Thoughtful Thursday: Search
November 19, 2009
Many bloggers seem to be sensitive to the types of web searches that will bring people to their blog. Some make their blog unsearchable or password-protected. Many make their blog searchable in general, but use tricks to hide specific words from search terms. A common one is to add a period in the middle of a word, such as Lu.pron or Fac.ebook. Occasionally a blogger will use a lookalike character, such as 1VF, or leave a letter out, like Cl*mid. I’ve also seen people use an image of words instead of the words in text.
Personally, I haven’t done any of these. If I don’t want a word to appear in a search, I just don’t use it. For example, our real names. Or my profession. Or where I live. It would be too easy for either me or my commenters to slip up — which I see all the time on blogs that use the above tricks.
Aside from the words that I purposely omit, I’m happy to have web searches point to my blog when appropriate. Sometimes people stumble onto my blog via strange off-topic searches like “13 years baby bitches” or “back seat trash containers.” But for the most part, Google brings people here because they’re looking for information about infertility. If the details of my IVF protocol or my emotional reflections on infertility can help someone, that’s wonderful. I’ll put out the welcome mat.
If someone comes here because they want to know about the infertility storyline on Mad Men or Angela Bassett or the Clayby, I’m happy to have them hear my take on media portrayals of infertility — maybe it will balance out the rampant misinformation in the mainstream media and blogosphere (Octomom, anyone?).
Heck, Googlers are even welcome if they get here through a totally random search for cherimoyas or nursing with large breasts or even, like a search that landed someone here earlier this week, just “large breasts.” Well, maybe not the last one so much. My point is that I don’t care who comes to read, because many of those searchers will get something out of it (I guess even the breast ones will get something out of it, just not what I intended). But, many bloggers do mind showing up in certain searches, for whatever reason. What about you?
For what web searches do you want your blog to be found? For what searches do you want to hide? Why?