Lessons from blogging 1: most people can’t spell Allsopp

It’s been a year since I started beer blogging, and the big lesson I have learnt is this: a majority of the population thinks Kirstie Allsopp’s surname has only got one ‘p’ in it.

One of the coolest wrinkles available from good blogging software is the ability to see what words people have put into search engines in order to be guided to your pages.

Kirstie Allsopp, the presenter of the TV property programme Location, Location, Location, was mentioned in a piece I wrote about people descended from brewers. Ms Allsopp is a direct descendant of the family that ran one of the biggest pale ale breweries in Burton upon Trent.

Since that post, searching for Kirstie has been the sixth most popular reason for people using Google and the like to wash up on the beach at the Zythophile. But two thirds of the people looking for information on the lady think her name is Allsop, with one ‘p’, although they must have read her name to know who she is. What does this say about the intelligence of people who watch TV property programmes? Don’t email me: just because I ask the question doesn’t mean I don’t know the answer.

The commonest word search, two and a half times more popular than anything else, for people who arrive at this site via Google is “zythophile”, though why people are looking for the word I can’t tell you: they may just like the sound of it, they may be looking specifically for this blog.

The two most worrying search queries are people who put in things like “Is it safe to drink a bottle of wine a day?’ (Answer: No! Get a grip!), and people who enter my real name into Google. Who are they, and why are they looking for me? Like, say, Roger Protz or Ted Bruning, I’m Google-unique, there is no one else with my name on the interweb, so I know it’s me they’re after: maybe I should change my name to something common like, ooooh, Pete Brown …

One person came to this blog because they were searching for the answer to the question; “Is it okay to drink old unopened beer?” (Yes, but if you’re worried, send them round to me and I’ll test them for you.). Some are directed here because they are asking questions like: “What’s the difference between stout and Guinness?” (Answer: the same as the difference between a fish and a haddock.) The strangest query, however, is the person who clicked on this blog after entering “phone number perry bar police station” into Google. Perry Barr is a place in Birmingham. Perry, the drink, has been mentioned here, and I wrote about the phone number of the Rake bar (part of it spells out HOP), but I don’t remember saying anything about police stations …

The most popular blog entry used to be the one about the history of beer glasses, which is more to do with the paucity of material on the subject elsewhere than my own brilliance in covering the area. A couple of months ago, however, an American site linked to the post about the history of beers named XX and the rest, since when that post has soared ahead of anything else on the site in popularity.

My number one referrer (that is, site from which people have clicked through to get to mine), by far, is Shut Up about Barclay Perkins, with twice as many as anybody else – thanks, Ron. Stonch is high up that table, too, which is a reflection of Jeff’s popularity rather than mine.

Between 40 and 60 per cent of my site traffic comes from the United States, with the UK taking 30 to 40 per cent, Canada, France and the Netherlands around three to four per cent each, and the remaining 10 per cent or so scattered across the globe from New Zealand to Brazil, and from Norway to South Africa. Saturday is easily the least popular day for anyone to call in, less that a quarter of the traffic found midweek, which mans you’re all either logging in at work, or (better) at the weekend you’re away down the pub rather than sitting at your computers…

8 thoughts on “Lessons from blogging 1: most people can’t spell Allsopp

  1. Well done on keeping it up. The quality of your online articles really is second to none – your stuff is the best written, the most considered.

    Interesting to see the breakdown of your visitor stats by country – thanks for sharing. Mine are very different indeed, or at least they have been in the last six months. I now get less than 15% from North America (by which I mean US & Canada), with around 65-70% from the UK, half of which is from London alone. There’s a gratfyingly strong showing from my favourite country – Italy – despite the language barrier.

    I think the strong following that yourself and Ronbert von Pattenstein have in the US reflects how seriously the subject of beer education is taken in America – which is a good thing, whichever way you look at it. We might swipe at the misunderstandings our pals across the Atlantic often peddle about European brewing, but at least appreciable numbers of people over there actually give a shit. It’s easy to find people who enjoy quality beer over here, but difficult to find any who want to try and learn about new varieties of their favourite beverage.

    Back to the stats: I too find Saturday is a dead day – which is somewhat reassuring. I’m happy to think that reading our blogs distracts people from their working day, but when it comes to beer, the weekend should be spent doing it and not reading or talking about it!

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  2. PS. the fact you’ve had lots of hits for mentioning Kirsty Allsopp (see, I got it right) is amusing. I got tons for drawing attention to the current Miss GB’s former career in the brewing industry, and a fair whack when I made a passing reference to Britain’s favourite worried blonde monkey, Billie Piper.

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  3. Thanks for your kind comments, Jeff, and as we’re into mutual brown-nosing I’m not surprised you have such a heavy London bias to your visitors, since yours is one of the best-written and most worth reading blogs on the capital’s beer scene, as well as being worth reading for your comments on beery and pubby matters in general. So there!

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