On The Strange Sources Of Blog Traffic

by Thomas Brett

One interesting thing about keeping a blog is that as you post on various topics and include keywords relating to those topics in your post headings, your material gradually enters the ocean of searchable data on the Internet. So when someone is looking for something that you’ve posted on, there’s a decent chance they could descend and land on your post if one or more of their search words matches your blog post title.

I began thinking about this when I looked at the data relating to who is visiting my blog and why. What I realized is that folks out there are looking for very specific things and as I happen to post on some of those things I’m privy to the keywords those folks are using to cast their search nets. For example, it wasn’t until I posted on the Dutch artist M.C. Escher that I realized how hot a search topic his art is. In the weeks after I posted, I noticed among the always interesting search terms and phrases (e.g. “anti Rihanna”, “percussive field”, “how a drum teacher can sell”, “proprioception exercises”) the fact that people are also hunting–pretty feverishly too, it seems–for information about M.C. Escher or Escher-related stuff. Here are some of the Escher-related search terms: “mc escher”, “m.c. escher”, escher art”, “escher drawings”, “mc escher eye”, “escher eye art”, “escher lizard”, “escher stairs”, “illusion pictures”, “perceptual illusions”, “morphing architecture” (a good definition of music, right?), “hand drawing another hand”, “escher tesselations”, “tesselations in nature”, “how to make cool tessellations”, “exotic tesellations”, and “tessellations for kids.”

And not only have I seen the stats for these searches, but the searches now account for most of my blog traffic! The reason for this is that images are searchable and since I used a few Escher art images in my post, those images are now appearing in the searches of others. In fact, if you go looking for one of the Escher self-portrait pieces in which the artist is reflected in a ball he’s holding, that image brings you to my blog. Strange, but I guess this is how the Google search algorithms works their magic.

Because of all this, hundreds of strangers in search of images by a famous Dutch artist are landing on brettworks each day, probably baffled, and then move on.

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