Random Statistics from 2010.

The search term which most often landed people on this blog, if you aggregate both singular and plural:


This term from Chronic City beat out my blog’s name and (third on the list) “obstinate dust” to take top honors. I also mischievously pulled in traffic from likely spelling errors by those looking for Wolf Hall but who typed “woolf hall”.

Due to the above, it is unsurprising that my most popular post was my review of Chronic City. Much to my dismay, my second most popular review was of The Help.

This has been “Random Statistics from 2010”.

10 Responses to Random Statistics from 2010.

  1. Sarah says:


    Visions of the ‘gnuppet’ tag going viral, as traffic hungry bloggers everywhere append it incongrously to random posts.

    Is this based on a supposedly-congratulatory thing sent you by the helpful people at WordPress? Mine was less than edifying, and so I appreciate your chagrin over The Help, although I don’t know what you expect if you will write in that entertaining and undeniably crowd-pleasing vein.

    I briefly considered sharing my stats-shame for the edification of others, but have so far shrunk from doing so…

    • Kerry says:

      Thanks, Sarah. You made me laugh with the gnuppet tag.

      Yes, this stats idea was at least partly inspired by the unrealistically enthusiastic people at WordPress who managed to be impressed (“Wow!”) by my two regular readers and five or so random people looking for gnuppets.

      You raise a good point about The Help, I am just so darn entertaining. Heh.

      (Now, which crappy popular novel should I review this year and, to try to repeat this gnuppet thing…..heh.)

  2. Kerry: My most popular search term was “cello”, which had an explosion of interest in June-July (when summer music schools gather, I am assuming). All went to a post about a play written by a playwright friend of mine where the cello is a character.

    And “toque” made the top five as well. I’d included a picture in the review of a novel that included this ubiquitous Canadian version of the stocking cap.

    If you want to know why this works with search engines…. It seems if you include a picture and label it (I playfully include pics of a cello and toque in those posts) the search engines pick that cutline up just as though it was in the headline. So, if you had illustrated your review of The Help with a picture of a cowpie labelled “piece of crap” you would have had even more traffic on that post, attracting all those who searched for a “piece of crap” — obviously, the novel, not the review. ūüôā

    • Kerry says:

      “Cello” is definitely a little strange as a search term. I remember you defining “toque” for us non-Canadians, so that one makes some more sense (in that your blog is a useful place to find out what toques are). But, both are still interesting.

      I see I have much to learn in the art of bending search engines to my will. My mind reels at the worlds you have opened to me……bwah-ha-ha-ha….

      I am sure there is reasonable disagreement as to whether it was The Help or my review that amounted to a well-dropped cowpie, but I’ll take your version.


      • Coming in late as I think I was out of town when this lobbed in. My most popular post by a country mile is one on Biopics, inspired by the Coco Chanel movie. And I think as Kevin says the thing that really upped the stats was the photo of Coco. I think, too, there was every possible spelling permutation of Coco and Chanel that brought people to me. Oh and the hits stopped almost over night. Fascinating really.

        My top lit post is, interestingly, a Kate Chopin short story. I can’t help thinking it is studied in schools or universities in the US.

      • Kerry says:

        That is very interesting, Whispering. Given your and Kevin’s experiences, it looks like a picture may increase the chance of hits when related to some search term people are out there using. I find it odd that those hits stopped suddenly. Coco Chanel became passe?

        I suspect you are right about Kate Chopin. I often get the most search engine hits for school/university favorites like Wilde’s Intentions and Bartleby, Scrivener. This is probably why my blog is unexpectedly popular with young people. Heh.

  3. Would you care to reveal your plans for ToB 2011? Or are you awaiting the shortlist?

    Do you know when they will announce the shortlist?

    • Kerry says:

      I am waiting for the shortlist to make an official announcement, but I plan to run essentially the same bracket-based contest this year. I was contemplating a mini-side tournament (say four books translated in 2010), but I was not sure if I could make that work. I am still not sure actually, and time is short.

      The last two years the shortlist has been announced early the second week of January (12th and 13th), so I am assuming it will come next week (Tuesday the 11th if they stick with tradition). I believe I need to make some decisions…..

  4. Coco Chanel has clearly become passe!! The whole thing was strange. There were almost no hits until two months after the post and then they were full on for 8-10 monhts and then stopped again — and now there is a tiny trickle. I think it’s partly I think to do with the two films about her that came out last year.

    Re set texts. I recently had someone wanting me to tell them teh irony and morality in Jack London’s War for a test coming up! I tried to suggest where they should look/how they might think rather than actually answering the question but that didn’t seem to be good enough as they came back for more. At that point I gave up … i wonder how often we bloggers are quoted in essays around the world!!

    • Kerry says:

      Very interesting. Gnuppets remain popular for me. I am sure my numbers will suffer when people tire of searching for them.

      That is awesome about the specific request for an essay (basically). I am just curious as to whether my reviews are getting decent grades in high school English classes. When I think about that, I think I should not just post a first draft of my thoughts. I would hate to be somebody’s C-…..heh.

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