a test of traffic

I’m a curious fellow, and that curiosity has prompted me to conduct an experiment. There are many resources on the web that discuss the most popular search terms. I wanted to know what would happen if I wrote a little paragraph that just happened to be chock full of the hottest words around. Would it be flagged as search engine spam or would the test post rise to an unprecedented level of popularity and fame?

In the name of science and discovery, here is keyword-stuffed paragraph to begin the experiment.

Once there was a girl named Paris Hilton who wanted to play NCAA basketball. She went to lots of games and chatted with folks like Tara Reid and Shannon Elizabeth to see what they thought of her playing. She even went to see a leprechaun, who told her to go to spring break in a prom dress. She looked at her maps to get directions and then looked at an online dictionary to find out about the IRS and what March Madness was. She learned about taxes and was shocked to find out that Mario Vazquez only had a 50 cent tax because his accountant was an American Idol from the amazon.

Just then, music lyrics came into her mind. The song was Whiskey Lullaby by Allison Krauss and she wondered what would usher such musical poems into her mind. Then she remembered it was the green day, commonly known as St. Patrick’s Day, and that the lyrics in her head were from an MP3. She decided to watch the Star Wars Trailer with a boy named Harry Potter and call it a day.

I didn’t use some of the more . . . explicit terms to avoid certain associations or censorship of my blog. There are limits to what I will do in the name of science.

Here are the sites I used to gather keywords.

Google Zeitgeist
Lycos 50
Yahoo Buzz
Ask Jeeves IQ

It’s also fun to see what people are searching for at the moment. The sites below give you a glimpse into the search requests taking place right now.

IQ Seek


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  1. If you search for “tara reid paris hilton shannon elizabeth” the top results are still HOTTEST N-DE CELEBS sites, :).

    Comment by Adam on March 18, 2005 @ 2:28 am
  2. Give it time Adam, give it time.

    Comment by dan on March 18, 2005 @ 9:42 am
  3. How’s the traffic test going — are you getting more traffic?

    Comment by DavidH on March 21, 2005 @ 2:48 pm
  4. It’s going to take a while (i.e. a month or two) for the search engines to index this page and for me to see the results.

    Comment by dan on March 21, 2005 @ 3:01 pm
  5. I wonder, then, if it’s going to take that long if your search terms will matter as much. March Madness is over in a couple weeks, and some of your other stories (Mario Vasquez) will be old news within the next few days unless the story unfolds further. Or, am I wrong about this?
    Otherwise, this is a clever and devilishly delightful plan since we know you will only use this power for good.

    Comment by Russ on March 21, 2005 @ 11:50 pm
  6. Russ: It’s true, some of the search terms are of a more temporary nature, but I used the shotgun approach. I used 15-20 different search terms in the hopes that at least a few would work.

    You’re right – I will only use my power for good. (Lots and lots of money is good, right?)

    Comment by dan on March 22, 2005 @ 9:04 am
  7. What an interesting experiment. I don’t know if this has anything to do with anything; but, almost all of my referrals that are not blog related are from google.

    We were just discussing the most popular search engine this very afternoon. We almost always use Yahoo! I’ll be interested to see your results.

    Comment by Babs on March 22, 2005 @ 7:23 pm
  8. Actually, it doesn’t take that long for Google to find you. My site – journal.amanita.net – has absurdly high PageRank somehow, and whenever I search for something I happen to have written about – even if I only wrote it recently – I frequently find my site in the top few results. (I have NO idea how my PageRank got so high…if I did I’d be quitting my job and ODP and working in the SEO biz!)

    Comment by Meredith on April 4, 2005 @ 3:58 pm
  9. Oh, and for what it’s worth, all three Google text ads on this page are currently about March Madness.

    Comment by Meredith on April 4, 2005 @ 4:00 pm
  10. Meredith: Indeed, we both have a PageRank of 6, but what I was referring to was the monthly Google Dance, where the main indexes are changed. The more frequent updates are quite transient and can change from day to day.

    So far, my experiment has been met with little to no interesting results.

    Comment by dan on April 4, 2005 @ 4:28 pm

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