Notes from West London · On writing


Do you remember the concept of “Googlewhacking”? It was described on Dave Gorman’s website as “what happens when two words are entered in to Google and it comes back with one and only one hit.” I wrote about it in this piece in 2017, and included a link to Gorman’s site. Click on the link now and you get a “404 Not Found” error.

In 2017 it was difficult to find words or phrases that would yield only one hit. It was easier in the early days of Google. I noted that in 2005 or so two friends of mine “had names that were rare enough to appear just once each” but 12 years later one of them appeared 394 times, the other 613 times. Checking the same names today, with speech marks around each pair of words, gives us “about 250” and 722 hits.

From time to time, while checking the Stats for this site, I look at the Page Views by Country. I last wrote about it in this piece, “An update about readers in faraway places (Angola, Cuba, Sudan …)”, published in 2020 and updated on 1 February 2021. I had another look yesterday and was particularly interested in those countries and territories that have produced just one visit to this site. I wonder if “Blogwhacking” would be an appropriate term for this phenomenon. In 2020 there had been one view from Greenland. There have now been two. For the record, here are the 16 places recorded by WordPress as of January 2022 that have produced a single visit to this site. Some of them are countries (with some clarification in brackets), others are territories [as detailed in square brackets, with information taken from the top Google result for each one].

Åland Islands [“An autonomous region of Finland. Comprising around 6,700 islands, this Swedish-speaking archipelago is in the Baltic Sea”.]

Aruba [“A territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands physically located in the mid-south of the Caribbean Sea”.]








Micronesia (Also known as the Federated States of Micronesia.)



Northern Mariana Islands [“A US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean”.]

Solomon Islands

St. Martin [“An overseas collectivity of France in the West Indies”.]

Swaziland (Now  known as eSwatini.)

When I first wrote about readers in distant places, in this piece from 2019, I expressed my thanks to all of them for dropping by. I remain very grateful for this connection to people in places that I have never visited, and probably never will. I will end this Post with the same words I used back then: it’s good to know that some of my words have been read by at least one fellow human in each of those distant countries. I appreciate it.

POSTSCRIPT, Tuesday 8 February 2022

I am happy to report that today this Blog has received its first, and so far only, Page View from Papua New Guinea, so that’s another country that can be added to the list above, taking it up to 17.


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