I partner with Google to market my writings on the web.
The most important words in any blog post are the first twenty-five to fifty words. None are more important that the words of your title. Pick them wisely and Google will help the word find your writing.
For example, here are some examples where Google has brought viewers to this blog:
Search(engine)/string/ in italic means a search for the string between the “/” character’s, using a search engine, with “S” alone meaning “S(google.com)”. Any character not occurring in the string can be used as the delimiter,with “/” as the default.
The “S-number” of a search string is its position in the list returned by a search engine. “S” stands for “search” or “shields” (perhaps this notion of number will so enter the literature.) So the first hit has S-number 1 , and so on. “S#” is a short form of “S-number. “S# n” means the S-number of a string is n. “Search: string S#-n” means the S# of the string is n; an optional date in parentheses may follow, giving the date on which the search was done. “S# n” in proxmity to a URL means that the URL was the n-th in the list of matches. If the entry with S-number n references my blog, I say, “my blog has S# n,” or, “I am S# n.”
WordPress lists the strings by which people located a post. Some are quite unusual, others are not so unusual but are not things you expect to lead folks to your blog. Others illustrate some of the limitations of Google’s current search technology.
Just seeing some of them makes one want to plant intriguing strings in future posts. For example,
- Search/the secret to eternal life/
- Search/i have squared the circle/
- Search/proof that pi is rational/
- Search/proof that rms is rational/
- Search/I understand gplv3/
- Search/how to travel faster than light/
Here are some examples of such search strings, where my S# is quite low. I suspect this is usually the case because Google gives more weight to recent posts, but this is just a guess.
In some cases I list the URL in my blog that matches the search string. If I don’t you can find it for yourself by just doing a Google search on the string.
/ibm jeopardy/ S#50 within a day of writing a post humorously linking IBM’s new program to play Jeopardy! and my being laid off from IBM in February.
/why ibm should buy sun/
S#05 2009/03/22, two days after publication (#1 is WSJ)
S#12 2009/03/20, within an hour of publication!
/solve a kenken/
/sourceforge denial of service/ S#4 2009/03/14
Number 4 within hours of posting.
/solve a kenken/ S#10 2009/03/12
Now in the top 10. How high can I go?
/kenken solution march 4 ny times/ S#1 2009/03/06
Within a few days of posting my KenKen solver written in Python I have become the #1 source for finding solutions to the KenKen puzzles published in the New York Times.
/ernie pyle memorial library/ S#1 2007/11/3
My favorite library, and already #1 just fews days after writing about it.
/sabbath kristallnacht S#1 2007/11/11
I reached the #1 slot less than two days after writing a post with this phrase in this title.
This within a day of first writing about the Tuxers. I expect I’ll be #1 soon, and will flog the blog as necessary to reach that lofty goal.
/chaim stern S#10 2007/10/11
I just started a site to honor Chaim. It’s gotten less than 10 hits, yet is aleady #10! Amazing
/letter to CEO american airlines/ S#3 2007/10/12
Search/longest sentence les miserables/ S#4 2007/10/2007
I hope it was AA’s CEO that did this search.
I noticed this while writing a blog post about punctuation in which I will discuss this sentence, and learned someone visited my blog using this string as I was blogging away!
Search/newspaper archives chappaqua, new york/ S#9 2007/10/05
Search/town of West Point, New York/ S#10 2007/09/21
Search/ubuntu motherboards/ S#10 2007/09/01
Any post reporting hardware that works with Ubuntu is important. Motherboards are a key component.
Search/shipping cost newegg/ S#4 2007/09/01
Search/labor in obscurity/ S#8 2007/06/14
I’m a not-so-obscure authority on laboring in obscurity?
Search/dave shields/ S#3 2007/05/24
Closing in on biker dave shields, who is #1 and #2.
Search/harvard sucks & MIT/ S#3 2007/05/23
Two sucks from just one post about Harvard-Yale game “sux” post. Daughter Jen gets the sux-credit as a Yale graduate; I’ll take credit for MIT as a Caltech graduate.
Search/jewish survived the holocaust/ S#5 2007/05/23
Amazing I would rank so high on this topic, just because of one post on Norman Salsitz.
Search/why shouldn’t we license executives/ S#2 2007/05/21
Great idea, and a good case can be made for using GPLv3. Perhaps they can figure it out…
Search/sTEVE o’gRADY/ S#11 2007/05/11
I’m an emerging authority on the open-source analyst sogrady at redmonk …
Probably looking for a sexy joke. Jikes may not be sexy but it is a class act.
Search/how to handle money in java/ S# 11 2007/03/21
Search/Denny pickled mushrooms/ S# 10 2007/01/17
I’m still in a pickle trying to sort out this mushrooming wave of trivia.
This is almost scary. Just a choice of words can give one an “authority” that makes no sense. Note this rated first of 21,000+ “opinions”.
Search/guaranteed freedom of the press/ S# 5 2001/01/08
A.J. would be proud.
Search/Artificial Sweeteners advantages/ S#20 2007/01/08
How sweet is this: write about an open-source package called SugarCRM and become an expert on nutrition .
Search/example of baba au rhum/ S# 2 2007/01/08
Yum, yum …
Search/attention must be paid/ S# 9 2007/01/03
Use a famous line from Arthur Miller in a blog post and became an authority on drama…
Search/o words for grade one/ S# 9 2007/01/02
Yikes! I make up a word, “o-frindle,” and some first grade teachers may start adding it to their lesson plans.
Search/ferrara cafe/ S# 9, S# 10 2007/01/02
Search/New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show/ S# 6 2007/01/02
Search/ancestors of Richard Nixon/ S# 4 2007/01/02
Search/jikes in yiddish/ S# 1 2006/12/23
Javac may be available under GPL but I’ve got the market for Kosher bytecode all to myself. Mazel Tov!
Search:system/360 principles of operation: S#18 2006/12/21
Search/dave shields/ S# 4 http://daveshields.net 2006/12/20
All this blogging seems to be having some effect. Dave the biker guy, S# 1, must be looking in his rear-view mirror. He’s putting in 100+ miles a week on his bike; I’m adding 1500+ words/day to my blog. We’re in a race, and I’m hoping that the pen is faster than the pedal, the frindle superior to the bicycle.
Search/S. Lane Faison/ (Prof Faison was a recognized export in art history) S# 7.
The S# for his obituary in the New York Times, the inspiration for this post, is 9. I am now considered a better authority on Prof. Faison than the NY Times.
Search/ecco la marcia/ S#-2
Am I now an authority on Mozart?
Search/ceo of Alland & Robert/ S# 1 “beauty that results where function is all, and so dictates appearance. … If you read one of my earliest blogs, Letter to Robert J Stevens, CEO, …
I’m now the prime reference for the CEO of a company I never heard of.
Note Google’s confusion of “alland” and “all, and.”
Google, punctuation matters. See Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Consider two patrons in a diner. One eats, shoots, and leaves. The other eats shoots and leaves. The first is a criminal, the second a probable vegetarian.
Just a couple of days after posting Mobile Phones and Brain Shields. I did a Google search on “brain shields.” The blog post now has S# 3, while the post that inspired it, Mobile Phones & Brain Shields has S# 4.
Search/aramaic kaddish/ S# 21
Kaddish. The Kaddish prayer is in Aramaic, not Hebrew. The two are closely related. One of our Temple members, a native of Israel, saw Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion …
I’m becoming an authority on aramaic and the Kaddish prayer, yet my son is the family member in rabbinical school. I may even be more of an authority now than any of his professors.
Search/what a golf course means to a man quotes/ S# 16
I am becoming a Google-recognized authority on golf. Now if I blog about how good a golfer I am, will that lower my golf score?
Search/how much does it cost to replace a sink/ S# 4
Yogi Yarns – IBM throws in the towel, “In particular, web server technology has a unique property. Once a company decides on a web server, it becomes a key piece of their corporate infrastructure. To change it is not a task to be taken lightly. It’s as if a plumber were you to offer to replace every sink if your house with a fixture with gold faucets, so long as you agreed to replace each and every pipe in the house as part of the installation.
Search/what is inbound licensing/ S# 4
“The “inbound” license is the license under which you which you receive an open-source package.”
Search/Vietnam november 11 1960/ S# 12
Thomas L Friedman – China: Scapegoat or Sputnik. Though Lyndon Johnson is among the most tragic of the American Presidents, due to his handling of the war in Vietnam — a war which was not started on his watch — he will most be remembered for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 .
A coincidence. I happened to write a post on November 11th that contained the word “vietnam.”
Search:/lord god words press/ S# 1
“Hello World” through the ages. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, … The Koran does not contain the word “hello”
The match against “press” comes from “Wordpress” !
Leigh Anne Tuohy
Leigh ann tuohy
tuohy leigh anne
Ms. Tuohy’s name is part of the title of Leigh Anne Tuohy – “God gives people money to see how you’re going to handle it”.
This has been among the most viewed posts since the day it went up. It’s usually in the top 5 most-viewed posts every day.
Dec 20: I think I have an explanation. Google search on Leigh Anne Tuohy gives my blog as S# 1 and S# 2, so I seem to be the reigning authority on Ms. Tuohy. I also learned via Google that Ms. Tuohy is a former cheerleader at Ole Miss.
Search/Big Ideas and No Boundaries
Learning to Keep Learning/
These are titles of columns by Tom Friedman. When I write a post based on a Tom Friedman column, I put the columns’ title in the post title. Tom really has his fans and admirers.