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Butternut Squash Searches Up 279%

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-11-18

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"What's that got to do with anything?" you ask. For food and beverage websites, it has everything to do with it. As the holiday season approaches, reference sites posting recipes see a sudden spike in search engine-generated traffic. This year, just before Thanksgiving, everybody asking what the hell they're supposed to do with a butternut squash (and other vegetables) produced 48% of epicurean website traffic, according to Hitwise.

The writer pulls you aside and whispers in your ear: "Maybe you should add a recipe or two to your website. Couldn't hurt, right?"

Searches for [sweet potato casserole], you gorgeous dish you, were also up for the week ending November 12, reporting an increase of 130%. [Thanksgiving recipes] and [green bean casserole] were also popular searches each up 89% and 74% respectively.

In fact, last week food and beverage reference sites outperformed shopping, classified, grocery and alcohol sites, which only saw 30% of upstream visits from search engines. Just wait until Thanksgiving Day. Bet alcohol makes a huge comeback!

Hitwise expects recipe searches and visits to recipe sites to increase by 50% for Thanksgiving week. In 2004, searches on the term [recipes] soared 84% during that week, and visits to the top 10 recipe sites increased by 59%.

"Unlike online retail searching, which requires some planning ahead due to shipping, recipe searchers tend to wait until the last minute to find recipes and plan their grocery list" said Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise.

"We can expect that last year's steep seasonal peaks in recipe searches and visits to recipe sites will be repeated again this year."

An Ode To the Butternut Squash

Oh, Butternut Squash
Where do you come from
With your butternuttiness
And your squashy way?
My mothers says
Searching is futile
"The squash will find you,"
She says with a slap.
And I hope you do.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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