Deborah Yaffe

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Bewitching

By Deborah Yaffe, Jan 13 2020 02:00PM

Search engine optimization and web analytics are topics about which I know very little. (OK: nothing.) So when Google sends me its periodic report on the performance of my web site – yes, this very site – I mostly ignore it. (Go ahead. Tell me I should grit my teeth and learn this marketing stuff even though it bores me. I deserve the lecture.)


December’s Google report, however, included one tidbit hilarious enough to catch even my negligent eye. Apparently, the search query that most often brought viewers to my site that month was this: “you have bewitched me body and soul book page number.”


As blog readers know, I regularly fulfill my Janeite community service obligations by pointing out the Jane Austen movie quotes masquerading online as Jane Austen book quotes. Among their number is the line “You have bewitched me body and soul,” uttered by Matthew Macfadyen’s Darcy to Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth during the romantic climax of the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice.


In my opinion, this line is a cheesy cliché, but if you find it swooningly romantic, wallow away: I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours. Whatever its merits, however, it is inarguable that this line does not appear anywhere in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. You will search in vain for its page number. It's just not there. Wasn't written by Jane Austen. Sorry.


I have noted this fact from time to time, most recently in July, so presumably my site pops up when those with a thirst for accuracy – a quality that is becoming sadly rare in our era – try to nail down the provenance of the quote.


This is excellent news. Thanks, Google! But I still can't be bothered to learn about search engine optimization.


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