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How many ways can you ask Google a question?

September 16, 2012
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Just over a year ago I wrote a review of the film (and book) Red Dog. In it I avoided talking about how the film ends, but that hasn’t stopped people asking. My Red Dog post is one of my top five posts and it’s there largely because of the following searches:

  1. does red dog die in the movie : 444 times
  2. red dog movie : 246
  3. does the dog die in red dog : 199
  4. does red dog die : 93
  5. red dog book review : 59
  6. does the dog in red dog die : 56
  7. red dog does the dog die : 54
  8. how did red dog die : 46
  9. does the dog die in red dog movie : 43
  10. red dog book : 32
  11. red dog movie music : 31
  12. how does red dog die : 30
  13. red dog the movie : 29
  14. red dog movie does the dog die : 26
  15. what happens at the end of red dog : 26

… and so on …

It seems that many people, like one of my favourite bloggers Stefanie of So Many Books, like to prepare themselves for sad movies – and so she asked in her comment whether red dog dies. If she hadn’t asked her question, would all of those searches have found me? Does Google look in the comments for search terms as well as the post itself? I’m guessing it must.

Do those of you with blogs have searches that surprise, entertain or even mystify you?

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2012 12:33 am

    One from my film site: where are the hookers in phoenix?

  2. September 17, 2012 6:05 am

    Because of my name, I sometimes get slightly dodgy searches for stuff involving black men. Those people must be very disappointed when they click through to find a white writer talking about books…

  3. September 17, 2012 6:49 am

    I always get “how French men treat their women” They land on Edith Wharton’s French Ways and their Meaning. Dear, I should write a very-satisfied-wife post about this to end the debate.

    And also, I have a post entitle “Sea, sex and fun, the Narrator goes wild” and I’d love to see the face of the people when they discover my entry about…Proust. :-)

    • September 19, 2012 12:19 am

      Thanks for joining in Emma … Sorry about the delay replying but I’ve just found this and another comment of yours in Spam. The cheek of it. Love your Proust post title.

  4. Bryce permalink
    September 17, 2012 2:47 pm

    I am most surprised that a post I wrote in May 2011, “Sentences That Take Your Breath Away” is my all time most visited post by far, week after week getting more hits than any other post. It’s a review of Stanley Fish’s book “How to Write a Sentence.” The google searches that lead to it are mostly variations of subordinating and additive sentence styles, the main styles Fish deals with. Googling “additive sentence” brought my post up second on page 1, whereas Fish’s book didn’t appear until page 3. (I checked on someone else’s computer so that Google didn’t give me what it thought I wanted.) I’m mystified that so many people are interested in additive (or subordinate) sentences.

    • September 17, 2012 7:15 pm

      Thanks for joining in Bryce. It’s fascinating isn’t it – what grabs the attention and what searches work. I have some posts that seem to score high in Google and others that I can’t even find.

      I love that people are Googling how to write sentences. Who said new technologies spell (ha!) the end of writing!

  5. September 18, 2012 2:45 am

    LOL, I am apparently not the only one worried about whether Red Dog doesn’t live out the movie! I was just starting a trend ;) I don’t often look at search terms that bring people to my blog so I had to go check them out. Yesterday one of the top searches was “vinyl floors for living rooms” and “humidity jokes” got quite a large number in the last 30 days as did “dracula sex.” Now perhaps because I mentioned those in this comment some of that traffic will be diverted to you!

    • September 18, 2012 8:44 am

      Oh thanks Stefanie … And I’m such an expert on flooring. Oops, perhaps I shouldn’t have said that! Just as long as I don’t get Guy’s hooker seekers!i can see discussing this topic in comments could be dangerous.

      • September 18, 2012 9:14 am

        Your hits for hooker searches just shot way up! ;)

        • September 18, 2012 9:43 am

          Haha … BUT, I have had two more “does the dog die in red dog movie” searches in the first 10 hours of today! Question is, which post will they now be pointed to! I didn’t think of that when I wrote this post! How clever is Google?

  6. September 18, 2012 9:43 am

    My favourite is ‘2’. 68 searches for ‘2’ have come my way!
    The ones that gratify me are the searches for ‘best Australian books’ and the ones that depress me are the ones like ‘Patrick White Voss summary’ – obviously a student with an essay to write and hasn’t read the book.
    Most mystifying is the continuing interest in the Margaret Olley biography, (always near the top) and most amusing is ‘sacred heart’ – which takes them to my review of Sarah Dunant’s book…

    • September 19, 2012 5:16 am

      I got “i didn’t read effi briest help me”. Students who cheat get on my nerves.

      • September 19, 2012 9:45 am

        Absolutely … but at least that one was honest (or is it stupid) about cheating!!

  7. September 18, 2012 10:00 am

    Oh, thanks for sharing these Lisa. What do the people looking for “2” find do you think? I do have a lot for “no. 1″. “Best Australian books” is a good one … I don’t get many of those. The Voss summary one might be reading groups!? I sent my mother to you last month when her reading group did it. But, I do think I get students coming for some of my posts – I wonder what they do and whether they plagiarise. (But perhaps that’s having tickets on myself!)

    I guess Olley’s death would have sent searches up, but I think you mentioned long before she died that it was popular. It’s great that people are so interested isn’t it. My oddest big one is “librarian”. I think it goes to my post on librarians as authors BUT I have a feeling that many of these are image searches!

    Do you have posts that you’re surprised people don’t find? My biggest surprise was The slap during the televising of the miniseries. My posts on that one didn’t spike at all, but I know other people’s did. That’s my biggest mystery.

    • September 18, 2012 10:29 am

      The Slap is nearly always my all time top search, top post. *sigh*

      • September 18, 2012 10:36 am

        That’s a hoot really! Meanwhile mine languishes way down the list. My top Aussie hit (after Red dog) is Jasper Jones, followed by Ransom and then That deadman dance.

        • September 18, 2012 10:46 am

          Yes, I get JJ and Ransom too, obviously on school reading lists.
          But, encouragingly, I get many, many searches for less well-known Australian authors or their books. Someone’s seen or heard something about a middle ranking, non prize-winning or debut author and they want to know more. These searches don’t get massive hits in the thousands like the top ones do, but it’s satisfying when someone hunts for a review of one of these books and they come to me. And I really, really love it when I see from my Fishpond affiliation reports that the review has sent the searcher off to buy a copy! Every sale encourages authors who write well, that’s my motto!

        • September 18, 2012 12:00 pm

          Absolutely … not having any affiliations I don’t see if any reviews generate purchases except when people tell me! It’s great when they do that … but then I wonder how often I tell them in return!

          I get a smattering of searches on Aussie classics and new writers. My top Aussie author search is Tim Winton!

  8. September 18, 2012 4:16 pm

    I just checked the search words for my book site and came up with ‘stoned animals’ and ‘Italy tall wmens’. Very funny.

    • September 18, 2012 5:00 pm

      “Stoned animals”. What ARE you doing over there, Catherine! I do find checking out the search terms a bit of fun.

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