Euphemism, Anyone?

Wordpress

For 2 1/2 blissful years, I’ve been blogging via WordPress. I have nothing but fine, kind words to say about the WordPress blogging tool. It is easy to use, and my posts look how I want them to, and I have now figured out just about how to do everything, and the staff is supportive (writing those informative posts about how to improve the appearance and content of your blog) and last, and most important, they provide a vast amount of helpful statistics which can help in the analysis of what appeals to readers; i.e. which posts are the most popular.

My most popular post was about euphemisms, called 20 Examples of Great Euphemisms. Every day when I go to my stats, there that sucker is, in first place. Every damn day! I’m glad the world is interested in euphemisms but I doubt this is an indication of how well my blog is doing. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s doing all that well so when I see there have been 50 views and 30 of them are for that post, I’m not thrilled by the news.

WordPress supplies the search terms used which caused the reader to end up clicking on the link to the blog post, and the term “euphemism” as of today had 456 searches. There were other combinations of search words used, I counted 84 of them which contained the word “euphemism”. What’s with this, I ask myself. First of all, how are so many people getting to this post? When I Googled “euphemism” I went through 50 pages without seeing my post come up. When I Yahoo-ed it, the same thing. Never found it. I finally gave up up this rather fruitless endeavor. Let’s change that. Worthless endeavor.

There could be a few reasons for it but this is all I could think up: People are supremely bored at work and have the patience to mindlessly click on links to articles about subjects only marginally interesting to them, for more than fifty pages of search results. I have no other explanation.

When one is at work, one’s time may be less precious than when one is anywhere else.

Or it could more simply be that there is an inordinate amount of interest in euphemisms and some are willing to go to the “end of the internet” to read every single byte of information collected about these benign expressions which represent something more dire.

Somehow, I doubt that.

Oh, and one more thing. There is one comment on this post. One! If so many people are reading it, you’d think at least a few would say something about it.

It makes me wonder about these statistics.

It also makes me wonder about the future of this blog.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Search Terms

Every day I check my blog stats. Okay, make that several times a day. They tell you how many hits your blog had, not who, just how many. Here they are, and I am happy to say they have continued in an upward, positive trend since February 2011.

Here are blog stats from January through October, 2011:

I seem to be getting a lot of traffic from search engines, but when I checked the search engine terms used to find my blog, many times I couldn’t figure out how it ever ended up on the first page or pages of search results produced from the particular input criteria.

While I am very pleased to think that my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, which include pertinent keywords, accurate titles and labeled images, appear to be generating traffic, sometimes I confess, it’s a real head-scratcher to understand how it works, based on the content of my blogs. Here are some of the most bizarre:

  • wally moon – Who is Wally Moon anyway? Any relation to Perigee?
  • little kid on a treadmill – All you little children, stay away from treadmills. You don’t need these until you’re older – much older.
  • beer background design – This does not sound like a good background picture to me but maybe on a Beer For Dummies book it would be.
  • punctuation takes a vacation what is bothering mr wright – Racking my brain for whatever would be in any post I have ever written that would cause a blog about writing women’s fiction to appear using these search terms. Punctuation? Vacation?
  • dental photography black background – Dental photography? Keep this away from me, please.
  • kitap kapak tasarımı – Is this Pig Latin?
  • chains black background – Whenever I see “chains” I get suspicious.
  • spine flower – Probably wanted to find information about tattoos?
  • uneducated successful businessman – This might be an oxymoron, oh wait, probably not.
  • can’t find romance novel about memory loss and love – No? Bummer. Neither can I.
  • mild indirect – This seems bland to me, should I take warning from this?
  • why i don’t feel creative – Wow, neither do I. Welcome to the Let’s Suck at Creativity Club.
  • desain sampul buku – More Pig Latin, with a Mid-eastern flair?
  • soap liquid background – Cleanliness is next to, um, I forget.
  • toast treadmill walker – Let’s see, first you have your toast, then you get on the treadmill, then you need a walker. It’s all I can figure.

I doubt that the individuals using these search terms are interested in a blog site dedicated to baby boomer issues and women’s fiction but you never know where you might find readers, so I’ll take it as a good sign that the stats are improving.

It puzzles me, how search engines work. I can’t imagine that they can search through every piece of information on the internet, examine the content of each one, and deliver a results list at the speed they do, but maybe that’s exactly how it works. I know that many of the terms used above were not in my titles, nor were they in the body of the posts. Apparently, greater computer minds than mine ever was are at work here.

And the really odd part is, when I search for these terms, I don’t see my blog in the results list returned. So what search engine are these folks using? I researched this very issue, and came up with a few blogs that addressed the subject, but none of them provided a good answer. They mostly said, your results could be located on page N (insert really big number here) but that some people actually go deep into many pages while searching.  I find that hard to believe. If it doesn’t show up on the first page, I seldom go any farther. But maybe.

And I still don’t understand “kitap kapak tasarımı”.   

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Your New Blog or Website

Once your blog or website is established, how do you generate traffic to it?

Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and more will come, as I get better at SEO. I thought I’d publish this in a learn-as-I-go mode, so anyone who is just starting out can take advantage of what I’ve learned. I’m a beginner too, and I’ve been interested in this topic – Search Engines and how they work – and have done some research. If you need further information, there are hundreds of blogs and articles about it, but I found very few that weren’t over my head.

The first thing I discovered is, you can’t rush it. Search Engines take their own sweet time getting to know you, that is, your site or blog. They will not be forced or manipulated into recognizing you before they are good and ready. But once they’ve crawled around a few times and see your site, they’ll start to recognize you and examine your content.

Make your titles, descriptions and keywords relevant to your content. Keywords aren’t as important as they used to be, but they’re still helpful. Your pages should have titles which match what people are searching for. Put the most important words first. I chose “SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Your New Blog or Website” for the title of this post, because “SEO” is what most people will probably search for, and if not, they’ll spell it out – “Search Engine Optimization”. I might have liked to call it “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about SEO” but that puts the important part too far back in the title. Get it out there. One, two. SEO and Search Engine Optimization. That’s what this is about. But the whole title will be displayed, so I hope people who are beginners, like me, will see the “For Your New Blog or Website” part, and think “that’s for me” and click on it.

You can’t fool Mr. Search Engine. Years ago, you could, by establishing hundreds of keywords, and they didn’t even have to have anything to do with your content. That’s why back then sometimes you’d search for the most innocent of topics and porn sites would appear. That didn’t last too long, and once you’ve been banned by Mr. Search Engine, you’re pretty much finished with that site. There’s no way to redeem yourself. You’re banned, banished, and you have to start over.

I have no idea how they do this, but the web crawlers examine your pages, and what is on those pages, and they will know if you’re trying to pull a fast one. So don’t do it. But if it crawls over your site and decide it likes what it sees, it will store information about your site that will be used when users search for topics that it thinks are related.

So your content is ready, and you have a good title and an accurate description and a few keywords, and you’ve waited the allotted amount of time. You can now start searching to see how your site fares. Of course, it’s a chicken-and-egg thing because the more people who visit your site, the better your statistics will be, and the more Mr. Search Engine will love your stuff. So it’s a slow process, and patience is absolutely required here. There is absolutely nothing you can do to speed it up, or guarantee first page prominence. It’s out of your hands.

I, personally, am not burning up the airwaves with the number of hits I’ve had on either my website or my blog. Depending upon a number of other things (i.e. the weather, my mood, whether it is a full moon or not), I alternately stomp around and slam doors and say to myself, Screw This. Other days, I shrug and think, oh well, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. Everyone says it won’t be overnight. I have never been a particularly patient person, so this second alternative is sometimes a challenge, but I’ve become a bit better at the patience thing, at least as far as blogging is concerned.

One interesting thing I’ve noted is the blog post I did called “Design Your Own Book Cover”, has been my top read post. I can see statistics at WordPress.com, which is where my blog is hosted. I can’t see who is clicking, but I know for any given day, what blog posts were read, and how the posts themselves were reached. And one really helpful thing is that if my blog was reached because it was searched for and clicked on via a search engine, they tell me what search criteria was entered.

So it’s interesting but I see some very strange search criteria used. Here are the top search criteria used which directed people to the Design Your Own Book Cover post:

Black book covers with flowers
Black background designs for photo-editing
Design your own book cover
Sun shining clouds
Cover book
Black design page background book spine
Special background roses

I used both Google and Yahoo search engines, and searched for all these terms. I went through 10 pages of results for each. I don’t know about you, but I rarely navigate off the first page when I search for something. I figure if it isn’t on the first page, it can’t be anything I’m looking for. So after going through all of these search terms, only one – “design your own book cover” – actually showed up for me. It showed up on page 1 (Yay !!!) on Yahoo and page 6 on Google.

How did these people ever get to my site based on these other search criteria? I confess, I can’t answer it. I’m still researching. But what it did show me, was that “Design Your Own Book Cover” worked.

I think probably people don’t care what my views are on euphemisms, and clichés, and corporate buzzwords. What they are looking for is something that will help them, or answer some questions. So I should probably stick to that.

Picking the right titles and keywords: I have always titled my genre “Baby Boomer Fiction”. I figured that was a good, meaningful description, so I used that as my title, and as keywords. I googled “Baby Boomer Fiction” and, whoa, I’m on Page 1 for both Google and Yahoo. That’s got to be good!

Not so fast. I then heard about a cool tool called Google Ad Keywords. You enter keywords to see how many searches there actually were for those keywords. Look at this!

Gah! No one has searched for baby boomer fiction. Not one search. No wonder my blog and website come up on the first page, there is no competition, because no one else is using these keywords. And the reason no one is using them is because no one is searching for them!

So I checked results for different, closely related keywords.


These are the results:
It appears “books about baby boomers” is being searched for a decent number of times and when I see the list of topics that is returned, I think it is appropriate for my books. I have updated my blog and website titles and keywords accordingly. We’ll see. I’ll have to wait until the engines crawl again, and get my updates, to determine if it made any difference.

I’ll be monitoring these changes closely. And I’ll be sure to let you know!

I’d like to hear from you.