The logic of search engines

August 2, 2007

A few weeks back I started noticing that a post I wrote in March was getting a lot of hits from search engine requests.  Sometimes as many as twenty people a day were visiting this submission by searching the terms “big sur”.  So I went and investigated and yes I did talk about Henry Miller and his time living in Big Sur but most importantly I posted a picture labeled big-sur-afternoon.  Ah-ha! That may be the culprit! I then proceed to Google images and search big sur.  Lo and behold my blog is the 4th hit out of millions of hits.  Somehow I had ascended the rankings and made it to the first page of a Google search.  How or why this happened I have no idea (and would welcome any input).

My stay on the front page lasted for weeks and then yesterday I noticed that there was not a single hit for this extremely popular post.  What happened?  Had I upset the internet gods?  Here is my theory: A few days before the stream stopped I received my first comment on that post.  Now I’m sure that most of the hits were people that just wanted to see or copy the picture and had no interest in the accompanying words. (As much as I would like to believe) And finally someone had not only visited but took the time to read the post and leave a great comment.  The bubble had been burst–the connection made.  The magic of the internet played itself out, my picture no longer in the top ranks yet my words touched a soul out there and I in turn was touched.

For fun I searched Google images for Big Sur and gave up after looking through the first twenty pages.  I have scrambled back into a relative anonymity and await that next moment of serendipity when a random click alights on these pages. 

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