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Names and t'interweb

Filed Under : Music

Posted By : egbert | Comments : 12

Is there any point thinking of one in light of the other?


Just stuck something on another blog which probably deserves a thread of its own so here goes...

In these here heady days of t'interweb more and more of us have band web presences - I guess if you have nothing more than an account on NWB then you have one ;-) What happens if someone can't quite remember your name or the exact url? Type your name into google and see what you get.

I tried Call Me Diva (3,540,000 results), a band named after a Clash song that turned up about 2,780,000 results, then another - the "best band I've seen on NWB" who's name is perhaps a little more obscure and that turned up about 131,000 results. OK so you can turn to search engine optimisation and all that other stuff - and I'm guessing the three bands above do as their entries are "top page" but the vast majority of hits are nothing to do with the band in question or point to other bands. Some other names - including the number one blues band in wherever it is today with 52,600,000 entries - don't seem to appear on the first page of hits (other than their NWB profile).

I have a sort of alter-ego bubbling away in the background - its a kind of experiment - and when "giving birth" to it I went for a "new word" which is pretty memorable and even googling a misspelling of that comes back with about 1,100 results - all of which are that imaginary person and I've discovered a whole raft of content aggregators ;-)

So, am I just being a tit or is there some value in thinking about how easy you are to find on t'interweb when thinking about band names?

Comments

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# Posted by Steve McCartney - 14/05/2012, 22:37 (GMT)

We're ok in that our name is quite unique (ie wouldnt be found in most other sentences) so our facebook, nwb, myspace etc hits on the first page. Unless someone puts a space in the middle - then we're nowhere to be found. I can see this making a difference to fans / venues who dont have a link to hand and only know the name by word of mouth,


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# Posted by THE STORIES ,The very best! of... - 15/05/2012, 00:26 (GMT)

@stonecycle yeah same as wev"e been pretty lucky that way ,a tip & a very quick way of looking for anything on the net is to put a " on either side of what you are looking for say for a band your looking for (this is random ) "new model army" then its brought down to a more direct search .


andy


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# Posted by Howard - Sound and Light Produ... - 15/05/2012, 01:09 (GMT)

a made up / mash up name that isn't a real world will get you near the top of the search results every time - a certain band i engineer have a made up word as a name and consequently their web site always appears high up the first search page


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# Posted by Dean (Drummer) - 15/05/2012, 11:12 (GMT)

I work partly in SEO so I'm into all this stuff. IMO I think it's a good thing but thats probably because I have a genuine interest in the workings of it all - others might think its just a waste of time.

The Sugar Bullets or 'Sugar Bullets' derives from Stranglers album 'Stranglers in the Night', although it didn't chart and isn't viewed as a prolific Stranglers track therefore a lot fewer Google searches for it than say 'No More Heroes' and so giving us more chance of appearing high in searches.

We also share our name with an online clothes company selling Punk & alternative clothing. Before we had our dedicated website (when we relied on our NWB profile & Facebook page), their website completely dominated Google searches relating to anything Sugar Bullets but now it seems to alternate between us both depending on specific search terms ie, we have the word 'The' in front of our domain name & all our profile pages on other sites for that very reason.

There is also a girl group from Scotland who appeared on X Factor with a smiliar name, as well as a marketing company in Bristol - however both appear a lot further down in search results.

Our Google Analytics report for www.thesugarbullets shows interesting findings in where our visitors come from:
49.44% Search Traffic
37.45% Referal Traffic
13.11% Direct Traffic

For 'Searched Traffic' the top 10 search terms (in order) over the last month are:
sugar bullets
the sugar bullets
sugar bullets band
sugarbullets
punk tribute band
the sugar bullets band
the sugar bullets punk
amplifier sugar bullets (this is the clothing co. so obviously linked to our site by mistake)
farmyard party 2011 (bike rally we played last year)

So as you can see people DO search specifically by band name.

For 'Referal Traffic' the top referal websites over the last month are:
facebook.com
nwb.co
m.facebook.com (mobile version of Facebook)
youtube.com
whittles-oldham.com
conservativepunk.net (never heard of this site before, looks like its a Punk forum in Polish haha)

I could go on & on & on......but I won't bore you.

The only other interesting report is the Visitors Overview by City/Territory, with the top territories in the last month being:
Manchester
London
Bolton
Preston
Oldham
Wrexham
Rawtenstall
Hinckley (Leicester)
Atherton


I'M SUCH A GEEK!!!


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# Posted by egbert - 15/05/2012, 11:59 (GMT)

@Sug4r Bullets the near 50% search traffic as opposed to referral or direct (I'm assuming bookmarks or people with the URL on a scrap of paper) is an interesting figure which sort of amplifies my question as to whether bands should consider the internet as part of their "marketing" strategy and whether their chosen name could work against them unless they have the sort of skills and expertise of someone like yourself who knows how to play the SEO game.

@Stonecycle & The Stories - fuzzy matching is always a problem with any search engine as stonecycle vs stone cycle demonstrates.

@Howard - yes! Someone else approaching the question from the same direction. At least if I am thinking like a tit I feel better knowing that I'm one of a pair ;-)


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# Posted by Dean (Drummer) - 15/05/2012, 12:18 (GMT)

@Guy
A band website & how a band are promoted online in my opinion is important but that's just me (and you). I'm sure there are bands out there that have very little web presence but are gigging regularly and therefore probably don't give a s**t about websites, SEO and all that. Each to their own.

The SEO I did for our website wasn't so much to do with our band name, but more for the type of band we are - for eg, I always wanted us to appear top when someone (anywhere in the country) searches for a 'Classic Punk Tribute Band' as they may do - and so we appear top, with multiple results on the first page too.

Click this - www.google.co.uk/search


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# Posted by NIGHT TRAIN - 15/05/2012, 12:20 (GMT)

I've just googled Night Train (something I never do) and it would appear we are 7th on page one!
Can somebody try it? Make sure its not as a result of a cookie or something


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# Posted by Dean (Drummer) - 15/05/2012, 13:08 (GMT)

@Alec
I tried searching and there was nothing relating to you guys come up on the first page, but remember 'Night Train' are two very general words (nearly 40m results in Google). Also your website is a free .webs site and Google doesn't tend to pick up on those, however if you were to buy nighttrain.com, nighttrainblues.co.uk or nighttrainband.co.uk you'd be up there. Like I said above it all depends if YOU think it's worth it.

Google's 'suggested' search system does bring up an interesting result however. Let's just say someone in your local area wanted to find you in Google - common sense would tell me to start typing 'Night Train band'.....then see what happens:

You are TOP of anything related to the words night + train + band (returns a suggestion of 'Bolton' which is not a conspiracy just clever).


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# Posted by NIGHT TRAIN - 15/05/2012, 13:17 (GMT)

Yeh there must be cookies involved, cos I just typed Night Train and it came up 7th, but just got guitarist to do it and he got same as you.
Maybe Google target search results to user...which is weird


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# Posted by egbert - 15/05/2012, 13:36 (GMT)

@Alec - Maybe Google target search results to user...which is weird

No, that's the whole point. The targetting of results (particularly advertising) to an individual makes it easier to market stuff.

Interestingly the first "band" that appear when I searched for "night train band" are http://nightrainband.com/nightrain.cfm (didn't think cold fusion was still around) who have also been doing it for 40 years etc. etc. so lots of common ground and space for confusion there.


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# Posted by NIGHT TRAIN - 15/05/2012, 14:01 (GMT)

Yeh...a little disconcerting though, with some well dodgy implications....we always tell people to search for NIGHT TRAIN Bolton or Ramsbottom (for some reason) and that works great though


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# Posted by Dean (Drummer) - 15/05/2012, 15:08 (GMT)

"we always tell people to search for NIGHT TRAIN Bolton"
-----------------

There's the answer right there! If you're telling people to search for you with 'Bolton' included in the search, Google picks up on this and after so many times of people searching, it starts to automatically appear as a 'suggested search'.

Like this...for us, if someone starts typing 'the sugar bullets' into Google, the drop down menu automatically suggests the most popular 'complete' search terms based on other people's previous searches:


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