"Top 20 Reasons You're Visiting Cheek.Org" by Troy H. Cheek on Feb 12, 2007
The other day I was checking some of the statistics generated by my webhost and came across a list of popular search strings which led visitors to this site. I confirmed them by doing a quick Google search. Some of them were rather surprising to me, so I thought I'd share them with you.
1) "atari jaguar" - I have a dedicated Atari directory and the venerable Jaguar has a huge list of games, each of which gets its own page. So what does a search for "atari jaguar" turn up? My game list? An individual game page? Nope! It turns out that Google Images really likes my screen capture from one particular Atari Jaguar game, Fight for Life. It is the top Google Image pick. Go figure.
2) "atari emulators" - I also have a page dedicated to Atari Emulators. That is, a list of programs that let your non-Atari computer pretend to be an Atari computer, game system, etc. A search for "atari emulator" returns my page second behind the homepage of one of the emulators I list, but "atari emulators" returnes my page first. Also in there is "atari emulator mac" and "atari emulator for mac" which likewise return this page first. Several of the emulators run on Macs. Not surprising, as early Atari ST computers and 1st generation Macs used the same CPU. Second place for "mac os x atari 2600 emulator" though. "atari falcon emulator" lists my site first, which is weird because I don't have any Atari Falcon030 emulators listed. "linux atari emulator" also returns a #1. See also "atari 2600 emulator for ps2" and "atari 7800 pocketpc". "atari 5200 emulator" makes the first page results. Any number of other combinations didn't show up on the first page at all. I guess that means that my visitors are either willing to page through results, or Google has changed the ranking since these stats were generated.
3) "jaguar games" - Search for "jaguar games" and my Atari Jaguar games list comes up first. Given some of the other stuff I've seen, I think I'm a bit surprised. "atari jaguar games" returns the same page in second place.
4) "star trek hidden frontier" - This search string returns my review of Star Trek Hidden Frontier on the first page. I've searched on other occasions and it's been close, but never quite at, the top. I think my review is or was at one time linked from the official website or forum, so I guess that's no surprise.
5) "if you sprinkle when you tinkle" - I have to admit, this was a surprise when I first saw it. I wrote an article about that annoying little poem that some people like to post around restrooms. In typical Internet irony, by writing about something I never want to see again, I become a recognized expert in it. Or, at least, the #1 search return.
6) "getting rid of skunks" - My article about trying to get rid of skunks is on the first page of returns toward the bottom, though I'm told it's been at/near the top in the past. I wrote a cute little story of how we tried to rid our neighborhood of skunks and failed miserably. But because the article comes up early in a Google search, once again I'm considered an expert. I had thought that all the people writing in asking for advice were just fans of my humor and were playing along, but seeing as Google ranks my site right in the middle of several serious pages about skunk removal, I can see that they may have been serious. My apologies, people.
7) "bard's tale items" - The first of my Bard's Tale-related returns, searching for items from the Bard's Tale series gives you my list of Bard's Tale items in the top three or four slots. Which is funny because at least one of the returns above mine doesn't actually have an items list.
8) "bard's tale" - This returns my main Bard's Tale page, a jumping off point for the rest of the BT information on my site. I'm listed low on the first page of results, but curiously enough above the offical company website of the producer of the recent Bard's Tale remake game. Curiously enough, a search for "bard's tale review board" buries me in page 2 or 3 of the results and takes one nowhere near my actual information on the review board.
9) "atari lynx games" - At this point, I was surprised that "atari lynx games" returns my list of all known Atari Lynx Games as the very first site. Go figure.
10) "buckner & garcia pacman fever" - I'd originally written in this space that this search string had nothing to do with me. However, since then I've tried it again and found that it does have a hit in the Google Images section. #5 the first time I tried and #3 the second. I had gotten rid of the webpage, but the image was stored in another directory and it's still there.
11) "play atari boulderdash online" - My main Atari site shows up on the second page of results, but as said site has nothing in it about playing Atari Boulderdash online, I'm not sure exactly why. I can only guess that Google saw Atari and Boulderdash and Online in different places around the site and somehow pieced them together.
12) "atari t-shirt" - As my list of all known online Atari Vendors includes (indeed, starts with) a list of recently discovered Atari T-shirt sales, I am thankful that I am the #3 return for this search string. I would be more thankful if the #1 and #2 returns had anything to do with Atari T-shirts.
13) "t-maxx battery" - Another #1 return! My old Tech Stuff article on how to modify the battery pack for the Traxxas T-Maxx TRX 2.5 RC truck is #1, above other hobbyists, vendors, and even the official company website. Not bad for a section that I keep threatening to take down because I never have time to write any more technical articles these days.
14) "aliens vs predator cheats atari jaguar" - Should I be surprised that searching for almost the exact title of my webpage returns my webpage in the top 3? I suppose I shouldn't, but for some reason I am.
15) "homemade refrigerator" - A #2 result for this old Tech Stuff article which was little more than my re-creation of an old Nuts & Volts article by Kenton Chun. This, however, has me pegged as an expert in the field. I have been contacted by several cigar enthusiasts who want me to build them a temperature and humidity controlled storage unit for their cigars based on the same design. Though I am in actuality no expert, I know enough to realize that this design is completely wrong for that purpose. Besides, I hate the smell of cigars.
16) "asus motherboard beep" - This old Tech Stuff article explains how I killed a Asus A7V motherboard so all it will do when I try to boot up is beep. My #3 return means that, once again, I'm considered an expert. Even though the article laments that I have no idea what the beep codes mean, I still get emails from people asking for lists of beep codes or what a particular beep code means. And even though I ultimately trashed the board, I still get requests from people who want to send me theirs to fix.
17) "bards tale spells" - Hey, search for Bard's Tale Spells and get my page of the same name as the first result. Amazing. I'm even two notches above Wikipedia. Sometimes, it seems like all that work optimizing the site has paid off.
18) "star trek new voyages review" - My review of Star Trek New Voyages, the online series, comes in at #1 just above the official Internet Movie Database Entry. Either I'm much better at this search engine optimization thing than I thought, or something is fundamentally wrong with Google.
19) "asus sp97-v" - My girlfriend managed to kill one of these motherboards. I did a post-mortem to determine that there really wasn't anything we could salvage. My #1 result for this search string means that anyone having problems with this board, or any Asus board in general, will find me first and write in asking for advice. My advice? Get a new motherboard. My old one is probably still nailed up on the wall of a computer shop somewhere.
20) "dental epoxy" - My real #20 should be something about Bard's Tale maps and cheats, but I've already mentioned a couple of BT-related returns and this is much more interesting. Searching for "dental epoxy" will return as the first or second result the second chapter of my epic root canal story. Yes, a casual mention of said substance once or twice in a story gets me high search results. I can only assume that other people are linking to the story using epoxy as a link word. Y'all need to pick better link words.
But I'm not complaining. At least I'm no longer the #1 result returned for "free underage britney spear nude" anymore.