I’ve been running this website for more than a year now, and it’s been a learning process. WordPress helps with that process by automating a lot of the nuances of the site, and by masking my limited knowledge of html. Still, it’s been a trial and error thing.
One of the areas where we’ve been trying to improve is search engine optimization. Getting more hits and more eyeballs on the site certainly can’t hurt, and while we plug the show and blog posts relentlessly through Facebook and word of mouth, sometimes the best boost is getting someone random to check out the site and maybe listen to an episode.
We set a bunch of records for most views in a day, week, and month in April, with today being the final day of tracking in a month where we had more than 2,300 hits, a number that crushed the site’s first 4-5 months of existence. That’s a good trend. Jason’s post about the Legend of Korra led the charge, as Google seemed to love that article.
So it got me thinking: What does Google like? They’ve recently made looking that information up easier with Google Trends and Google Insights, both of which pull back the curtain on what really clicks with web users. They run information back to 2004, and I decided to take a look at the 10 most searched keywords on Google in the United states since those stats were tracked. The top 10 isn’t exactly full of surprises, but a couple items are not quite what you’d expect.
10) Quotes: Back in my moody teenager days, this was actually something I searched for a decent amount myself. After all, nothing was more fun than putting up a whiny post on Livejournal complaining about life, and leading it off with some awful quote from somewhere. I’m sure hokey bosses love to search for boring inspirational quotes too. Like…
“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Actually…that one isn’t terrible. Hmm.
9) News: Not surprising in the least. If anything, it’s a little eyebrow-raising that it isn’t higher. I suppose people have RSS feeds and preferred news sites like CNN or Fox News that they use over random Google searches, but still. “News” ends up being a keyword in a lot of our posts because each episode has Headlines, and it’s also the most searched keyword on WordPress.
8) Weather: This is similar to news in my book — you’d think folks would have a go-to place like TheWeatherChannel.com, but apparently others just want the information brought to them. I think this search would actually be higher if old people knew how to use computers. It’s like the first conversational topic that ever comes up. Stereotype? Truth? You be the judge.
7) Games: What’s the matter, people on Google? Haven’t you heard of all the crappy Zynga games on Facebook? Don’t you already get a regular feed of all your friends and their stupid lost pink cows and their requests on Mafia Wars? Did you know you can play Angry Birds for free online? Angry Birds is the new hotness, people on Google. It’s going to crush console gaming.
Yes, all of that was sarcasm.
6) Craiglist: I like the idea of Craigslist. It’s like a huge online classifieds section, which is important because nobody reads the newspaper anymore (and you’re going to cost me my job someday, you selfish jerk). Sure, it’s also the home of scam artists and the occasional rapist, but I can see why folks would gravitate there.
5) Yahoo: Yahoo probably hates Google. Back in the late 90s, I have to think that Yahoo was much more used, even for searches. They even had those annoying commercials where the country guy sang their name and stuff. I still have an email account through Yahoo, but it’s more of a spam account now that Gmail is way better.
4) Youtube: Another result that isn’t surprising, especially now that Google and Youtube go hand-in-hand. Youtube is a great time sink where you can just watch video after video, as long as you’re willing to put up with annoying ads at the start of everything now and don’t mind copyrighted content being yanked down constantly. I’ve heard folks like videos of cats.
3) Google: Ah yes. This makes sense. You know, sometimes you go to a search engine because you just don’t know how to find that search engine. You type in Google.com without even thinking about it because you’re so used to it, and then you think “wait — I need to look up that recipe on boiled cabbage. I better search for Google so I can search for it!”
Apparently people who use Google are idiots.
2) You: I’m going to have to assume that this is the second most searched term on Google because of our comic. Otherwise, I don’t get it. Who the hell searches for You? Even as part of a string, it doesn’t make any sense. Are people searching for “You Are Justin Bieber” in the hopes that it’ll suddenly come true for them, like a genie’s wish? Or maybe that country song about talking about you you you you you is just clouding the results here when folks search for the lyrics. I don’t get it.
1) Facebook: Well, after No. 3 and No. 2 are dumb as hell, at least the top spot makes sense — hell, looking at that chart, it gets twice as many hits as anything else on Google.
Facebook is probably the first place a lot of people visit in the day. If anything, I’m surprised that more folks don’t have it set as their homepage so that they can see what their friends have been up to every 14.6 seconds. You know what I really can’t believe, though? Where the hell is Myspace? I thought Myspace was the new hotness. Remember when people had obnoxious, full-page background photos and Simple Plan songs set to play as soon as you looked at their god-awful profile? Those were the days.
So yes, if you were wondering, my hope is that by including all of these searchable terms, this is going to be the most viewed article in At The Buzzer history. It’s a fool-proof plan. I’m sure we’ll be internet superstars by tomorrow.