Building a Web Presence
by Jeff Lewis

After tracking the hits to my work-in-progress website, Prancyhorse.comówhich receives approximately three hits a day from non-relativesóIíve devised an intriguing strategy for building a diverse internet audience.  Because Prancyhorse.com has a wide variety of peculiar phrases, it features very prominently in certain web searches.  For instance, someone accessed the website because it is the top Yahoo! search result if you type in the phrase ďrat proof composter.Ē

Interestingly, Iíve found that many of the strangest searches have come from abroad, which may be my ticket to an international presence.  So far, Iíve gotten a smattering of hits from odd search results (my definition of international includes ďredĒ states).  Here are the subjects of some notable searches, the location of the searcher and Prancyhorse.comís search engine ranking for these searches:

Iím pretty sure everyone left my site disappointed, especially the person from the Hague, who no doubt wondered why he got tricked into clicking on my link a second time.

While on the subject of search engines, I thought Iíd mention an interesting web page that I viewed recently.  Iím sure you are aware that in the late nineties, there were oodles of search engines, but the varying fortunes of internet companies resulted in buyouts, bankruptcies and revamped business models.  Today, many of the old search engine names remainóAsk Jeeves, Lycos, AOL Search, MSN Searchóbut nearly all get their search content from one of three sources:  Yahoo!, Google and a volunteer-based engine called The Open Directory Project, which operates more or less like an open source program.  For a fairly interesting diagram that tracks the relationships between the different search engines, see Bruce Clay, Inc.ís website.  I also recommend this site for those of you who donít care about search engines, but like colorful circles and arrows.

If youíre not satisfied with that link, let me throw a few more your way:

With luck and a few more peculiar or misspelled words in my portfolio, maybe someone in Suriname will include Babblog or Prancyhorse.com in a similar list of whimsical websites.  With that in mind, I close with this:  Nobody reads a bedtime story like Peter Falk.

Copyright Jeff Lewis, 2004