Site Utilities: Search

Over the next few weeks I'll be through some of the utilities on Strobist in the hopes of making the site a little more friendly to the non-power users. There are many general blog functions, like RSS, archives, search, etc., but also some things that are a bit quirky and unique to Strobist.

This time I am going to talk about the search function, which is at the upper left corner of the site. And please note that any search link on this page will obviously produce this page as the first result. Scroll own to see what else gets dragged up.

In addition to wading through the archive in the sidebar at right, you can easily find articles using the search function. This is basically a full-text search that includes the subject and title text of every post (600+) since day one. It is very rudimentary, as there are no logical qualifiers (and, not, etc.) But it does go back to the beginning of the blog, which is a good thing.

One downside: It only returns the first 20 or so posts that fit the search. And since I do talk about the same things a lot, this can be a pain.

The answer is to include extra terms. Single terms like "DIY" max out with very recent posts. So be sure to type in additional terms to narrow the search.

Example: Typing the terms DIY macro box gets you to the little carboard studio thing very quickly.

So, what are the serious people searching for?

Here are the top ten searches, in order, as reported by Google Analytics:

1. Gary Fong - WTF??? (Why the Fongster?) Are you guys playing a cruel joke on me? Ironically, there is only one reference to him. And it is in an otherwise intelligent post. Before this post, at least. Sigh.

2. Snoot - There, that's better.

3. Pocket Wizard - Woulda thought that would beat out "snoot." Be sure to use additional terms. (We never shut up about PW's.)

4. Vivitar - Old-skool flashes. But the single term catches everything. Use additional terms if you tap out.

5. Back light - Steady stream of stuff, right back to Lighting 101.

6. Canon G7 - Is that you searching, Chuck Westfall?

7. DIY - Gary Fong takes 1st place and DIY comes in 7th? Excuse me while I go slit my wrists.

8. D70s - (Can't speak. Still trying to get over the Gary Fong thing.)

9. Wedding - (Sorry ladies, I'm taken.)

10. Custom backdrops - Gets you to the ever-popular and beautiful flash-against-the-sunset technique.


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