Blogging Challenge: Top 10 Keywords for Your Blog


Alright, here’s [[http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/07/03/blogging-challenge-top-10-keywords-for-your-blog/|another blogging challenge]] — listing the top 10 keywords for my blog. The challenge is to first “guess” the list, and then confirm/validate the list using real data.

Since my blog is not really on any “focused” topic — I write about whatever I like — its kind of hard to guess the top 10 keywords. But if I were to go by topics that I regularly end up writing about, I’d say (in no particular order):

* linux
* open source
* web2
* google
* tools
* ubuntu
* india
* wordpress
* ucsd
* books

Alright, to test this list I need to find some data. As Lorelle pointed out, short of running a full text search and doing some data mining on the database, its hard to get the real data. I’ll probably do the analysis for real at some point, but for now, I’ll just put together data from 3 sources: the tag cloud in my [[http://floatingsun.net/blog/archives/|archives]], the [[http://floatingsun.net/cgi-bin/awstats/awstats.pl?config=floatingsun.net|awstats data]] and data from [[http://analytics.google.com|Google Analytics]]. I’ve only recently started to log Analytics data though, so it will be biased towards recent posts.

**Top 10 tags from my tag cloud**:

I’ve excluded notational tags like “asides”, “daily” and “random”. I’ve only looked at //descriptive// tags (again, in no particular order):

* google
* blogging
* gradlife
* vim
* wordpress
* technology
* textdrive
* books
* philosophy
* linux

**Top 10 search keywords/phrases from Awstats**:

Keep in mind that this data is from //all// of 2006 — so probably the most reliable since it reflects what people were //searching for// when they landed at my blog. I’m not looking at 2004/2005 because its far too old to be meaningful. But again, it doesn’t really reflect the top “keywords” for my blog.

* ubuntu
* beamer
* paritrana
* linux
* latex
* thinkpad
* vim7
* review
* ucsd
* india

**Google Analytics data**

This is the least substantive of all datasets:

* don’t quit
* bsnl broadband
* sunflower pics
* ubuntu
* wordpress widgets
* paritrana
* latex
* euphoria
* udai
* remit2india

So I guess not a lot of people are searching for what I usually write about. Another way to look at it is that I don’t write about what people really coming looking for at my blog. But I’m ok with it. This blog is not a living. Its an experiment, a hobby, and most importantly, in my chronicle :-)

As Lorelle suggested, I tried to think about this a little more. It seems to me that while there are two types of audiences of this blog:
* the “regular” readers: I’m guessing this bunch mostly comprises of people I personally know, friends of friends, and (hopefully) some others who actually like reading my blog :)
* the “chance” readers: These are readers who chance upon my blog due to one particular post I wrote, or if they came across something relevant while searching on Google.

The first category are those who would leave comments with some regularity, on all kinds of posts. The second are those who would comment on one or two specific posts on a very specific topic. Clearly, the “search keywords” for my blog will be biased by the second category of readers (because the first category by definition isn’t really “searching” much just to get to my blog). This is reflected in both the Awstats and Analytics data (for example, paritrana).

While it is always good to have a lot of readers, I’m not driven by readership at this point. In the sense that blogging is a time consuming hobby, and much as I like it, there are other things that demand my attention :-) However, if I were to go about increasing the readership, I think one strategy would be to try and write on topics that would bring back more and more readers from the second group, and hope that by engaging them repeatedly, they would gradually move into the first group of readers.

3 comments

  1. Lorelle

    So what did YOU learn? That’s the key. It’s clear that you “think” you write about topics that you don’t appear to write about, or at least you may write about them but you don’t include the keywords as you write. So what will change for you as part of doing this challenge?

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