The fun stats of blogging …

Itry not to look at my blog stats too often. Outwardly I don’t worry about rankings and the number of page views, it’s not my primary motivation for blogging. Internally, of course I’m always flattered when the blog get lots of hits and good rankings – who wouldn’t be?!  What is always fascinating though, is how people get to your blog. Some of the search terms can make you giggle…

One such search phrase was “Jumping sex”well I can work that one out.  I posted about Jilly Cooper’s Riders back in January. Lots of variations on that search lead to the same post too. Another search which included the words “Knickers Off” led back to my post about the first two volumes of Charlie Higson’s zombie series – I’d called the post Zombie Mayhem to Scare Your Pants Off. I bet that was different to what the searcher expected!

Having said I wasn’t interested in page views, I am really – but not in the way you’re thinking – I was just looking at those posts that have historically got the most visits in total.

Top of the list by far is my post after seeing the film of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It’s a shame in a way it was the post about the film, rather than the book. It’s followed by: a post on the first graphic novel I reviewed on the blog – The Crow by James O’Barr; then An Evening with Toby Mundy a talk I went to by the boss of Atlantic Books – strange it still gets a lot of visits; and then a post entitled My Life in Comics and Magazines.

Notice how they’re all posts that are not about conventional books. The most recent of them was the Salmon Fishing one which was published this May. The others are over a year old, the Toby Mundy one was in December 2010, yet somehow they are still getting hits, and still registering in my most viewed posts. When I work out the secret I’ll let you know!

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By the way, if you’ve enjoyed these lovely drop capital graphics, they come from a site called Daily Drop Cap and are free to use in personal blogs etc.

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12 thoughts on “The fun stats of blogging …

  1. Ha Ha I like the “Knickers Off” and “Jumping Sex”! It is funny what people search for to come to a blog. By far the most popular search that brings people to mine is “On the Road” or “Jack Kerouac” or both together. Searches to do with Arthur Conan Doyle and The Hound of the Baskerville’s is also popular. I once wrote my thoughts on a newspaper interview with Philip Henscher where he talked about people who don’t read fiction, so I get a lot of hits with searches like “don’t read fiction” or “I don’t like novels” Some of the very specific search term are quite interesting. I’ve had “lines in i capture the castle chapter 4” and “why did jean-baptiste tell heloise his name was beche” and “give opinion about reading fiction books is a dying habit among the young today.” and “lively review of to kill a mockingbird” and “what was the bad thing charlotte did in charlotte gray” and the longest by far is “thinking of the principles of jazz improvisation, how does sal paradise improvise (like a jazz soloist) in his journey?” I hope those people got answers to their questions, but I can’t guarantee it! Unfortunately I don’t have any funny ones, like you, but I’ve enjoyed scrolling through them this morning for the very first time. Thanks for giving me the idea!

    • I love those highly specific examples! They’re as funny, if not funnier, than the risqué ones, as you only have to use the word ‘sex’ in a tag and you get all sorts of what I can only assume are porn-seeking searches… 😉

      • I always suspect that those highly specific questions are from students searching for answers to essay questions. Sometimes I get the same question a couple of times in the same week, so I imagine classmates using the same approach.

        • I just looked at my stats to see if there are an essay-type questions in the search terms, and I came up with “what is the author saying about life and living in farewell to manzanar?” and “what is the main theme of “he knew he was right” by anthony trollope?” I actually get a lot of searches on just various book titles and “themes,” which I also imagine comes from students trying to write a paper.

  2. Your post made me smile.

    It’s hard not to be a little interested in the stats; they are fascinating after all. My post on ‘mummy porn’ has had most hits. Only to be expected I suppose.

    Once I mentioned one of my literature essay titles and that did well too. I’m not sure I would have been much help – at that stage I was just as baffled as everyone else.

    • Victoria, if you had ever reviewed Stephen Fry’s book “The Hippopotamus” then that particular search query might make sense. Anyone who has read the book will know why. Let’s just say it’s a post-watershed moment: one not particularly to my liking, but each to his own. Having just entered Mr Fry’s name into the search box on your blog and not got any results, this theory clearly fails. At least you now know why somone was searching your blog for the host of QI.

      • Going to have to look it up David! I have read ‘The Hippopotamus’ but it was so long ago, I can’t remember a thing about it…

  3. I look at my stats often. In fact, I do daily and, like you, have wondered how certain search items get surfers to my blog. Some are so funny that I wonder if my blog wasn’t used remotely for something else. What I’ve found is that if I do a very critical and detailed (not in length) analyses, that post hardly gets the hits.

    I laughed at some of your observations. And I also loved the caps.

    • Welcome back – haven’t heard from you in a while. The stats are always entertaining aren’t they? You make an interesting point about the length of the post … something to investigate perhaps… 🙂

  4. Search terms are always fun. Especially when you can’t quite work them out.

    What really gets me is looking at the countries. I find it completely amazing to all of a sudden have 17 hits from South Korea, or some other completely random place. That someone on the opposite side of the world somehow finds their way to my blog based on their love of Gilbert & Sullivan, or ballet, or whatever, is truly a wonder of the modern age.

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