Hi. Barb here.
We’ve been at this Maine Crime Writers blog thing for almost two years now and one of the ways I like to amuse myself (okay, one of the million and one ways I like to procrastinate) is by looking at the search engine terms that land readers at this blog.
People often find the blog by searching on the name of one of the authors who hangs out here, or the title of one of our books. Other times, they remember something.
Like this one: “current maine female mystery writer Vicki.” I mean, really they had everything but Vicki Doudera’s last name.
Or they have to stretch a little further, like: “who wrote a book about a girl missing in maine” Nice to know that leads you eventually to Kate Flora and her fabulous book, Finding Amy.
Sometimes the requests are more general, like: “Murder series with steamy sex” which will get you on the third page of Google results (your results will vary) to Vicki’s post on Sex in Mysteries.
And then there’s the mysterious “homicide with haggis,” which Kaitlyn Dunnett has explained was her title for The Corpse Wore Tartan. But the title was never used, so how do people know to search for it? Surely people do not randomly decide to search for murder by intestines?
Some of our posts come up pinball winners in the great search engine sweepstakes and get served up over and over. People are always looking for Quantum of Solace, David Hockney and John Travolta’s Breitling watch ad. (Though as to the latter, God only knows why.) Lea Wait has explained over and over, that no, Marie Antoinette never lived in her house, but that doesn’t stop people from looking.
One of my favorite perennial searches is “topless donut shop” which brings you to Paul Doiron‘s post Fire at the Topless Donut Shop. I love this because the search term is hilarious, the idea is hilarious and the reality of a topless donut shop in Maine is hilarious. I have to admit that one of the reasons I find it so funny, is because it’s become conflated in my mind with Julia Spencer-Fleming’s post Dressing the Maine Way. So in my head, the waitresses in the topless donut shop, who look like normal Maine waitresses, are topless, yes, but are otherwise in full Maine gear, including L.L. Bean boots and hats with ear flaps, worn, as Julia insists, unironically.
Speaking of sex, and we should, frequently, to boost ourselves up in the search engine rankings, I’m not sure if the person who entered “zumba workout clothes for women” got what she expected when her search returned Gerry Boyle‘s post entitled, On the Zumba Scandal and Other Great Book Ideas, but from now on, whenever you conflate the words “zumba” and “Maine,” the third word to pop into everyone’s mind will be “prostitution.”
There are lots of searches for Maine places, both real and fictional. The most common is “is there a real storybrooke, maine?” which spikes up at the start of every season of the hit TV show Once Upon a Time and brings you to Kaitlyn‘s post Collinsport to Storybrooke…Is this Maine? (For a long time for my job I spent a week every month in Vancouver, so I know a British Columbia shot show when I see one.) Ironically, people also spend time searching for moosetookalook, which is Kaitlyn’s fictional town.
Some of the searches that find our blog are for writing advice. Like “do crime writers have to study literature?” I guess that depends on what “study” means. Or, “rough drafts that turned out horrible.” (Um, all of them?)
And some, I will never figure out.
Why, when you enter “Paul Ryan Cowboy Boots” do you get James Hayman’s post about his daughter’s wedding The Bride Wore Cowboy Boots? Admittedly, cowboy boots are involved but how does Paul Ryan come into it?
Or, “husband like me to wear glasses.” I mean, are we back to sex and role-playing, or can she actually not see and her husband finds it annoying? Is it some kind of a witness protection thing?
I guess we’ll never know. Maybe one of us can weave it into a book. At least we know we’ll get some internet hits.