A source of great inspiration evaporates

Google announced this week that it’s defaulting to https (secure) searches, and not passing search queries on to the sites its user clicks anymore. It’s the end of an era, I guess, and I’ll miss it.

Yeah, I looked at the search queries that come into this site. I’ve been doing it for years.

Some people would consider that a privacy issue, though I wasn’t being nosy. At least I don’t think I was being nosy. What I looked for was search queries that hit my site but didn’t really answer the question I thought the person was asking. Sometimes I knew the answer, and I got some really good ideas that way. And I’ve written enough over the years that I get a fair number of near-misses. I never tried to tie the query to anything else–I’d just punch interesting queries into my site’s own search engine to see what came up, and if the results didn’t relate well enough to the query to satisfy me, I’d start writing. The result is too late for whoever did that particular search, but then the content’s ready for whoever the next person is who does an identical or sufficiently similar search.

But I can definitely see where this is getting abused too, by SEO trolls. Unfortunately, for some people, it’s easier to game search engine results than it is to write good content and make it easy for search engines to find it and figure out what it’s about.

I suppose until Bing starts doing the same, I could mine those results for inspiration. But the quantity will be lower, so presumably I won’t get as many ideas from it.

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