Your Blog’s Accidental Tourists

So, you started a blog.

Maybe it’s about knitting or parenting. Pop culture or cars. Or, maybe your blog is simply a lesson in dignified randomness.

Or smut.

Whatever your blog’s theme, you probably came to it with shiny-eyed expectations of who your ideal readers would be: an intellectual type, the newbie mom, one who appreciates all things humorous.

The pervert.

Most of my regular readers are interested in books, writing, or have been unable to disprove genetic ties.

But, then, there are the accidental tourists.

Because WordPress provides its bloggers with a handy statistics page, it’s easier to see when fate and a wayward Google search brings new readers to your bloggy doorstep. I love trying to crack the code to the how’s and why’s of certain search engine terms bringing us together.

For example, I get a lot of hits from “wondering,” and “wondering woman,” because of the picture in, “A Writer’s Interpretation of a Maybe.” I often wonder about what the searching wonderer had been wondering about. I hope it was something wonderful. Then I take an Advil.

I get several hits a day on “That Other Stuff We Learn From Books,” because of  search phrases like “judy blume” or “Superfudge and Santa Claus Secret.” (Sigh) I now know there are countless others who have been scarred by that big reveal. (If you’re interested, the support group meets in the parking lot of 7-11 on Wednesday nights.)

And, this post? Is the one to which the aforementioned X-rated perverts flock. Sorry to disappoint, my friends. It was a metaphor. A metaphor. Now, go eat a bar of soap.

At least twice a week, some poor soul demands of Google, “What is Maggie’s tattoo?!,” and gets my post on Margaret Atwood instead. (Sir, I recommend just asking her. Maggie can’t live with the secret much longer, anyway. It’s eating her up inside.)

Some searches are too obscure to figure out. Like yesterday, “I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice” landed an individual at my place. And after my 8-year-old explained what that meant (THE DONALD!), I was even more confused.

But my favorite, recent misdirected search phrase was the following:

“good inspiration for 13-year-old girls that like ponies and unicorns and peanut butter with oreos”


With this search came a huge revelation. Which was — How have I gone through life not knowing about peanut butter Oreo cookies?!

After I raided my kitchen (nada), I thought about the search term again. About how it had nothing to do with books. Or, me. Or, my writing. Or, my posts.

And then another revelation hit — Ponies? Unicorns? Peanut Butter Oreos?

I’ll take it!

Welcome new readers, one and all. I hope you’ll stick around.*

*(Lost baggage can be claimed after a 90-day waiting period.)

How about you, fellow bloggers — Do you have an ideal reader in mind? What’s your G-rated search phrase of the week? Or, non-bloggers, did your own searching ever land you at an unexpected site?


This post was part of Off-Topic Thursdays — a series which will probably never occur again. You’re welcome.

Find me on Twitter @amandahoving

65 thoughts on “Your Blog’s Accidental Tourists”

  1. I LOOOVE IT!!!! This had me laughing out loud!!! 😀 I’m smiling just writing this comment! 13-year old girls who like ponies, unicorns, and peanut butter oreos? Why would a girl like that need ANY inspiration? 😀


  2. I love this! I often wonder about the type of people who have discovered my blog through unusual search engine terms. This weeks most interesting: “naked south dakota snow wives photos” and “love grows in the garden the simple life collection.” I disappointed the former searcher, that’s for sure!


  3. Used to, I got a lot of visits from people looking for little plastic baseball helmet ice cream dishes, but lately, it’s been people Googling men’s hats. (I blogged about how it’s tough for a guy to wear something besides a baseball cap without looking like a hipster or a Don Draper/Indiana Jones wannabe.)


  4. My top search term this week was “beaver tail” or “beaver tails.” For those who don’t know, they are pastries with sugar and cinnamon…one post written last summer mentioned them!

    Here’s a post I wrote last fall about search engine terms people found my blog with:

    If only some of these “accidental tourists” would stick around!



    1. Wendy, I don’t think I ever told you this, but do you remember your January guest feature on my site? I got 207 hits off your alarm clock image alone. Isn’t that wild?


  5. There’s such a thing as peanut butter oreo’s? I think I’m in love! LOL

    Sometimes I wonder how people stumble across the blog, or if it’s findable in the first place. I think that search term is particularly awesome hehe.


  6. I am now overwhelmed by a desire to go try peanut butter oreos.

    I get several visitors a day looking for “naked vacation pictures” or something similar and land on a post I wrote about the TSA and the full body scanners. I’m sure they are very disappointed when they find a lack of naked pictures at my blog.

    The funniest one lately is, “can zits go away from milk and bread ?” which I have never written about! and I really have no idea why it brought them to my blog.


  7. I just found your blog and I am so excited. I started to blog more seriously when I joined the postaday challenge 2011 with wordpress. I hope you like it if you stop by.


  8. You’re bang on with this post. I get search hits that surprise me, enchant me, and, of those, there are those that even scar me. The most disgusting one is probably “young curious girls” that led the searcher to a fashion photoshoot I did….. that left a sour taste in my mouth.

    On another note, I’m glad I came across your blog post, and hope to stay longer than the “accidental tourist”


  9. Isn’t the stats page fascinating? I regularly get hits from people searching for The Olsen Sisters because of a post I wrote back in July about a woman in my neighborhood who is my honest-to-God doppelganger. (The post included a photo of said Olsen twins.) I also get hits from people who search for “Randyland” because of a piece I wrote in May about an eccentric but talented local artist–Randy–who has muralized the Mexican War District in downtown Pittsburgh. But my favorites are the folks who search for pictures of rapper Biggie Smalls, and land on a post I wrote in September about my son (nickname: “Smalls”) and his first day of preschool. LOL.


    1. Well, hello stranger! And, you know, I do get “wrinkly + (insert body part)” all the time. My least favorite search is “wrinkly amanda.” As if I need a reminder…


  10. I posted a blog called “S**t My Grandma Says” and I get all kinds of strange search results like “my grandma’s s**t” and the like.

    Very awkward. Great post. 🙂


  11. I love that part of WordPress’ stats. All time most popular search term for my blog? “Large mouth bass.” And, I don’t even fish. But, I did mention big mouth bass in a piece of flash fiction once. I wonder if those anglers liked the tale….


  12. I wrote a post called “French Kissing My Brother and Licking the Cat” (it was a post on deciding that choosing a negative attitude was just…WRONG–like, well, french kissing your brother, or licking the cat!) and, oh my goodness–i can’t begin to tell you all the people that found my blog by googling “mom french kisses son” or “brothers and sisters french kissing” or how to french up your half sister”–it was just…icky. I mean…haven’t we all read “Flowers in the Attic”? Get THAT book! 🙂

    fun post…and, I admit to being a stats-aholic.


  13. Love the post, Amanda. My favorite search that landed the searcher on my blog was “hair braiding in jail” after I wrote on a post on how I never want to end up in the big house! Diane


  14. Some of those are the best! I still get a few hits a day thanks to an image of the meme “pedo bear” which I used in an article.

    My favorite so far is: Short story of gloved hitwoman with silencer.


  15. That ponies and unicorns one was strange. I loved the search terms you’ve shared, and the crazy ones from the comments before me.

    Mine are kind of boring. The most popular search for me is “I hate my birthday” because last year, I did a post “Why I Hate My Birthday (It’s Not Skin Deep)”

    I also get a lot of hits from “poems about stealing.” I bet they’re disappointed that it’s a poem about memory loss…


  16. I love the words that lead people to you: unicorns and ponies and oreos, oh my! And I too was unaware that there were peanut butter oreos, but perhaps a trip to the grocery store is in order. The funny thing is, I get a lot of hits from “Black Swan sucks” even though I liked the movie, just because those words appear in the post; and I’m sure people looking for “sexy librarian” are very disappointed. But I do get the traffic I expect, with searches for “I hate my professor job”, “how do I leave academia” and the like — every day, something like it, which makes me a little sad.


  17. I love looking at the stats and seeing what strange searches brought people to the blog. I’ve learned one thing–bookshelves shaped like rowboats are VERY popular.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse


  18. This just in: Someone found me today by searching “secret camera garden gnomes.” This is not so random, as I wrote a post on garden gnomes with secret cameras hidden in their eyes (feeling random? click here…). The somewhat more random part is that someone would ACTUALLY GOOGLE that phrase. Is there someone out there who thinks like me? Hmmm…


    1. No not wierd, healthy.

      I used to check them all the time but since moving from Blogger to WordPress I seem to do it a lot less – I hope Amanda’s post doesn’t get me started again.


  19. I did a post once called “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore” about my kids complaining that I didn’t bake much anymore – too busy writing. Two people found it by googling “My husband doesn’t bring me flowers anymore” . I found that so sad.


  20. This is too funny! As I just switched the a self-hosted wordpress blog, I don’t get this nifty feature anymore, but I used to love seeing how people found my blog.

    I did a post once about celebrity libraries and that seemed to pull a lot of new viewers. The weirdest I ever got was “fairy wing tips.”

    Thanks for the hilarious post, Amanda! Always a pleasure! 🙂


  21. Oh, this is wonderful, Amanda! I know what you’re talking about with the weird requests. I did a post on “adult fantasy” (meaning fantasies that were not written for YA) and did I ever get some strange folks a-lurking. My favorite is the one for “hello librorum” [the name of the blog is helluo librorum].


  22. Such a funny post! I’m laughing still. I’ve had some really random stuff bring people to my blog . . . mostly they came from some form of questions about facebook and lurkers (combined in one search) because I wrote a post about the concept of a Facebook Lurker (i.e. someone who reads other people’s stuff but NEVER posts for fear of seeming like they actually use Facebook when they’ve made such a point of saying they don’t).


  23. Hehe Tell me about that. For the first six months I had my webcomic, the only google searches I got were the one super obscure term I had “Sacagawea dollars” and then the pornies looking for “Mature” when I was actually talking about people of a certain age. Finally finally I’m starting to get visitors that aren’t being misdirected. But hey, why should they get to co-opt the term MATURE? If they really want T & A they should be explicit.


  24. This is hilarious! I would’ve been so confused if I hadn’t just read about Maggie’s tattoo — not sure how I missed this the first time around because it is a hilarious must read!



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