My little-known Caribbean travel writing

I do like a nice slab of spam in the morning.

From: "Alex P. @ expo-MAX" <>
Date: 1 Dec 2009 10:56:37 -0600
Subject: Google Images search "walling's reservoir"

Hi there,

I came across your site while researching Google Images for keyword "walling's reservoir" and one of your pages ( was ranked on the 14th page of the Google Images search results.

I'm sure there are plenty of your other images in Google Image Search for many different keywords as well, it's just I came across this one first.

Really? You came across the FOURTEENTH PAGE of the search results... first?

(And, of course, my site deserved to be way down in the results for that search, because I have never written anything that has the slightest relevance to "Wallings Reservoir", which appears to be a place in Antigua. The closest I come to talking about it on that photo tutorial page is using the word "walling", as in "walling off", in one place on the page, and having this picture of a PC water-cooling reservoir somewhere else.

Oh, and note also that "Wallings Reservoir", the place in Antigua, has no apostrophe. More attention to detail from the good Alex P. at Expo-Max-dot-com!

Anyway, I looked through your site and correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like you are getting a lot of your visitors from image search, like Google Images, Yahoo Image Search, etc.

OK: You're wrong.

What if I told you that my team and I have developped a tool that reports on your site's rank (position) in all search engines for all keywords? Meaning, you know exactly where your site is ranked in Google, Yahoo, Google Images, Google News and so forth for each and every keyword.

Well, if you were to tell me such a thing, I'd say "I don't care. Get lost." It's lucky this is just a theoretical question, isn't it?

Alex's e-mail continued, with screenshots and stuff about what may actually be a perfectly good piece of free Web stats software. I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole, though, because of how idiotic this e-mail is.

And it's so close to being good. Good grammar, almost-immaculate spelling, clear presentation of the product, no hard sell... all let down by machine-generating a form-letter top section and not running it past a human to see if it's ridiculous.

D minus. Must try harder.

UPDATE: Thanks to the obscurity of Wallings Reservoir, this blog post is now on the first page of the search results!

I'm still way down the image-search results list, but I think this is still a search-engine optimisation result for Alex to be proud of.

Look what happened when he just told me about his service! Imagine what might happen if I actually used it!

7 Responses to “My little-known Caribbean travel writing”

  1. dr_w00t Says:


    I'd imagine that it would take some significant man-power to proof read every email with such incredibly obscure search terms as "walling's reservoir" and the 14th page of image results.

    My report cards always said I talk too much in class.

  2. iworm Says:

    Dear Dan

    I was using Google the other day to try and find some new friends (well, any friends at all) and ended up here, as you were the SECOND result on the FIRST page of Google. The search in question was "religion nerdery". Yet I find nothing of the sort here. Well, maybe pretty nerdy, granted, but not a lot of religion.

    I am shocked and disappointed.

    PS Try the search - it really does come up number two. :-)

  3. Bern Says:

    What I'd really like is a Google search for obscure Google searches that return "Dan's Data" on the first page...

  4. iworm Says:

    Well, the search suggested IS on the first page. If you want obscure and the first ENTRY on the first page, try:

    religion nerdery toys


  5. Amonlym Says:

    Wont be long before you get an e-mail "Hi, did you know your a googlewhack, signed Dave Gorman" thats for sure

  6. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Just added an update, to save you all from notifying me that this blog post is now on the first page of a straight Google search for Wallings Reservoir. (Another unusual search string to add to my collection!)

  7. zenpunk Says:

    I regret to inform you that you have fallen below page in the search ranking's for "Wallings' Reservoir." That's when I gave up looking, anyway.

    You should've bought the software, man.

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