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We've seen several times that one of the best ways to draw new users to the site is to ask (and answer) the questions people are likely to encounter with a new game. Thus we have things like the Promotional Grant.

Have we considered using Google search stats to try to look for questions that people are searching for about new games? Sure, if its a common question then hopefully one of our users asks it naturally, but it seems like it might be a good way for us to figure out what questions our "future users" have. We could make it part of the responsibility of grant recipients to look for common questions and get them asked here so they can receive an answer.

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    It's kinda difficult to get stats for questions we don't have. – badp Sep 16 '11 at 17:39
  • @badp You'd think so, but you can tell what search terms lead to our site. – user56 Sep 16 '11 at 17:54
  • @badp Isn't there some way to see popular search terms from Google? Not necessarily ones that lead to our site, just general search term frequency. – bwarner Sep 16 '11 at 18:03
  • Hmm, it looks like Google Insights only lets you look at the top 10 searches, and they're all too generic to glean any actual questions from them. So maybe it isn't possible. – bwarner Sep 16 '11 at 18:08
  • @arda they're usually fully formed sentences obviously. We don't get any hits for 'angry birds' (why would we?) but just hits for 'angry birds 3-15'. That's what I meant – badp Sep 16 '11 at 18:12
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I would not think of this in terms of

Let me find popular Google searches and go out of my way to ask arbitrary questions about those topics.

That's not genuine. At that point you're borderline evil, like Demand Media. (However, if you do have a real, honest-to-goodness question about a topic that just happens to be searched for a lot in Google, that's great, as it will help lots of other people. But the question and its quality has to come first, not the desire for fame or notoriety.)

Rather, I suggest thinking of this in terms of

How can we can improve existing question titles to better match what people with this same question would be searching for?

Don't hesitate to edit the questions to make them better at any time. A good, proper title is a huge part of that!

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  • Agreed. As well, if you're wondering what game you should play next, try a highly-searched game we don't have a lot of questions for ... and then ask the questions you have as you play! – Matthew Read Sep 18 '11 at 0:48

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