diamond geezer

 Monday, November 27, 2023

Yesterday Google sent me an email.

Congratulations! Your site reached 10K clicks from Google Search in the past 28 days.

Blimey, over ten thousand Googlers have arrived here in just four weeks. Apparently this is the first time that's happened, having passed the 7000 clicks threshold in May 2020, 8000 in October 2022 and 9000 in November 2022.

This is because several people still turn up at diamond geezer via search engines rather than visiting deliberately - apparently over 300 people daily. They tend to arrive on a specific page in the archive, which may or may not be relevant, and after they've read it the vast majority of them never come back. A special hello to you if you stayed.

Google's report also lists the most-visited posts and the most-searched-for queries that led people here.

(Yes, this is a post about "search queries which led people here", very much a staple of the blogosphere circa 2003, but alas not humorous search queries because privacy concerns have long since hidden those)

The Google search query which brings the most people here is "diamond geezer blog". This makes up over a third of those 10,000 clicks. I suspect most of these are people who don't have favourites, blogrolls or autocompleting URLs, but instead prefer to find this blog every morning by typing three words into Google. You could argue this is lazy or you could argue it's efficient, but hello if you're one of the 50 or so people who arrive here daily by Googling "diamond geezer blog".

In second place is "diamond geezer", plain and simple. I'm particularly chuffed to have search engine heft on this one, a longstanding phrase of Cockney slang, but that's what 22 years of relentless blogging gives you. The online jewellers diamondgeezer.com may not be quite so chuffed because without me they'd be top of the listings instead (and perhaps this contributed to them changing their brand to ComparetheDiamond.com in 2019).

In 4th and 5th place are "diamondgeezer" and "diamond geezer blogspot", which also look like people deliberately trying to surf here. But the rest of the Top 10 searched-for queries has a very London-transport-related bent...

1) diamond geezer blog
2) diamond geezer
3) london tube map 2023
4) diamondgeezer
5) diamond geezer blogspot
6) map 2023
7) tube map london 2023
8) top 10 longest bus routes in london
9) top 10 deepest tube stations
10) london underground map 2023

... i.e. bus routes, tube stations and most especially this year's tube map.

It turns out that my post entitled "May 2023 tube map" is currently the most-visited on this blog, the subpage where a Google search is most likely to end up. And that's ridiculous because my May 2023 tube map post is a brief throwaway delivering very little in the way of analysis or depth. "Hardly anything's changed since the last map," I wrote, "there is nothing new to moan about." And yet this combination of 200 words, a single unenlargeable image and a few weblinks attracts hundreds of searchers every month. I guess most of them leave disappointed. SEO is a strange science.

Here's the full list of my Top 10 most-visited posts:

1) diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2023/05/may-2023-tube-map.html
2) .../2017/12/solar-elevation.html
3) .../2022/05/where-to-sit-on-crossrail-train.html
4) .../2021/06/londons-longestshortestfastestslowest.html
5) .../2022/12/londons-helipads.html
6) .../2021/06/the-stratford-diagram.html
7) .../2023/02/all-postcode-districts-in-london.html
8) .../2022/08/abba-voyage.html
9) .../2019/10/the-best-connected-tube-station.html
10) .../2017/11/londons-steepest-hills.html

My Solar Elevation post is a Google marvel and has been delivering a steady stream of people here since 2017. I wrote it because I couldn't find anything simple online which explained how the elevation of the sun changes throughout the year. I still think it's a good summary, and because I posted it on 1st December it's particularly relevant to the levels of gloom we'll be enduring this week. Somehow it's become the default offering when you search Google for "sun angle uk", "angle of the sun by month uk", "angle of sun in winter uk" or "sun height by month uk", and I am rather chuffed with that.

Where To Sit On A Crossrail Train is another zinger, a summary I composed soon after the line opened. It shows clearly, in both graphical and tabular form, that the best place to sit is generally at one end or the other and not in the middle. This ought never to be general knowledge else the trains would get differentially rammed, but for those who seek to get ahead of the crowds my post delivers. This post is so popular that I regularly get emails from complete strangers asking if I'm going to extend it to cover the rest of the line (and no, sorry, I'm not). But what I have done is gone back and sneaked Bond Street into the line-up, because that wasn't open when I first wrote it.

My Longest Shortest Fastest Slowest post is particularly attractive to people searching for the "top 10 longest bus routes in London", because I'm the one who's bothered to work out exactly what they are. Meanwhile my Abba Voyage post is particularly susceptible to people Googling "Abba voyage cloakroom", because fans turning up in silver lamé really want to know how much faff getting rid of their coat will be. Most of these top 10 posts are because I've done some original research (where are the capital's helipads? where are its steepest hills?) and no better summary exists.

My Google Analytics summary page also identifies search queries for which this blog is the number 1 result (or normally first, occasionally second). Here then are some of the searches I've sewn up, searches where diamond geezer is top of the list...

• top 10 longest bus routes in london
• top 10 deepest tube stations
• greater london postcode map
• elizabeth line exits
• hainault shuttle
• wealdstone brook
• dave gahan house
• free mazes in london
• big brother house bow
• larry grayson house nuneaton

How amazing to be the go-to website for Depeche Mode origins, Big Brother's dawn and a West Midlands comedian.

I've not been so fortunate with the majority of my posts, so for example my missives on Coal Drops Yard and Mortlake Crematorium have yet to excite the search engines. Google doesn't like my blog much any more, not since it decided I deliver a poor mobile experience, so it's a wonder any of my posts ever get the thumbs up. Most of the time, searchenginewise, I am totally wasting my time.

But people do still power through to some of the choice sections of my archive, which is perhaps not surprising given how much of an archive there is, indeed the answers to some pretty esoteric queries are hidden throughout. I shall keep on adding to the search.

n.b. Also, according to Google's email the day I passed the 10,000 clicks threshold was 24th November 2023, which I am particularly thrilled to see is also the day of my 10,000th post, and seriously what are the chances?

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