Screwing with your Geeky SEO Buddies – Referring Keywords and the “Minus” Search Command

October 1, 2008

Fun post here, nothing that will make you any money. Okay scratch that, some smart-ass will lobby me otherwise… but that’s not the point here. The point is to screw with your SEO friends.

I wanted to see how closely one of my employees was monitoring his Google Analytics for a particular website, and also have a little fun at the same time. This particular site doesn’t have much content on it, and nothing “fun” per se. Thus, I decided I’d do a search and rig it to be one of those people who search on something like 10 words long that make you scratch your head how they found your site.

My search:

abc brand -“hi tim lets see how closely you monitor your analytics”

What’s above is exactly what shows up in his Google Analytics or referral logs. By using the “-” command you are telling Google to exclude whatever follows that. Thus, so long as I put something I know he doesn’t have on the website I can ensure that text will come through into the stats. You could put anything. I choose not to get too crass. To be sure, the minus search command is rigging things here, almost like cheating really. Its not quite as pure as how George ranks for something like catchy professional photographers company’s names. Not sure how well that one converts??? Can we get a search volume estimate in the Google External Keyword Tool for that?

In this case “abc brand” what the brand of the site. You could also do this in combination with the site: search command. I chose not to, b/c I think the above is more fun.

Note that for this to work you may need to clear your cookies prior to doing it if you already visited the site in question, otherwise the analytics package may associate your visit with another referral source and not record the keyword search you performed.

Okay now go have fun. And no, I won’t notice whatever you send to me. I don’t monitor that as closely as I should!

5 Responses to “Screwing with your Geeky SEO Buddies – Referring Keywords and the “Minus” Search Command”

  1. Tim Staines Says:

    You left out an important part . . . I found it two days after you searched with that KW . . . that and I’m not geeky, I’m in denial.

  2. Murph Says:

    Thanks for the link. Breaking news… this blog now ranks #1 for “Geeky SEO Buddies”

  3. Chris Says:

    Oh, this is a good one. I’m trying this.

  4. Justin Baker Says:

    Murph is write, this page is still ranking number one for “Geeky SEO buddies”


  5. And still is number one up until now. This is such a good example for the SEOs out there. How to maintain you ranking.

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