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foreach Tops the Charts

February 28, 2008

One of things that intrigues me about this blog are the search terms that drive readers here. As a writer, I get immense enjoyment when a particular article generates a lot of traffic, especially if it is one I feel passionate about or put a lot of effort into. Conversely, when these articles do not draw a lot of interest, I sometimes get discouraged. But alas, such is the life of the modern blogger.

The search terms should be a pretty good indication of what people are trying to learn about, although these are limited to topics already covered on the blog, so I don’t necessarily use them to determine future articles. I do use them, along with comments, trackbacks, pings, links, and digg submissions, as indicators to determine how I’m doing. I also get some enjoyment out of the process, and even the occasional ego boost (and we could all use that, right?)

So recently, I’ve been noticing a trend, and I thought I would share yesterdays “top ten search terms” with you:

  1. c# foreach
  2. foreach c#
  3. linq examples
  4. class diagram visual studio 2008
  5. c# xml linq
  6. filmstrip control c#
  7. localapp +c#
  8. uninstall previous version and install n
  9. +linq +example
  10. c# linq to xml write xml

I find a couple of interesting things about this, especially when I analyze the numbers associated with each term. First, while 4 of the 10 are LINQ related, they only account for 23% of the actual searches [and 63% of the LINQ searches were XML specific, which makes sense because the LINX to XML article is the most visited article in the history of this site]. What surprises me, though, is that the top 2 searches both regarding the humble C# Foreach, account for over 53% of the searches.

And this is not an isolated incident. In fact, given recent trends, I was surprised to see only 2 entries regarding foreach: usually there are 3-5! So what does it all mean? Well, it tells me that there are still a lot of people out there trying to get comfortable with .NET 2.0, even though most stuff being written about today (including by yours truly) is focused on .NET 3.5.

I take two things away from that. At first, I am discouraged that there are so many developers so far behind. This is a symptom that my original niche (AS/400 RPG Programming) has suffered from for a very long time: developers refusing to keep up with new language enhancements. I’m not gong to get into a lot of the whys, I have been witness to too many holy wars over such topics [VB6 vs. VB.NET comes immediately to mind], but I will say that this is a long term mistake driven by short term thinking.

The second thing I take away from it is much more encouraging: there are plenty of developers out there trying to improve. They are taking the necessary steps to adopt and implement newer technologies, and in .NET land few steps are as important as moving from 1.x technologies to 2.x+. Without a firm foundation in 2.0 technologies, moving to 3.x is virtually impossible. Over the past year or so, Microsoft has released a tidal wave of new technologies, tools, and features: knowing 2.0 is your life raft. If you don’t know 2.0 yet, I suggest you make learning and using it your most immediate professional priority.

Categories: C# 2.0
  1. ertresvaag
    March 3, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Your blog get better serp results when searching for “c# foreach” than “linq examples”.

    when searching for “c# foreach” your site is listed as number 4 on my current google data center.
    When searching for “linq examples” your site is number 11 (page 2).

    Most people only click the first few results on a google serp.

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