Sunday, December 04, 2005
googling+my+way+through+the+east+bayOur website gets tens of thousands of page views a month. One-third of these pages are referred via various Internet search engines.
I review our referring URLs. Those from search engines contain a string of text that shows the actual words a user typed in to generate links that deliver them to our site.
While I do this in the name of "market research," I confess to feeling a little like a voyeur. I am peeking into an anonymous person's mind, getting a glimpse at their concerns or interests at the moment their browser googled or yahooed us.
Sometimes this glimpse is pretty straightforward. I find many completely unsurprising strings of search terms that indicate someone is looking for a facility just like ours:
Sometimes it's clear they aren't looking for our facility but saw something interesting and clicked anyhow:
There are people looking for pets:
And happily, people take their pet-searching seriously:
There is no shortage of searches that reflect challenges people are having with their cats:
Challenges with dogs can be more difficult:
And of course, there is the challenge of pets co-existing:
We don't just get pet-owners.; we sometimes get job-hunters:
The most interesting searches, to me, are those that cause me to wonder what the person is doing. Researching a paper, perhaps?
I had to look at this one twice:
I found myself worrying what pet owners were going through when they typed in their search string:
And I hope my (anonymous) neighbor in Pleasanton found their dog:
Sometimes, the search string is disturbing. Reminds me how much work we have in front of us:
And I don't even want to know why this person is asking this:
But when all is said and done, this is my favorite:
This is what it's all about.