Blogging and Writing

What Search Terms Do People Use to Find Your Blog?

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I recently talked about some of the strange referral sources that sent people so my blog, and some people mentioned in the comments some of the funny search terms that led people to their blog, so I thought I’d devote a post to that.

Before I get into the terms, I’ve never been entirely sure how WordPress comes up with the info that it includes in our stats. WordPress says that they come from search engines, although they add that Google usually encrypts the search terms, so they show up as “unknown search terms.” You can see Google search terms through Google Search Console if you’ve got that set up for your blog, and what I see there doesn’t reflect what I’m seeing in my WP stats.

Looking at the past year, the most common search terms were:

  • the body keeps the score
  • psychiatric terms
  • psychiatric terminology
  • window of tolerance
  • mental health terminology

The Body Keeps the Score was a book that I reviewed, the window of tolerance was a post in the what is… series, and the other three relate to a post I did back in 2018, A Glossary of Psychiatric Terms. Searches related to that post make up 7 of my top 10 searches.

Some odd terms that popped up when looking at my all-time list were:

  • Amazon: 369 people searched for this; Melanie of Sparks From a Combustible Mind mentioned this was a big one for her, too
  • pathologifizint anxiety: 39 searches, perhaps all by the same person who either can’t spell or speaks a language Google Translate isn’t picking up?

In the past quarter, there were 5 searches for “psychiatric term for talking about unrelated topics and not getting to the point.” That’s a lot of words to be in a search string that comes up 5 times.

Two people searched for “verbage for psychiatric charting.” If you don’t know that the word is verbiage, why are you trying to use a fancy word?

Two people misspelled folie Γ  deux asfoley a deaux, which would sound more like a Homer Simpson-style folie Γ  d’oh.

While phycology is the study of algae, that probably isn’t what this person meant: “what is the phycological term for people who are very jugemental of others.” I’m not really one to poke fun, though; one of my common typos is pysch instead of psych, and another is heatlh instead of health. That includes typo-ing the URL of my own website. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Moving over to Google Search Console, in the past 3 months, “is reiki bullshit” is among the top 10 searches that bring people to my blog. My pseudoscience posts tend to do better than mental health posts, I guess because there’s less competition. I have turned up 59 times in search results for “porn h”, with one person clicking through via that search to my review of Josh Shea’s book He’s a Porn Addict, Now What? How my blog would break into the top 1000 pages of results for that particular search query is beyond me.

Of note to privacy-minded people, Google Search Console wouldn’t show me a single weirdo search query that one person typed in that caused my blog to show up in the search, but it does show me single search queries if the person actually clicked through to my site. For example, I can see that my blog turned up once for the search query “cats and energy vibrations” because whoever searched that clicked on my blog in the search results (I showed up in the results because I did a post about vibrations that mentioned Schrodinger’s cat). So if you’re creeping on someone using Google, consider copying the address and pasting it into a new browser tab, or better yet, don’t use Google.

What are some of the weird and wacky search terms that have led people to your blog?

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28 thoughts on “What Search Terms Do People Use to Find Your Blog?”

  1. I am showing my ignorance of how WordPress works. For each of my posts I have established various “tags” associated with the post. I was under the impression that these tags were search conditions for that particular post. Is this incorrect?

    1. People can find posts by tags, but even if you don’t set any tags for a post, it might still show up if someone was doing a search for whatever your post was talking about.

    2. Search engines also skim your page for phrases, like Ashley said. Using headings tells the engines that those phrases are important so that’s why you see lots of less ethical blogs out there abusing headings and bold fonts. This only works on Google these days as most other engines don’t actually want companies to be able to game their engine to market their products, but since most people use Google…

      1. I didn’t realize that only Google was interested in headings. Speaking of bold fonts, I used to be followed by a blogger who would always leave their comments in bold. I used to wonder how they even did that, until I found out WP lets you use some basic html tags in comments.

        1. They all look at headings in some way but Google doesn’t really care about context lol. That’s why if you look up the same sentence in Google and DuckDuckGo, you’ll get like 5 pages of advertisements on Google and 5 pages of things that only marginally match what you’re looking for on DDG. Lol

  2. πŸ™‚ Ashley, I am glad that you brought that up. Under Search Term, I often see, “Unknown Search Term”; it probably means that some people are using privacy-centric search engines like Startpage and DuckDuckGo as a gateway to my blog.

    1. I’ve had a jump in traffic from DuckDuckGo over the past several months. I haven’t seen any statistics on how many people use them, but I wonder if privacy is becoming a high priority for more people.

  3. I don’t get any clicks from them, but I show up in the search results for people looking to HAVE an eating disorder a lot. I did a post on why purging is bad for you, and it gets a lot of impressions for searches like “how to purge to lose weight.” Maybe Google is trying to help them.

    1. That’s scary that so many people are looking for that. But I would think that Google is more likely to show legit sites first rather than ones that actually want to help people to have an eating disorder.

    1. A while back I had a guest blogger whose blog name is Breathing With a Noose. I noticed I was getting a bunch of search traffic for breahting with a noose, and I wondered why so many people were searching using that typo. Then I actually tried searching it myself, and yup, it was all porn.

  4. Thanks for the mention Ashley! You probably hit on the biggest one (and oddest). I do find thought that there are an inordinate number of people who are trolling for sex sites (I guess) who have gotten me in a search. That’s more worrying than strange I suppose, because I wanna know how someone could think my blog had any sexual overtones whatsoever. Maybe it’s the music choices lately? πŸ˜„

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