Tuesday, October 2, 2007
What Did Your Visitors Ask?
allows you to see what people searched for in Google to find your site – if you inserted their little tracker code into your template, that is. They do so by checking the referrer value, which for most search engines contains the keywords entered (e.g. ...google.com/search?q=hello
...). The top search your site ranks well for can often bring heavy traffic, but you can also dig in Google Analytics to uncover more obscure, and fun, search queries entered (just look for the “find keywords” box at the bottom of the Traffic Sources -> Keywords page). Give it a try by looking for “why”, “who”, “where” and such – you might be surprised about the kinds of questions your visitors asked.
Here are some of the keywords containing the word “why” that were used to find this blog, and I’m picking up the conversation below each query. If you have some interesting search queries from your site with the word “why”, please share in the comments!
- why is google so slow
(it may be your internet connection... Google is rarely to never slow!)
- why did google answers fail
(perhaps it wasn’t given enough attention. Also see a reseacher’s answer.)
- why do not use basic html for my gmail
(I think there’s only one good reason to switch from Gmail’s Basic HTML view to the advanced DHTML view... address auto-completion!)
- why english is a universal language
(I think it’s simple, and uses mostly ASCII. For instance, using German Umlaute characters for domain names is still a pain in 2007.)
- why is google down
(again, this may be your internet connection...)
- why are spreadsheets useful?
(Joel Spolsky was one of the co-creators of Excel 5.0, and he has an interesting story to tell: “When we were designing Excel 5.0, the first major release to use serious activity-based planning, we only had to watch about five customers using the product before we realized that an enormous number of people just use Excel to keep lists. They are not entering any formulas or doing any calculation at all! We hadn’t even considered this before. Keeping lists turned out to be far more popular than any other activity with Excel. And this led us to invent a whole slew of features that make it easier to keep lists ...”)
- why does gmail storage keep growing
(Because it makes Gmail a more competitive email client, and it also adds some product buzz? But in Germany, we have a saying: never look a gift horse in the mouth, I think that’s also an English idiom.)
- why doesn’t gmail work
(all the glitz comes at a price – growingly complex client-side code which can fail in exotic client contexts.)
- why good programmers are lazy
(I’ll answer with a lazy link)
- why google colors
(come to think of, didn’t Sergey Brin – who designed the first Google logo using GIMP – use a different color combination at first?)
- why life is like a movie
(hmmm, is it?)
- 0 pagerank why?
(did you hire an SEO company to get better rankings? If so, do you know what they did...?)
- do monkeys ask why
(... anyone know? ...)
- google why the logo is changed
(usually, you can click on the logo to find out what Google is celebrating...)
- login at right why usability
(another interesting question... why isn’t the login box at the left side?)
- why are aliens on earth
(let me first ask: where?)
- why did china block google
(’cause the Chinese gov’t is afraid of its own citizens)
- why did you fire jeeves :(
(I suppose Ask Jeeves got rid of the butler logo because it’s an identiy that’s too specific, not allowing them to enter certain markets. But it did give them a friendly face.)
- why do movies keep buffering?
(maybe in some years, movies will just playback instantly? or will we always have slow-loading movies because webmasters increase the video quality as soon as better bandwidth comes along?)
- why does batman have underwear?
(... a delicate question ...)
- why google named google
(it’s a word play – or misspelling, depending on who you ask – on “Googol”, the mathematical expression for a 1 followed by 100 zeroes...)
- why have myspace friends
(... I’ll forward this question to those reading along ...)
- why is google becoming a monopoly
(maybe it’s a natural tendency for companies to gravitate towards expansion?)
- why no folders for gmail?
(it seems Google once decided to use labels instead of tags or folders – perhaps because with traditional folders, you need to decide on exactly 1 place to put your document, whereas a document can have multiple labels – though they’re starting to compromise on both the tags and the folders front these days)
- why isn’t pluto a planet anymore
(scientists often change their mind, and it’s usually safest to just follow along with what they say)
[Inspired by Blogstorm.co.uk via Manoj Nahar.]
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