Google Alerts. How Clive Owen made me a very happy man.

It’s a funny thing this blogging lark.

I toil away with every post, beads of creative perspiration dotted on my brow each time as I try to educate and amuse in equal measure and I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been lucky if I got 10 people a week come visit me.

But that’s ok, there’s a million Blogs out there and why should I think mine deserves any special attention, even if it clearly should.

Something happened with my last post though, something that suddenly sent my hits through the roof, well, the roof of a modest bungalow anyway.

And the thing that did it, the sole reason that propelled my visitors roofwards was all down to one happy accident…I mentioned Clive Owen.

Clive Owen, famous British actor and handsome bugger.

Now I like Mr Owen, he isn’t my type but when I needed a name to illustrate a point about someone appealing to women he obviously fitted the bill. Plus it was somehow funnier and not much longer to type than Brad Pitt.

And at the time I didn’t give it another thought it but I obviously underestimated how much our Clive does appeal to the ladies. Because within hours I could see that my hits had mysteriously shot up, and with the marvelous background wizardry they include with these Blogs I could even pinpoint the source.

That source being a Clive Owen fansite. A site that had somehow found my Top 10 Reasons You Need a New Web Designer post, saw Reason No. 4 which name-checked the man, liked it, borrowed it for themselves, but since they enjoyed the rest of the list did the nice thing of linking back to me as the author.

Now given that extra visitors are exactly what I need, and that this was the first other site to link to mine, I was very happy for the recognition.

But it did beg the question, how the hell did they find me in the first place, and so quickly?

Well, I discovered that like a lot of things on the web it came courtesy of Google, but not in the usual search engine way, oh no, and this is where I do get to my point dear reader, it was actually because of a entirely new and different kind of service called Google Alerts.

A kind of pre-ordering your favorite search terms by telling Google just the once about a topic of interest and then relaxing as they keep the results coming back to you with daily, weekly or ‘as it happens’ updates via email.

And it’s easy done, just fill in a simple 4 part form field, and from then on, any reference of Clive Owen for instance will come to you rather than you going to it. Plus you can have any number of different Google Alerts stacked up and sent to you.

As an example, I’ve now asked Google Alerts to let me know whenever there’s a mention of my web design company or this Blog. Or you might use it to receive news of your favorite Football team, or to find particular job vacancies in your area, or just like my new friend Lessy37 at Clive Owen_Daily follow every new reference of your favorite film star.

And when you think she found me by the merest mention of Clive Owen, that’s some powerful searching that Google Alerts is doing on your behalf, how long would it take on a regular Google search to find that?

But to find out out how efficient it could be for you as well, just click this link to Google Alerts.

Anyway, my thanks goes to Lessy, all the visitors from her fansite who followed that link back to me, the other Clive Owen sites who found me from Lessy finding me, and for her alerting me to Google Alerts.

Now all I need, since I also mentioned Spider-Man and Harry Potter in that Top 10 list, is for Marvel Comics and Hogwarts to link to me too.