Picture This

How do people find their way to your blog? I use Twitter and LinkedIn to say: Hey, I made a new post. And then I pretty much rely on that people find my blog when searching with terms as:

  • Data Quality
  • Master Data Survivorship
  • Fit for purpose

But honestly, the search terms that hits my blog many fold more than the above terms are those little texts I add to the images I use to have on every post. And I am pretty sure that those people were not looking for data quality and master data management.

The top term is pearls, including the same word in Russian (жемчуг), Turkish (inci) and Arabian (لآلئ). This word was the title in the image in the post “Universal Pearls of Wisdom” where I wrote about the new SOA manifesto and how this manifesto might as well be about data quality and a lot of other disciplines and concepts. Probably not very interesting for someone trying to buy pearls or so. But maybe a single or two of the +2,000 pearl fishers was captured in the data quality net.

The second most used term is Gorilla. This was used as text for the image in the post “Gorilla Data Quality”. Personally I like this gorilla picture, and so it seems that approximate 1,600 other people also do. Whether they also like the philosophic ideas around “Gorilla Data Quality” and “Guerilla Data Quality” I am not so sure.

Other terms hitting big is Brueghel and Tower of Babel used in a post about international challenges in data quality called “The Tower of Babel” as it was illustrated by a painting by Brueghel. Also Penny Black used in a post about “Postal Address Hierarchy, Granularity, Precision and History” raised the pageview counter.

But it doesn’t seem that every little common word will do. Once I used the word traffic, but it didn’t generate any traffic at all.

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4 thoughts on “Picture This

  1. Jim Harris 10th June 2010 / 00:45

    Great post Henrik,

    I have a similar post still in draft mode about the misleading nature of web analytics and social media metrics.

    In the early days of my blog, I never used any pictures. After some constructive criticism about my blog being too text-based, I decided to start using more pictures in my posts, including a recurring segment of “Wordless Wednesday” entries, which are blog posts containing ONLY a picture.

    Well, lately I have been noticing a strong trend in my blog traffic stats showing that posts with a picture (or only a picture) get more views, especially as you said, via inbound traffic originating from an image search.

    For all the hard work I put into providing engaging, amusing, and informative content on my blog, here is the link to my all-time most popular blog post:

    Wordless Wednesday: March 17, 2010

    Perhaps that is to be expected since the post combines Google and Star Wars — two topics I am afraid that I must admit will always be more popular than Data and Quality.

    Best Regards,


    P.S. I can’t believe that using the word traffic didn’t generate any traffic for you at all.


  2. garnieb 10th June 2010 / 04:47

    Hernrik, how about some other words like “Survivor” or “Fitness” and put some pics around that… or how about “Football” since the World Cup is about to start 🙂

  3. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 10th June 2010 / 05:58

    Thanks Jim and Garnie.

    I made the football post, related to metadata, a month ago here.

  4. Julian Schwarzenbach 11th June 2010 / 23:19


    One of our most popular posts is “How tasty is your data quality cheese?” which gets a number of hits every day from Google. It took a while to track it down, but because the image we used was titled “Swiss Cheese” we are now on the first page of Swiss cheese images.

    Ironic that following all the advice on search engine optimisation, meta tags etc. seems to have little effect, but image name is far more successful.


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