Random Blog Searches and Spam Comments

I should have another batch of summer books read and reviewed by Friday. To fill in until then, I’ve resuscitated a recurring post template that I haven’t used in over three years, looking at the random searches that have led people to my blog. (Previously surveyed in May 2016, October 2016 and June 2017.)

I keep a record of the most interesting or bizarre blog searches that show up on my dashboard. Some recent favorites are below. I may not have the dirt on a new Donna Tartt release, but some of those who came with an inquiring mind will have found answers to their questions on my site.

(Spelling and punctuation are unedited throughout!)



June 23: heart surgery vs brain surgery, elderberry cordial nancy Mitford

September 8: eve schaub rag rug

October 9: i hate elena ferrante

December 20: shaun bythell partner

December 27: philip carey leg

February 8: julia buckley journalist friend with a witchdoctor

March 30: was mel love with sharon animators

April 17: parker fiske – eleanor roosevelt’s cousin

May 31: is donna tartt writing another novel after the goldfinch

September 10: reservoir 13 who did it

October 22: sample inscription in cookbook for a bride



March 19: the heart’s invisible furies spoilers, culling books



January 19: vikram paralkar night theatre stinks, is megan phelps roper a jehovahs witness

March 30: miochel faber interview, did shaun bythell marry jess ica fox, why did mary give thatcher a gift in the novel unsheltered

April 17: bitter orange symbolism, books under 50 pages, cystic fibrosis stevenson helen, nuts in may louis macneice

April 28: essays on comparing the novels empire falls by richard russo and cat’s eye by margaret wood

July 6: christianne ritter aurhor what became of her and her husband


Lots of curiosity about Shaun Bythell’s romantic history – my review of The Diary of a Bookseller continues to be one of my most-viewed posts. I think my favorite search, though, is “i hate elena ferrante” (hate is too strong a word, but I do remain indifferent to her charms).


I regularly check my spam folder because, every once in a while, a regular commenter’s message goes astray there and I’d hate to miss anything genuine.

In the last month I’ve noticed hundreds of spam comments on my blog, all containing identical Spanish-language text (“Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?”) and usually appearing on one of four particular posts.

Any ideas about how I can get the Spanish spam to go away?


30 responses

  1. I’m with you on Ferrante. ‘Philip Carey leg’ is intriguing. Sadly, I don’t think the Reservor 13 reader was reading the right book for them. My spam folder is full of misspelled versions of ‘we’ve hacked your operating system and have your password’ + ‘investment’ opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, if they think they’re reading a whodunit with the McGregor they’ll be disappointed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating. Leave the spammers to Askimet, I think. I have no idea what questions people ask to find themselves up against my blog. Time to get under the bonnet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be particularly interesting to see what searches lead people to your blog since your topics vary so widely!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll try to see how you did your research. Actually, I think most of my new readers have been led indirectly by other readers.


    2. On the dashboard, there’s a box that says “Stats” — I glance at the “Top Searches” list and regularly copy and paste the more interesting ones into a file.


  3. Like you, my searches are dominated by Shaun Bythell and his marital status – and his books are my most looked up still. I’d like something else to take over now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How bizarre! Well, the answer is to be found on Instagram (@dreamslikefilms is his wife Lena’s account) or on his daily Facebook videos, in which his wife and baby daughter occasionally appear. I think I blame the editor and marketing approach: his relationship with “Anna” was made a bigger element, especially of the second book, than it needed to be, to introduce some drama. And to leave open the possibility of more sequels, they haven’t included a “where they are now” section or sentence of bio about his current living situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had a conversation in comments about it when the second book came out I seem to remember – obvs leads many to our blogs!


    2. I apologise for skewing your blog in that direction! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! Any traffic it brings is welcome. 😀


  4. I’m really pleased that most of my searches have been for Iris Murdoch books and themes, that’s really cheering. Only one for Diary of a Bookseller but quite a few “a mindfulness guide for the frazzled analysis” and a steady stream spelling Chetan Bhagat a few different ways and interested in his Two States.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great that you are considered a hub for all things IM! I recently picked up a different Italian Girl edition (the late 70s Penguin) for free to pass on to you sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Reservoir 13 who did it”: do you know?? 😉


    1. I’ll never know; I DNFed it at 15%! Also, I think it’s one of those books where you see the aftermath of a crime but never find out what actually happened (which sounds pretty frustrating to me, but lots of people thought it was a masterpiece).


      1. Oh I loved it. But yeah, not really a whodunit lol


  6. I had loads of spam from the Russians (200 a day). Installed jetpack and haven’t had a single piece since

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I’ve never spent a penny on my site. The spam is annoying (258 comments just since yesterday!) but only a minor inconvenience…


  7. Brilliant! I do love the random search terms that bring people to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Save up your next great one to tell me 😉


  8. […] posted some data from her blog stats the other day here, and I took a look at mine too. I wasn’t going to post anything, but when I discovered that […]


  9. Ahhh spammers! My spammers all seem to come from Indonesia – very annoying!

    But what I great idea to turn your stats into a post of their own. Do you mind if I steal your great idea?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LOL I get a lot of the ones that are actually homework assignments in disguise. Yours are much more interesting.


    1. Well, there’s “essays on comparing the novels empire falls by richard russo and cat’s eye by margaret wood” above. I’ve never reviewed either of those books, and they didn’t even get her name right!


  11. […] loved Rebecca’s and Annabel’s posts on their blog stats, and so have written a short one of my […]


  12. I don’t have an answer to your Spanish spam problem sorry – too busy working out how to get rid of my Russian spam


    1. Argh! Paul (above) seems to have that problem, too.


  13. […] have been inspired by Dr Laura Tisdall (herself inspired by two other blog buddies) to go dipping into my blog stats to see why people really visit There’s Always Room […]


  14. […] Another review catch-up post and the first few of my 20 Books of Summer are coming up later this week. Before that … I’ve been saving up some funny follows and spam comments, as well as a couple of likes on Goodreads that were too apt not to share. I also always enjoy looking at the random searches that have led people to my blog. (Previously surveyed in May 2016, October 2016, June 2017, and July 2020.) […]


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