Discussion · Miscellaneous

Looking at Three Years of Search Terms

Yesterday I saw imyril @There’s Always Room For One More‘s post about Blog Stats and Search Terms, so I thought: why not discover what mysteries my search terms hold? I’ve had this blog for three years, which means that by now I have a big enough list of them that there’ll probably be something… interesting in there. In this case, “interesting” usually means “I have no idea of why that brought you to my blog, but thanks?”.

Most Mentioned


Tthe first surprise was that the books that brought more people to my blog aren’t at all the books I talk about most often; in fact, my most popular review in terms of views, the one my search terms mentioned the most, is of a YA mystery from 2018 I barely remember reading: People Like Us by Dana Mele. As with most of my reviews from 2018, I kind of hate it and can’t tell if I’d agree with anything I wrote in it now, but if you want to see how far I’ve come, it’s here.

If you read my posts fairly often: did you even know I had read this book? Because I kind of forgot about it until now. Still, I like that this happened with a book about lesbians and murder, at least that’s appropriate to what kind of blog this is. Now, let’s see if I can understand why this happened.

Most Common PLU Search Entries:

kay people like us” = Kay is the main character; in my review, I stated that she has “the personality of a drying puddle”, so I’m not surprised I forgot everything about the book. However, several people found her interesting enough to look her up on the internet, so I may be wrong.

people like us book ending explained“, “people like us book ending“, “people like us book spoilers” = there are at least ten different iterations of this in my search terms, several of which potentially spoiler-y. Which is odd, because I didn’t think it was that ambiguous of an ending? In any case, they’re coming to the wrong blog, because the scene that is considered ambiguous isn’t mentioned in the review and I… don’t remember it happening.

I’m surprised so many people were looking for answers! It’s more popular than I thought, which is a positive thing, given that this is after all a very morally gray sapphic story.


The second most-mentioned book? Way more on brand: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I mean, it makes sense: it’s a book I liked and talked about a decent amount of times, it’s not easy to understand by any means, and it has won/been nominated for several awards. And, again, murder lesbians! I’m glad the internet recognizes this about me, at least.

Something that likely helped my review of this in getting so many views is its title, which includes the word “discussion”: I think many people finished this book looking for answers or for things to make more… tangible sense than they do (they don’t and you have to live with it! I love that about this book). While I do talk about my interpretation of the ending in my “discussion”, I mainly wrote it to draw parallels with a novelette with similar themes, That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn (one of my favorites ever), so I don’t know how helpful it was. Sorry for the unintentional clickbait?

Some of the Time War Search Entries

this is how you lose the time war discussion questions“, “this is how you lose the time war book club questions” = interesting! Maybe the discussion part of my post could be useful for this, I don’t know. By the way, if you’re reading this for a book club, definitely also read the Carrie Vaughn novelette. It’s way simpler and shorter but it’s on that topic.

this is how you lose the time war explained” = …this is the wrong book for explanations. No answers, only interpretation?

this is how you lose the time war summary” = oh, good luck with this one too.

this is lose time war” = I mean, I get it. This is pretty much how my own English felt like to me after I finished the book.

Miscellaneous Search Entries

And now we get to the very chaotic rest of the list!

From Villain Fans

I know this is all because of my How I Fell in Love With Villains, in Five Steps post and I love that it’s happening. This is my niche!

villians in love” = aw. Definitely try The Ascent to Godhood and The Stars Are Legion, and if you find that you don’t clash with the writing style, please please read The Machineries of Empire to get to Revenant Gun. It’s going to be the best kind of horrible.

villain as romantic love interest fantasy books” = I think the most romantic of my villain recs is The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard + its spin-off specifically focusing on that couple, Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murder.

books with redeemed villain romance” = I don’t really go there. If it’s not evil I don’t want it? Still, I get why that might be necessary to have a capital-R Romance (so, happy ending instead of my personal “one murders the other” fave ending). Maybe Spinning Silver might fit this? But it’s not exactly a redemption arc. And neither is Mo Dao Zu Shi, but I think it might appeal to people who are interested in villain-related tropes but very much want a happy ending

Looking For Recs

gay urban fantasy” = not as easy of a rec as I’d like because it’s not a popular genre right now, but I think Aliette de Bodard’s Dominion of the Fallen could fit this.

tor.com novellas” = some that should definitely get more attention are Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney and the Persons Non Grata series by Cassandra Khaw! And, in general, I think the quality of the imprint is pretty high, so I’d recommend most of them.

ya books that deserve the hype and those that don’t 2019” = love the “those that don’t” part! Anyway: two 2019 YA books that deserved all the hype were The Weight of the Stars and With the Fire on High; two that didn’t were Girls of Storm and Shadows and House of Salt and Sorrows.

The Confused or Confusing Ones

alien assassin’s convenient wife” = …um. I’ll leave that role to someone else?

amazon” = this isn’t weird per se but I have no idea of how it got several people here; I avoid buying there if I can help it and I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this name on this blog before now.

onyebuchi n solomon” = the way this is written and the fact that there seem to be facebook results from googling this makes me think they weren’t looking for authors Tochi Onyebuchi and Rivers Solomon. Sorry? (You Should Still Read The Deep)

Looking For Clarifications

spin the dawn lgbt” = they’re about to be very disappointed, because that was one of the straightest books I’ve read last year – and it also had a cis-woman-crossdressing plotline, with all the implications going with that.

how does the book final draft by riley redgate end” = in the best possible way! trust me πŸ™‚ [no, seriously, I don’t think it could have ended any better.]

queens of innis lear trans princess” = I guess it depends on your interpretation? It’s fake-medieval fantasy, so the characters don’t really have the words for it, but I can see that. [and, in any case, if that character is trans, the word you’re looking for is “prince”]

s a chakraborty pronunciation names” = I can’t help – how does one even write down pronunciation anyway? – but what I can say is that I really liked the audiobook, so if you’re curious that could be a way?


This was… interesting and mostly unexpected. Outside of these categories, I was really glad to see several mentions of The Dark Beneath the Ice! That’s a book I want more people to find. And a lot of people found me by searching Arkady Martine, too, which is more expected than most things on this list.

What is the weirdest thing in your Search Terms section? What are you known for in the internet’s judgment?

12 thoughts on “Looking at Three Years of Search Terms

  1. This is such an awesome idea! I’ve never dug into my search terms before, but maybe I should….

    Totally agree with you on The Queens of Innis Lear. There were many characters in that book that had such POTENTIAL to stand out and be more, that one in particular, that ended up being defined by a single dominant trait that made them so flat and ignored possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it! And I recommend it, there’s usually some really unexpected entries in there, it’s fun

      It’s been a while since I read The Queens of Innis Lear, but yes, it could have done so many far more interesting things with the characterization and it never really went there despite having all the space to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel you’ve had some way more appropriate / intriguing search terms than me – I guess I need to up my game on post titles to lure more clicks 🀣

    Particularly loving the focus on murder lesbians, romantic gay villains (I second Dominion of the Fallen as LGBTQIA urban fantasy, with bonus gay villain sort of almost no not really redemption, you just come to accept him as the monster he is) and alien assassin’s convenient wife (it’s a shame this rings no bells, I’m hella curious now!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The internet really is a strange place!
      “you just come to accept him as the monster he is” = exactly! I loved the balance Aliette de Bodard found with Asmodeus’ storyline, it’s the only villain romance that doesn’t have an ending in tragedy or redemption I can think of.
      And I looked up the alien assassin’s convenient wife – it is an alien romance novella, which still makes me wonder how they ended up here πŸ˜‚ I don’t think I’ve ever read anything comparable


  3. I need to dive into my search terms, I haven’t done that in a long time. My favorites are the weird ones that have nothing to do with my posts but somehow people ended up on my blog anyway?? Ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohohoh these are so interesting to read about, I always look at mine but I never thought about doing a post about it! I just might, although since writing my mdzs post that’s pretty much everything I’m known for on search engines sldhdkdhd

    Liked by 1 person

  5. haha- I love this post because my most viewed book review is also irrelevant to my blog, and while I appreciate the traffic, I really hate that there isn’t much on my blog to keep the traffic, if that makes any sense. I wish it had been a different review. Readers were also looking for explanations of the ending, to which I went back and ammended my review, adding my interpretation. As you said.

    Also- I love that the theme of your blog is “murder lesbians” – LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really interesting how ambiguous endings are some of the main traffic builders for book blogs, I wouldn’t have expected it! But yeah, those viewers usually don’t stay


  6. Oh this is such a fun idea, I love it so, so much! I sometimes look at my search terms out of curiosity and my most popular post ever is a recommendations post I did…. like, the first two months I started my blog and the post clearly sucks so I’m a little sad, why are so many people drawn to ittttttt πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love hearing everyone’s unexpected most popular posts, the internet is such a strange place! And same – why do posts from when I just started blogging need to get so much views, I had no idea of what I was doing…
      And I’m glad you liked reading this!

      Liked by 1 person

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