Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trafficking in Old Books

For sometime now I've wanted to do a very simple post that listed the popular search terms in my stats that have led the Googling hordes to my blog. I thought of doing this last year in the summer when I was getting an awful lot of traffic from Eastern European countries and parts of the Middle East with search terms that were either vulgar and smacked of someone addicted to porn or had to do with torture against women. Made me cringe actually to see those words.  I decided to go for the odd, the unusual, and the weird rather than the sick and disgusting terms.

They are listed below in order by page view count. Explanations and trivia follow the stats.

pretty sinister - 148  Just for the past 30 days.

el morro - 49 Review of The Sentry-Box Murder by Newton Gayle. El Morro is a fort in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and is the setting for the mystery in that detective novel.
drag me to hell helena - 48  Post on top movies to watch around Halloween
RECURRENT THEME. This happens to be the most viewed post on my blog. Of course a blog devoted primarily to books would have as its most popular post an article about horror movies, right? Oy. Various movie stills used to illustrate the piece turn up in other search terms, but the photo of actress Lorna Raver as the gypsy woman is the most viewed. This photo alone is responsible for making the post so popular. I wonder if those hundreds of people bothered to read the article.

dion fortune - 44 Review of The Secrets of Dr. Taverner.
Dion Fortune was the adopted name of Violet Firth, occultist, devotee of magick and member of the infamous Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. She wrote supernatural fiction espousing her personal beliefs in the hereafter and the occult.

angry polar bear - 16 My flash fiction piece "The Dream of a Golden Mantled Tamarin," a story about animals angry about being caged in a zoo. The post has a photo of such a bear used as an illustration

colombo - 30 I used to have a tribute page to Peter Falk when he died.
Note that misspellings often take you to places you don't want to go on the interweb. Isn't Colombo the capital of a country? I have since deleted the Peter Falk post and all other posts about people who died. I didn't like the inordinate amount of traffic by obituary obsessed people that was skewing my stats. For a long time the most popular post on my blog was my piece about Nigel Williams, a favorite bookseller of mine who died back in 2010. I was also getting lots of weird comments on that page. Creeped me out.

fleur de lis tattoo for men - 16 My flash fiction piece "I Carry It with Me Wherever I Go" about a man who reveals his secret life of sexual experimentation and BDSM.
RECURRENT THEME. There have been multiple variations on searches using the terms "fleur de lis" and "tattoo" for the past year and a half ever since I posted my story. In the post I use a very attractive illustration of a fleur-de-lis to enhance the look. I think it's very odd that someone wanted to find a fleur-de-lis for a man. Are there fleur-de-lis symbols that are more macho than others? The mind boggles.

brothel bedroom red black - 6 Review of India Black by Carol Carr
Sex, sex, sex.  And prostitutes, of course.  The internet is for porn, isn't it?  I'm sure everyone has freaky search terms like these turning up in their stats. I'll spare you some of the more lewd and perverted ones.

hangman board lolita - 2  ???
I haven't got a clue where this would take someone on my blog. I don't even know what it means. Something to do with surfing with adolescent vixens perhaps?  It's the internet.  It could mean anything.


  1. A terrific idea, John, although my stats are far less bizarre. The most hits I get are from people searching for "Scream 4" followed by a search for "At the Scene of the Crime". And then, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, the third highest search is "4 out of 5 stars".

    1. Why would anyone use the search term "4 out 5 stars"? How vague is that? What would it offer up? Thousands of book and movie reviews, I guess. There are a lot of ignoranat oddballs out there.

  2. Here in Louisiana, the fleur-de-lis is almost fetish object, being both the symbol of the state at large and for our football team, the Saints. I see plenty of guys with fleur- de- lis tattoos, especially in black and gold (the Saints' team colors) and green, gold, and purple (Mardi Gras colors). I don't think these guys are, for the most part, expressing the same message as the protagonist of your story-- but who knows? Ha-ha.

    1. If I were ever to get a tattoo it would either be a lightning bolt or a fleur de lis. I chose that symbol for my story because I have always liked what it means in terms of medieval history. Now go Google that! ;^)

  3. Interesting search terms, John, though I don't know how these stats work. They seem pretty inconsistent depending on the time-frame. The maximum search hits I get are for "Maxwell Caulfield" and "Saturday Night Fever." Caulfield and the late Horst Bucholz seem to be still very popular.

    1. Maxwell Caulfield! Now there's someone I havent' thought of in decades. He married Juliet Mills form "Nanny and the Professor" (a US TV show back in the 70s) and caused quite a stir. He was almost like a Brad Pitt of the early 80s but with a much shorter life as a sex symbol than Pitt. Horst Bucholz (a much better actor then Caulfield and far sexier, I think) is a really intriguing actor. Positively smoldering at times, and can be very funny in the right role. I still remember him in TIGER BAY with a very young Hayley Mills.

  4. John: I have had some bizarre searches arrive at the blog but have not kept track. Thanks for sharing the unusual from your blog. I look forward to a future update.

  5. John, my earliest memories of Caulfied and Buchholz are GREASE 2 and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN respectively. I'm pretty grey about their career paths after these movies. I haven't seen TIGER BAY.

  6. At least as of a couple of years ago, Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield were, despite the 20-year age difference (which would be nothing if he were the older one, but is unusual when the woman is that much older), still married. A pretty long marriage by Hollywood standards.

    John, I went to a friend's house for a girls' night out party last night. I counted 15 variations on the fleur-de-lis decorating her walls and of the ten women present, six were either wearing clothes with fleur-de-lis emblems or fleur-de-lis jewelry. One woman even had a fleur-de-lis tattoo on her shoulder. Like I said, it's like a fetish object here in Louisiana.

  7. Just imagine the traffic and search terms that this topic will generate for your blog! :)

  8. Several times, I went on post about "El Morro" of your blog, I admit.

  9. Had so many typos on that previous comment, decided to delete and start over! Careful this time!

    The only porno search term I can recall seeing on my blog was something like "gay sex orgy." I'm sure that was because of my blog piece on Alice Campbell's Desire to Kill, which was called "An Orgy of Death." And, to be sure, in it I did mention sex and gays!

    I don't check these as often as I should I guess. The most involved ones for today are:

    "books considered obscure in the twenties"

    "murder mystery character addison disease"

    "vintage john dickson carr books for sale skull cover"

  10. Oh, on the Horst Bucholz thing I looked up Tiger Bay and that looks great but it's only available on Region 2 players (guess I need a multi-regional DVD player).

    First saw him One, Two, Three! Cagney's last film for many years, where Horst's very intense acting style is used to hilarious effect. Most people in the States know him from The Magnificent Seven, I'm sure, but he did some other good films, most of which are not easily available. The DVD powers that be don't seem to be aware that Horst has that precious thing, a Cult Following.

  11. This is so funny, John. Unsettling, but funny. I don't check my stats all that closely any more. I did in the beginning, but no more.

    People are TOO weird. If you didn't know that before the internet, you know it now.

    And not 'ha-ha' weird.

  12. People collect fleur de lys sympbols on Pinterest.
    Every person has a fetish. I know I do. Ha!

    Horst Bucholz starred in a porn film mistakenly available in the super market video section many years ago. I rented it under the assumption it was something else and boy did I get an eye-full. Ugh.

    1. LOL! That sent me into me a hysterical fit of laughing about Horst. I'm guessing that must be a French film he made called THE SAVIOR (1971). I don't think it was intended as porn but it does have plenty of explicit nudity and intense sex scenes.

    2. I'm tempted to offer a pun on Horst's name, but better not I suppose. You're getting enough odd search terms as it is!


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