Monday, 24 November 2008

Keywords and search engines

A certain section of the blogging community seems obsessed with the number of keywords they can fit into a sentence.  Sometimes there are more keywords than ordinary words until it's almost impossible to find a sentence structure.  They blast you with them, just in case you or the search engines miss the point.

You might think this is a relatively new phenomenon, one that has come about as the result of blogs and websites vying with each other, not saying but shouting, "ME! ME! ME!" to the search engines.  But I can assure you it isn't anything new.  The technique was invented and refined by my nine year old son, roughly 20 years ago at school.

I found one of his trial runs in an old exercise book: an essay entitled, My Wish.

My wish is that I would be in the school A team in football. I would wish that because I am quite a good footballer and I would really like to be in the school football team.  Another reason that I would like to is that most of my friends are in the school football team and that I would get some training done because the school football team gets all the training.  In the summer they are allowed to go on the feild field and play football with the others.  I like playing football and my brother was in the school football team as well.

From the teacher: I'm sure you will be in the team next year.

So you see, he succeeded in his mission.

Photo from Flickr/bowbrick.  Creative Commons licence.

All anyone needs to do now, is substitute Zenni optical glasses everywhere he mentions football team, and your success is as inevitable as his.  I'm confidently expecting 1,000 hits a day now, from people looking for football teams.


  1. That's a perfect example of nine-year-old thinking!
    Not as much fun in blogs though.

  2. Great post, I love the link to the glasses ( I refuse to mention the name). It makes me laugh the amount of so called personal blogs that mention them!

  3. @Dragonstar, the part I like best, and I didn't mention, is that this was a tiny country school where every child was guaranteed a place on the team, even if they didn't want it!

    @Mike, thanks! I only have to see those godforsaken glasses mentioned and my eyes glaze over. Probably proving the point that I do need them. :) But all hell will freeze over before I'll buy them.

  4. Here! Where's the football team then?
    Blasted search engines!

  5. Yes but you confused the search engines in Australia but labelling the photo - soccer team when clearly football is Australia rules LOL

  6. That's funny, reminds me of papers we had to write like What You Did Over Summer Vacation, but they made words like The, And etc. not count.

    What really struck me in your post is the teachers comment: "... in the team..." never heard it that way, and don't know if it's proper or not... always heard "on the team". Just a curiosity...

  7. @Adullamite, so sorry, lured you here under false pretences. Now then, who was it you were looking for? I can do you a good Stirling Albion if that's any good.

    @Over 30, just wait till the USA arrives in force. Argument, arguments, arguments. :)

    @JC, I was a horrible parent and made my sons keep a rudimentary (very) holiday diary so that I wouldn't have to compose their first September essays for them when they couldn't remember what they had done. As for in or on the team, I'm wondering if it's a difference between British and American English, one that I haven't encountered before.

  8. Too funny. I guess it's the subliminal messages in the keywords :)

  9. I think keywords searches are funny.. and some of the things that people search for are just plain weird on occasions... good luck with the hits..

  10. It wasn't that simple to come here from a Google search ;-) ;-)

  11. Pablo, I am so disappointed! :)

  12. I started blogging, at least in my first blogger incarnation, for the very reason that I wouldn't have to try to make up those asinine sentences as one had to do on a "regular" website. Or so I thought one had to do. The thing with a blog (I thought) was that interesting content alone would eventually form all the needed "keywords" like a million monkeys at typewriters would eventually compose the entire works of Shakespeare. Actually it works - if you blog for quite a while, you will eventually unknowingly type out certain words that vibrate with the search engines. But since you never are able to control which words bring in the what readers, I have pretty much given up in favor of the old fashioned method of visiting other bloggers and making comments in hopes they will repay the compliment and visit me. Sigh. If only I knew how to write interesting content. Practicing writing lengthy comments seems to help as well.

    As an aside, I have a blogger friend named Candy who runs a blog called "Inside Candy." She has shared some of the search terms that people (perverts) use to find her blog. Hilarious.

    None of them, btw, include the word "football". Or that glasses maker this American has never heard of. Go figure.

  13. Max, lengthy comments help tremendously. :)

    I have quite often looked at the searches people who land here use, but they are disappointingly ordinary. The most odd is "break window" and only because I can't think why anyone would search for that. And ""figleaf" -flashcode -"a figleaf" -hollyhock -gourd -"" -"chattyfigleaf" -swimwear -code -software -flash -pharma " is pretty odd too, not to mention long, but hardly hilarious. All the same, I have great hopes for "football". Truly. Just wait and see. You'll be sorry you didn't believe me, when I'm famous.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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