Saturday, March 1, 2008

Analysis - It's All In The First Four Letters

I've registered this website for Google Analytics. Just in case I have any readers who aren't huge nerds, I'll explain what that means.

For you, the home viewer, it means essentially nothing. For me, it means I put a little special code in the HTML for the site. You probably noticed it there. You have read the source HTML code for this site, right?

Anyway, that code allows Google, who as Blogspot's parent company also host this blog, to collect all kinds of interesting data about the site's traffic. Well, interesting if you're a stats geek, anyway. Luckily for me....

Besides giving me access to all kinds of numbers about visitors (I won't be divulging those numbers unless they become something other than embarrassingly low), Google Analytics tells me, if someone winds up here by way of a search engine, what search terms lead them here.

Most of my visitors (or "hits", as we say in the biz) don't come from search engines. If you're reading this blog, chances are it's because you know me in real life. In fact, there's a very good chance that you live in the same house as me. By the way, sorry about not putting the cap back on the toothpaste last night. Come to think of it, I might as well apologize for everything that happened last night.

However, a few people have gotten here by way of Google. I see searches for "Ezra Levant", "Warren Kinsella", lots of Kodak EasyShare 5100-related terms (which is why I'll be writing some more about it - yes, I'm shameless), and a few scattered others. The one that I find most entertaining, for some reason, is that someone got here by searching for the phrase "Hugh Grant".

I have a hard time believing that I'm among the first few results for Mr. Grant's name - or even among the first few pages of results. Somebody must have really exhausted the possibilities in their quest for the latest and most comprehensive information on Hugh Grant to have wound up here.

This actually leads me to a theory. How many people would be so desperate for any tiny kernel of Hughness that they'd not only go through that many pages of search results, but actually apparently still be clicking on them? My first theory is that it's someone with a professional interest in online discussion of All Things Grant. A clipping service, management agency, or publicist, perhaps.

My second (and favourite) theory is that it was Hugh Grant himself. Celebrities tend to have, shall we say, well-fed-but-still-hungry egos. I'm sure it's not that unusual for actors to Google themselves, and go take a look at anything new that comes up in the results.

Which, of course, leads to an observation that if Hugh Grant had just stayed home and Googled himself in the first place, he wouldn't have gotten name-dropped as a punchline in my article on prostitution.

Oh, and Mr. Grant, if it is you, welcome! Feel free to tell your friends - I'm sure some of them are big fans of blogs with lots of entries about the Bible and zombies (sometimes within the same article). Just be sure to keep both hands above the desk where I can see them. Thank you.

As an added bonus punchline, this article probably moves me up the search engine rankings for "Hugh Grant". That means that if you reread this article next week, it should be even funnier.

Enough rambling. Here's a third (and final) picture of cleanup operations after a CD-ROM exploded in my PC's drive.

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