Careful What You Search For

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul is flummoxed by some odd Google search results pointing towards the blog.

Allow me add a new dimension to the recent hysteria over Internet privacy—bloggers like me are watching your Google habits.  There’s a nifty little feature that allows me to see what words surfers are searching and click through to my blog. It’s sort of like reverse engineering Googling your own name—the results are revealing, and sometimes not pretty.  The search string someone used recently and found Alphabet City is “ugly gay guy with bichon frise.”  Ouch!

My publicist training tells me that all traffic is good traffic, but honestly “ugly gay guy” left me a little wounded.  Is someone out there critiquing my photos on the cover of Alphabet City?  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and Google those search words myself—to see exactly how this blog matches some of the more amusing terms I’ve been seeing.

Turns out, I’ve randomly used all of those words—ugly, gay, Bichon—in various postings on the blog.  So, it wasn’t necessarily a slam at me.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.  From the search results it was more likely the person was looking for a YouTube video where a Bichon does something cute until an “ugly gay guy” appears.  Still, pretty mean if you’re that unknown guy in the video.

Some of the other search results were more obvious to me.  Lots of people find me because I’ve mentioned the gay hook-up iPhone app Grindr a couple of times—now there will be more.  “Gay sex and massage baybylon in bankok” (sic) drives traffic from across the globe to read an excerpt from the book about my exploits in Thailand—nice to see interest sex palace is still going strong, especially in the Middle East.

Some search returns left me mystified.  “Book about the letter o being removed fr” completely flummoxed me.  “Hanging pictures over couch” returned hundreds of pages of DIY advice websites.  Why that person chose to click through to ABCityblog as a resource I’m still not sure.  Maybe something to do with my mention of my Dad’s LeRoy Neiman monstrosities in our living room?

Some search results delighted me.  How sexy to be singled out for “police tattoos,” and what a queen I am to practically pee my pants as the second result of “erica’s modeling mentor on amc.”  Erica Kane and All My Children just keep delivering.

Finally, some search results will just continue to embarrass Chef.  In between links to LA Dragnet and Showtime’s Hung, an episode of Alphabet City is getting traction from “episode” “well endowed.”  Which brings me to the final search observation—this blog is the top result for “you’re my foil.”

And so, once again, it’s true—Chef ends a post as my foil.

PS: I’m not the only one watching.  Check out this USAToday story about my friend Stephen Marsh’s software that helps companies keep track of employee surfing habits.

1 Comment

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One response to “Careful What You Search For

  1. If only I had a greenback for each time I came to abcityblog.com.. Great article.

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