musings > general

Loki and the exercise in SEO

16 Jun, 2021 · 5 min read

NOTE: Potential spoilers to Episode 2 of Loki

There are two things you need to know about this post. The first, is that I’m a nerd. The second, is that this website is almost entirely self-serving as an exercise. This post is perhaps the most self-serving on the site.

The aim of this post is to satisfy my curiosity on something regarding SEO. Some background: this morning the latest episode of Marvel’s Loki dropped on Disney+. At the end of the show there where a series of dates, times, and locations displayed on-screen that were very pertinent to the plot. There are a lot of them, and they are relatively obscure. Naturally, as a nerd (and a big Marvel nerd, at that) I wanted to jot them all down and lose some hours this evening frantically Googling them to see what they might be about.

Because the dates are so varied, and yet specific, it made me wonder as to how many sites would list them all out and draw traffic to them. So, I thought, why not test that? I’m not trying to be a big draw for Marvel fans, but I am curious as to whether this will draw any “unusual” traffic.

So, below is a table with all the dates and locations that were listed at the end of the show. I’ve not deliberately tried to make this post SEO friendly - for instance, I’ve only used key words like character names where they are necessary to explain what I’m doing. I’m just interested in how powerful the Date/Location combo might be. I’ve chosen to ignore the time, because even I’m only so much of a nerd.

I’ve also put a column for my thoughts on each pairing. I do genuinely want to catalogue my thoughts on the dates, and also if I stumbled onto this post because I was searching, and it was just some chump listing out the dates for hits I’d be annoyed. Mostly though, I want them online in the unlikely event that I get to retrospectively have an “I was right” moment - even if it is just amongst the half dozen people I speak to about Marvel.

Table last updated: 12.30 on Thursday 17th June 2021 This table is a summary of a Google Sheet, which you can see here

Order Event # Date Location Notes / Possible connections
1 46470152=027 03/08/1522 Phong Nha, Vietnam  
2 46474789=031 01/31/1492 Lisbon, Portugal  
3 46465189=703 04/23/2301 Vormir  
4 46462044=006 10/25/1551 Thornton, USA  
5 46443278=421 11/22/1999 Cookeville, USA  
6 46420987=051 02/16/2004 Asgard c8 years before events of first Thor film (assuming chronology RL chronology follows MCU chronology)
7 46432678=042 10/03/1390 Rome, Italy  
8 46492982=140 08/13/1984 Sakaar, Tayo why specify the star system? Time flows differently on Sakaar. Highest Event number.
9 46412321=091 02/02/1808 Barichara, (Col) why is Columbia shortened? Just for space?
10 46409821=590 07/14/1708 Porvoo, Finland Porvoo Cathedral destroyed by a fire this year by Russian forces
11 46492810=808 12/27/1382 Ego First time Ego planted a seed on a planet??
12 46454356=077 10/13/1982 Titan Is Thanos involved?
13 46423454=432 09/21/1947 New York, USA  
14 46423475=653 01/03/1984 Tokyo, Japan  
15 46429100=432 01/03/0053 Hala  
16 46420394=543 08/02/1999 Kingsport, USA
17 46402912=012 09/24/1001 Xandar Lowest Event number
18 46403952=078 11/23/2005 Beijing, China Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, China one-child policy
19 46450796=105 07/18/1903 Madrid, Spain  

So, long-story short. this is a place I’ll track any Googling I end up doing, and in the meantime I’m seeing what (if any) SEO implications there are to this.

The “Order” column, by the way, is just because I’ve lifted it from a spreadsheet that I had, where I was sorting by dates to see if there was any relevance I could see in the date order, and I didn’t want to lose the original order they were displayed. I ran into problems here because I couldn’t get the 53AD date to display properly. If anyone reads this and has any thoughts, hit me up on Twitter.

EDIT: Thanks to a great suggestion on Twitter, on the main spreadsheet I’ve now separated out the day, month, and year into separate columns and then in a fourth column concatenated them into a YYYY-MM-DD format.

Other notes about the table

Below are some semi-structured thoughts on what I’ve “found”.

Event numbers

All the event numbers start with 464 Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 464 is a House of M event comic, and heavily features body possession. Thor Vol 1 464 features Thor fighting an illusion of Loki created by the Goddess.

The event numbers aren’t in any kind of order They don’t appear on the monitor in the episode in order, and the numbers don’t seem to correspond with the date/time of the events. The appendix (the part after the = sign) also doesn’t seem to correlate to any order I can find, even when taken in isolation.