Webmasters: Check Site’s Keywords in Stats

One of the things I am most interested in when reviewing my site’s statistics is to see the keywords/queries that helped people find my site. It encourages me as a blogger because it shows that people are looking for topics that I am writing about, and they are able to find it accordingly.

A bonus effect of checking a site’s keyword stats is to be aware of hidden issues with the site. Recently, I upgraded my WordPress blog version to 2.2. It turned out that this affected one of my plugins, one to denote private posts. I wasn’t able to see it while logged in as admin to my blog. In the stats, I saw that there was a query for some error message. I wondered why my blog would show up for that error. I did a search and found the page that showed the error message to Googlebot.

It turned out that WordPress 2.2 made that plugin obsolete because it now denoted Private posts. However, the codes conflicted. I couldn’t see the error because as admin, I saw the post. However, a visitor who is not logged in, like Google bot, would not see the private post, and see errors caused by the plugin. I checked the post while logged out and saw the error. I deactivated the plugin and the problem went away. Now it’s a matter of time for gBot to update the cache.

Another good reason to check a site’s keyword stats is to see if there are unusual results. Some people whose sites get hacked don’t know about it until they review their stats. Even then, some think Google is broken because it is sending off-topic traffic, such as for porn or pharmaceutical queries. However, by replicating the search, it’s possible to find that the content does exist on the site. There might not be corresponding files, though, because the hacker could have used .htaccess to dynamically generate content.

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