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Performing Pages

Some thoughts on getting emails from the Google Search Console Team and my best-performing pages.

Every month Google, or specifically the ‘Google Search Console Team’ sends me an email showing the ‘Top performing pages’ on my site. Presumably that means the ones to which they, Google, have sent the most people.

Consistently, the top one is a post from 2012, about a particular use case of Pandoc. Specifically: Tip: using Pandoc to create truly standalone HTML files.

So it’s clear that if I want more engagement here — or at least more drive-by readers — I should write more technical-support-type articles.

That’s unlikely to happen at the moment. That page was a complete mess, though. There were artifacts left over from WordPress plugins, and the whole thing was displaying at the wrong width for reasons that I don’t understand. So I’ve cleaned it up, and now at least it looks a bit more welcoming for the hundreds of visitors who come every month.

I’m not even sure what it describes is still necessary — Pandoc has had a lot of changes since then — but it’s not wrong, so oh well.

A Pasta Mystery

Link to a story in New York magazine about the great bucatini shortage of 2020

I’ve never heard of the pasta shape called bucatini before (though the Mac spellchecker has), but it sounds fabulous, and I want to try it now. I won’t be able to, though (even if you can get it in the UK). This article by Rachel Handler in New York magazine is great: both hilarious and fascinating by turns.

Things first began to feel off in March. While this sentiment applies to everything in the known and unknown universe, I mean it specifically in regard to America’s supply of dry, store-bought bucatini. At first, the evidence was purely anecdotal. My boyfriend and I would bravely venture to both our local Italian grocer and our local chain groceries, masked beyond recognition, searching in vain for the bucatini that, in my opinion, not to be dramatic, is the only noodle worth eating; all other dry pastas might as well be firewood. But where there had once been abundance, there was now only lack. Being educated noodle consumers, we knew that there was, more generally, a pasta shortage due to the pandemic, but we were still able to find spaghetti and penne and orecchiette — shapes which, again, insult me even in concept. The missing bucatini felt different. It was specific. Frightening. Why bucatini? Why now? Why us?

I have a sort of mental goal of increasing my post-count this year. Ideally I’d like to hit 365. That doesn’t mean posting every day, necessarily (I didn’t post yesterday); but would need me to post several times per day. Even inconsequential fripperies like this.