Casefile Clues

29 January 2014

Did You Google "John Henry Ufkes Draft Card" and Not Contact Me?

I don't often look at my website statistics or what search terms draw people to my site.

I realize that is "bad" from a blogging perspective to ignore the search queries that bring people to my site, but for the most part I really don't care. I write about what interests me and hope that it interests others as well. I realize marketing people don't think that way, but I'm not a marketing person.

But occasionally I look at the search terms. Sometimes they are really funny. But one of the search terms from yesterday has me really curious:

"john henry ufkes draft card"
Wow.

World War II Draft Card for John Henry Ufkes, obtained from
Selective Service Administration. Ufkes registered in
Hancock County, Illinois. 
On the list of really uncommon names, that's up there. There are not many men named "John Henry Ufkes." My grandfather was one of them. (The only exact matches at Ancestry.com for John Henry Ufkes are for my Granddad. The others are either not really a John Henry Ufkes or are a reference to his grandfather Johann Hinrichs Frederichs Ufkes).

I posted Granddad's World War II draft card on my site several years ago and I'm assuming the searcher found the page. The blog post indicates that Granddad is my Granddad the post is not some random post.

But it has me wondering, who searched for "John Henry Ufkes draft card?" and "how can I increase the chance that those who stumble upon my site contact me?" I'm not really certain how I can increase contact. The posts usually mention that I'm related to the person I'm discussing and my email is readily available. Teasing people with the potential of more information really isn't effective--I've tried it.

The question of "who?" remains. Granddad has five living descendants. Three of them live with me and I'm pretty certain my daughters didn't search for Granddad and I didn't either. My mother's online activities don't include much in the way of Google searching and my brother usually limits himself to the weather, grain prices, and livestock and equipment auctions.

Granddad has siblings who have descendants, but we are all pretty much aware of each other and most of them know how to easily contact me and probably would if they were actively interested.

I'll probably never know who did the search. If the name were "John Henry Smith" a search for it wouldn't have piqued my interest. That's the drawback with unusual names...we always want to know who they are!

Suggestions for how to increase reader/viewer response or interactivity are always welcomed.
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