Field of Science

Failed Experiment in Web Searches

Someone thought it would be a nifty idea to cram a bunch of "hot" keywords into a blog title (Naked truth about sex, gardening, religion, and politics in American government) and then poll people to see which word would be the hottest, get the most hits, and then compare that to the actual keyword data. Part of the rationale was to just try doing a poll. Well, like a number of the Phactor's research projects over the years, this one was an abject failure. In the opinion of 56% of the poll takers, "naked" would be the hottest keyword, but while that sounds impressive, only 9 people took the poll. But then the keyword data could not be recovered from any of the freebe stat counters in use, so the whole thing really was disappointing. Even the number of page views for the "Naked Truth" failed to deviate from the Phactor's average. But you do learn some things from even failed experiments, and some of them are pretty scary. Ever since its posting just over 2 years ago, a blog about whether an artichoke was a fruit or a vegetable has gotten on average the most page views, week after week, and keyword phrases including the term artichoke, even with misspellings, account for over 50% of the subject web searches that end up at on the Phytophactor's blog! That is pretty disturbing. Who knew so many people were so concerned, so curious, about a big old thistle? So do they want to know a cucumber is a fruit?

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