Thoughtful Thursday: Search

November 19, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayMany 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.

There aren’t many places to see literal or imagined infertility Christmas cards, nor a cookie shaped like a uterus. Those searchers have come to the right place.

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?

16 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Search”

  1. samcy Says:

    This is an interesting one, cos I don’t restrict search terms at all on my blog, in fact I’m pretty open even with our names etc. The thing is this, if someone wants to find you bad enough they’ll find a way.

    And like you if my writing and experiences can help anyone in the thick of their own IF journey then I’d be happy for them to read along.


  2. Kristin Says:

    I don’t restrict anything. I lay it all out there.

  3. a Says:

    I don’t restrict anything searchwise, but I don’t give our names, and I can’t give details about my work. Who do I want to find me? Well, anyone is welcome. If you like inanity, I’ve got plenty. πŸ™‚

  4. jill Says:

    I don’t restrict much but I do use the dot-in-the-middle-of-a-word on occasion. I use it mostly for businesses, brand names, well known products, etc. Really though, I just use it when I feel like it and it probably doesn’t do much good. I’m not too concerned what searches lead people to my blog.

    I’d want to be found by people searching about infertility or running/jogging.

  5. BB Says:

    I pretty much follow the same thing as you. My personal information or pictures et. al. are not posted on my blog, and generally I do not try to hide words… because I want people looking out for information to reach my blog… whether it is IF related or not (for the “not” there is generally not much found on the blog anyways!).

  6. Lavender Luz Says:

    OK: parenting in open adoption

    Not OK: well, let’s just say I shouldn’t have named my review blog with the word “Thumbs.” Who knew so many p0rn terms have “thumbs” in them? Every single thing Chicklet and I have reviewed becomes p0rnographic when succeeded by “thumbs:” Bra thumbs, wine thumbs, brandi thumbs, 40-something thumbs, mom thumbs, double thumbs, pregnant thumbs (eww), etc.

  7. Myndi Says:

    To date, I haven’t hidden anything at all. The only people I don’t want reading my blog are people IRL, and I do my best not to mention anything that could lead them to my blog.

    Anyone else is welcomed with open arms, no matter their purpose, as long as they arrive with good intentions. It’s great to think anyone might stumble across it and learn something about infertility they didn’t already know. I’ve been lucky to find so many blogs that have done that for me. πŸ™‚

  8. Photogrl Says:

    I’ve done a little of the . in the middle of popular words or medicines. I’m not really sure why?

    I started my blog because I knew nobody else IRL who was struggling with secondary IF. I needed somewhere to vent and have a sounding board about our struggle.

    As for who I “want” to find my blog…I’d have to stay anyone in the middle of struggling to have a baby.

  9. Elana Kahn Says:

    I actually never thought about keywords. I don’t even think about them when I’m writing posts. I have no clue who’s finding my blog and reading it, and I don’t really care. πŸ™‚ I hope that it’s being found by people who are looking for infertility/pregnancy/twins information, but I don’t care if it’s found by weirdos in the process. πŸ™‚

  10. Well, I don’t restrict searches and I usually don’t give it too much thought, apart from giving tags to my post – so in that sense I make the post ‘searchable’ for people who are looking for information on a certain topic (usually to do with IF). What I don’t like, however, and what has happened twice, is that I get a comment from someone from some sort of health care website, who mentions that one of my posts (pretty random) has been put on their site and that I can put all my posts there, or start writing for their site, or something like that. I don’t mind getting a request to start writing for something (which I can then accept or decline), but to already take one of my posts goes a bit too far – especially since I couldn’t easily find contact details for that site to ask them to take my post off.

  11. Erica Says:

    I block some words. I guess it really isn’t necessary. I do not use my family’s names. Other than that I agree. I want to help someone else with my writing.

  12. WiseGuy Says:

    For what web searches do you want your blog to be found? For what searches do you want to hide? Why?

    I specifically want my blog to be found by the drug names that are prevalent in India. When I began, typing Clomid would lead me to a lot of blogs, but typing Siphene would not yield a lot of ‘real user’ pages. So, when I find people coming through typing Gynova or Etosys MF or Siphene or Diamet, I really like it.

    I also like searchers coming to my blog looking for protocol details, or primary sub-fertility. I cannot even begin to describe how easy it is to exploit people in a country like mine where there is still not very stringent regulation on this branch of medical practice. In the hick town that I currently stay in I can count atleast 7-8 places where they talk of ‘Krutrim Garbadhan’ or AI, and there are even a couple of places that whisper IVF, but I know through experience that none of the local doctors are experts enough. My fave OB has just done her first IVF cycle here in September. So when I get people seeking info about it, I feel glad.

    I have never used the period sign on my blog. I do not use my real name on the blog. I think I have references to my profession, but that is a very vague point for somebody to hunt me from. My real identity is what I do not want random strangers to know in the first go…I don’t want my name to be googled and this blog bursting out.

    I want the anonymity of saying things like I want to. Plus, since none of my family / friends are even one iota aware of my blogging, I do not want any shocking surprises. If my real identity were to be revealed , I may decide to censor certain things out of courtesy/consideration, and that is something I am not ready for right now.

    And yes, I do not like searchers coming to my blog for vagina pictures.

    I find it very amusing to go through some of the keywords people use to reach me.

  13. Michele Says:

    If someone makes their way to my blog, I hope they find whatever it is they are looking for. I have no desire to hide it in any search.

  14. Mel Says:

    I’ve never really thought about it. Someone said this recently and I was pretty confused. They were fine being on the blogroll and having any stranger who uses that find their blog, but they didn’t want people to find it via google. And all I could think of was that a stranger is a stranger. Who cares how they found it. I can totally get the private blog or the unsearchable blog to ensure that only people you give the url to read it or to not have a doctor googling himself find it by putting in the period, but I don’t really get the one-stranger-is-okay-but-a-different-stranger-is-not idea.

  15. Jules Says:

    I’m a bit late – much like the above poster, it’s something I haven’t considered to a great extent. I try to keep the blog fairly low-key. I don’t use “full” names for the girls or our last name, but I’m not to the extent where I’m hiding particular words or such. If people find it, they’ll find it.

    I tend to, knowing it is a public blog, not go crazy into detail if I’m venting about a particular person or such – I use a private blog for those cases (just since I never know exactly which family members or such read it)

  16. I’ve never even thought about hiding my blog, but I’m constantly surprised by what searches bring people there. On the IVF topic, people almost never find my blogs b/c of those search terms. Their more likely to be searching for my fertility doctor and one of my most popular posts random-search-wise was one I did asking how long it takes for Valium to wear off after the fertilized egg was inserted. Go figure.

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