially in cases where the questions were not already answered on the site. This could provide a nice educational benefit for future searchers or other visitors who may seek the same information.

For today’s post I have looked at the search stats for the past month or so and selected a few of the ones that I thought were the most interesting because I have never seen them used as keywords before. The award categories that we use may vary; if you have any particular categories that you would like to see in a future “best of search” series, you can mention these in the comment section below.

Most negative keywords in a search query:

  1. cell phone parts -reverse, -directory, -recycle, -plans, -ringtone, -ring -tone, -tone, -downloads, -themes, -theme, -contract, -cart

This one also gets the award for overall longest query, at least for the last 30 days. Apparently someone was really determined to find parts for their cell phone.

Best strategic use of a negative keyword:

  1. how to make coca cola blak -black

Negative keywords are a good way to narrow down your searches by excluding terms that are not relevant to what you’re looking for but may be common enough to significantly increase the total number of results returned. This search phrase is a good example of how to use this technique. It’s clear that the searcher wanted to find information related to the particular brand of Coke which is spelled “Blak” as opposed to the more commonly used spelling of “black”, which simply indicates the color but not the Coke brand.

Most specific product search in a classified ad:

  1. Samsung HP-R6372 63-Inch Plasma Television free classifieds ads in Australia

Greatest number of slashes (probably a typo):

  1. general tso\\\\\’s chicken recipe
    Black hatter wannabe candidates:

  2. how to cheat clixsense

Bum-related searches that missed the mark:

  1. build the bum
  2. how much do bums make
  3. pictures of fit hunks bums
  4. reasons why you shouldn’t give money to bums
  5. videos of bums that do anything you want

These were funny because all of the above searchers ended up on my page about bum marketing techniques, which is probably not what these folks were expecting.

Best displays of ignorance during searching:

  1. how to fix my cell phone in the water

If your cell phone is already in the water, this is probably why it needs to be fixed in the first place. Trying to fix it while it is still in the water would likely result in a permanently dead cell phone.

  1. how does scurvy spread

This one is pretty funny - scurvy is not a contagious disease, therefore it cannot “spread”. It is actually caused by prolonged deficiency of vitamin C.

  1. when was scurvy founded

Another one that really had me laughing - apparently someone thinks it is possible to “found” a disease as one might found a country or an institution. Would anyone really want to take credit for being the “founder” of cancer or tuberculosis?

  1. instructions on how to use toilet paper

Ummmmm….does anyone really need to use a search engine for this? It seems that some people are even dumber than I thought!

4 Responses to “Search Query Awards”

  1. comment number 1 by: C Duran

    Reading the last section on particular searches was a great laugh to start my day!

  2. comment number 2 by: Ty Hurd


    That funny you’re talking about odd search quarries and where some of your traffic comes from. I was just chacking out my stats and noticed a visit from this page?… Don’t know quite how that would’ve happened as I don’t see a link to me anywhere… odd. Good blog though, glad I came.

    I noticed your entrecard is above the fold and you load fast. I’ll add you to my list if you’d be interested in giving me a reciprocal link on your blog? I don’t even care where, just for the SEO of it…

  3. comment number 3 by: Karlonia

    @ C Duran:

    I’m glad you liked my search query post. This has actually been one of the most enjoyable aspects of running this blog - being able to see all of my SEO efforts finally pay off with real, targeted visitors and ideas for additional content as an extra bonus. Meanwhile, I’ve had enough positive response on this idea from the Entrecard visitors for me to make this a regular feature. I have already done another search query article for the March 2 entry.

    @ Ty Hurd:

    Sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly where the traffic is coming from; I have had several rather strange entries in my referrer stats as well. Nevertheless, I’m glad that you seem to like my beloved blog. I am working to regularly update the site with informative content while keeping it free of unnecessary items that would slow down the site or detract from the reader experience.

    Hopefully you will be pleased to discover that Karlonia is DoFollow for comments, which means that you have already received your coveted reciprocal link by virtue of making your comment. Meanwhile, I have commented on your post at Tysblog.com notifying you of my interest in the Entrecard list. I have been seeing a few such lists popping up recently - by joining yours and a few others, we may be able to significantly increase the traffic from our Entrecard promotional efforts.

  4. comment number 4 by: Manick

    Hi Karlonia,

    That’s a nice SEO strategy to exploit your long tail. How is this working for you so far? I think I have to give it a try.

    By the way, thanks for getting a link on my Top Spots list.


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