FD’s Grill House of magical wonder

Brian Brown, Reporter
The words just flow off the digital page: “Jared Enterprises,” “being constructed,” and “nearest location.”

So intriguing.

How about this line: “The restaurant’s menu would feature a range of blackened, fried and grilled fish options, as well as steaks, burgers, ribs, pies and salads.”

Call it a lesson in search engine optimization, but the Springfield Business Journal editorial staff was at first surprised, then mildly annoyed, that a From the Ground Up feature on FD’s Grill House from January has emerged as a top Web story for six weeks in a row.

So far this year, the construction feature is our top Web story in terms of page views with more than 6,100.

It is slowly sliding off of the top 10 most viewed stories list we publish weekly in the print edition, but it’s still garnering quite an interest. It has more views than our 40 Under 40 event page, 5,794; my Mr. Yen’s closure blog, 2,260; and our breaking news that six Husch Blackwell partners were leaving, 1,467.

Clearly, FD’s is open and people are looking to learn more via Google – about 78 percent of the hits come from the popular online search engine.

When we first noticed a spike in page views, a quick Google search for “FD’s Grill House” had a link to our story featured first. As of this morning, we were listed as the fourth link option, with a Facebook menu taking top honors.

While our weekly print publication goes out to more than 6,000 subscribers, and our website has generated more than 760,000 page views this year, we lock down much of our online content. That means stories we unlock for the public – or those that have been online for 60 days and have become unlocked – are always going to get more page views. That’s the price of doing business these days and protecting the content our subscribers pay for. I accept that.

But, FD’s? Story of the year? C’mon.

Where’s “Out of the Box”?

Or “The Money Maze”?

Or “The Waiting Game”?

I like writing the From the Ground Up. I think it’s interesting to learn what’s going in when new buildings in our area take shape. But, is this the impactful journalism I imagined I’d be writing when I set my major at Missouri State? Um, no.

Then again, the new Facebook menu looks pretty good.

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